Water Music - Learning, Listening, Composing & Evaluating Activities
Water Music - Performing Activities - Songs & Scores
Water Music - Starter & Plenary Activities

Water Music from Musical Contexts provides a range of fun and exciting music activities and learning opportunities combining singing, performing, composing and listening and appraising with all of the resources you’ll need in one place!  Ideal for non-specialist music teachers (with a wealth of supporting media files to model tasks and a detailed scheme of work and lesson plans) and a wealth of fresh inspiration for music specialists.  Whether you’re exploring the topic of Rivers, Seas, The Water Cycle or Water in general, then there’s something within this unit that will hopefully inspire both you as a teacher and your pupils.

This unit provides pupils with the stimulus of water as a basis for singing, performing, composing, improvising and listening and appraising to a wide variety of water-inspired music.  Pupils begin by creatively composing in response to a variety of images of water in its various forms before exploring how the composer Smetana describes the course of a river in his tone poem “Vltava”.  Pupils explore the concept of melodic shape, identifying melodies which move by step and leap and compose their own “wandering river” melody using entirely stepwise motion which is used as part of a larger-scale composition describing the various stages of the water cycle.  Pupils move onto the sea and make connections between music and art learning about the impressionist music of Debussy’s “La Mer” and use Monet’s sea paintings as the basis of an improvisation.  Dynamics is a key concept throughout the using including gradations of dynamics and the crescendo.  Finally, pupils use their learning from the unit to add “water sound effects” to a traditional North American-Indian legend before listening to Handel’s “Water Music”.  

Element Focus - Pitch, Timbre & Dynamics, Melody & Harmony

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Score 2 - “Moldau” theme from ‘Vltava’


Audio 4 - “Moldau” theme from ‘Vltava’

MIDI 8 - “Moldau” theme from ‘Vltava’ Melody

Song Sheet 4 - Seaside Songs

MIDI 9 - Oh I do like to be beside the seaside - song melody

MIDI 10 - The big ship sails on the ally ally oh - song melody

MIDI 11 - Five little fish swimming by the shore - song melody

MIDI 12 - A sailor went to sea, sea, sea - song melody

Scheme of Work

Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson Plan (DOC)

Lesson Bundles (ZIP)

Download all the resources you need for each lesson (excluding video files) in a ZIP file.

Click here for the latest version of WinZip.

Lesson 1

Exploring Images of Water Music

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson 1

Resource Bundle

Lesson 2

Exploring Melodic Shapes


Lesson Plan 2

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson 2

Resource Bundle

Lesson 3

Exploring Stepwise Melodies

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson 3

Resource Bundle

Lesson 4

Exploring The Water Cycle

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson 4

Resource Bundle

Lesson 5

Exploring the Sounds of the Sea

Lesson Plan 5

Lesson Plan 5

Lesson 5

Resource Bundle

Lesson 6

Exploring the Singing River Story

Lesson Plan 6

Lesson Plan 6

Lesson 6

Resource Bundle







Worksheet 1


Composing Sheet

Worksheet 2

River Poems

Composing Cards

Worksheet 3

The Singing River Composing Sheet


(uses Audio 8)

Audio 8

The Singing River


Worksheet 4

Evaluating Water Music Pieces

Audio 5

Gardens in the Rain - Debussy







Worksheet 5

Listening to “Vltava” from “Ma Vlast”


(uses Audio 2)

Audio 2

“Vltava” from “Ma Vlast” - Smetana

Worksheet 6

Wandering Rivers

Worksheet 7

The Water Cycle

Composing Sheet


(uses Audio 5)

Worksheet 8

Monet Sea Pictures Improvisation Cards





Song Sheet 1 - Two North American Indian River Songs


MIDI 1 - Canoe Round

MIDI 2 - Land of the Silver Birch

Song Sheet 2

Down the River


MIDI 3 - Upper Part; Midi 4 - Lower Part

MIDI 5 - Upper & Lower Parts Together

Song Sheet 3 - Water Round

Score 1 - Water Round (with and without note names)


MIDI 6 - Melody Line; MIDI 7 - as a 4 part round









Starter/Plenary 1

Handel’s Water Music


(uses Audio 1)

Audio 6

“Hornpipe” from ‘Water Music’


Starter/Plenary 2

Musical Pictures Water Photos

Starter/Plenary 3

A Seaside Tongue Twister

Starter/Plenary 4

Listening for Shapes


(uses Audio 1)

Audio 1

Listening for Shapes

Starter/Plenary 5

“Vltava” Card Sort


(uses Audio 2)

Audio 2

“Vltava” from “Ma Vlast” - Smetana









Audio 3

Smooth or Spiky?

Video 1

STOMP Out Loud


Audio 7

Pictures of Sound

“La Mer”- Debussy

Starter/Plenary 6

My Water Music