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

The Victorians 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.  If you’re exploring the popular primary history topic of The Victorians, there’s something within this unit that will hopefully inspire both you as a teacher and your pupils

​This unit explores music and musical inventions in the Victorian period, beginning with an exploration into Victorian musical gadgets where pupils learn about gadgets such as the Music Box, Player Piano, Street Piano and Penny-in-the-Slot through listening and watching the gadgets in action, looking at sound production methods.  Pupils then explore Victorian street cries, popular in Victorian markets of the time as sellers advertised their wares.  Pupils sing and perform a number of different Victorian street cries before composing their own, exploring melodic shape and pitch.  Finally, pupils explore the popular Victorian genre of Music Hall, taking part in a class Music Hall performance of “The French Can Can Polka” 

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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.

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Lesson 1

Exploring Victorian Musical Gadgets

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson 1

Resource Bundle

Lesson 2

Exploring Victorian Street Cries

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson 2

Resource Bundle

Lesson 3

Exploring the Melodic Shape of Street Cries

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson 3

Resource Bundle

Lesson 4

Composing a Street Cry Melody

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson 4

Resource Bundle

Lesson 5

Exploring Victorian Music Hall

Lesson Plan 5

Lesson Plan 5

Lesson 5

Resource Bundle

Lesson 6

A class Victorian Music Hall Performance!

Lesson Plan 6

Lesson Plan 6

Lesson 6

Resource Bundle







Worksheet 1

Victorian Musical Gadgets


(uses Audio 3 & Video 8)

Worksheet 2

Listening to Victorian Street Cries

(uses Audio 5)

Worksheet 3

Exploring the Pitch of Victorian Street Cries

Worksheet 4

Composing Street Cry Melodies

Worksheet 5

Evaluating Street Cry Melodies

Worksheet 6

Identifying Rhythms in Victorian Music Hall Songs

(uses Audio 9)








The Story of Music Hall Part 1

The Story of Music Hall Part 2

The Story of Music Hall Part 3

The Story of Music Hall Part 4

The Story of Music Hall Part 5

The Story of Music Hall Part 6








Starter/Plenary 1

Victorian Vocal



(uses MIDI 3)

Starter/Plenary 2



Audio 4

Victorian Street Cries

Starter/Plenary 3

Victorian Pitch & Rhythm Card Sort


(uses optional Audio 6)

Audio 7

Pupil Victorian Street Cries

Video 7 - “Who will buy?” from ‘Oliver’

Audio 8 - “Who will buy?”







Starter/Plenary 4

Victorian Music Hall

Starter/Plenary 5

My Victorians Learning







Song Sheet 1 - The French Can Can Polka & Score 2- The French Can Can Polka

                                      (Melody Line, Bass Line & Chords)

Song Example on Audio 1 (Offenbach);   MIDI 1 - Song Melody;       MIDI 2 - Piano Accompaniment & Song Melody (full)

Score 3 - The French Can Can Polka Rhythmic Ostinati

MIDI 9 - Ostinato 1;        MIDI 10 - Ostinato 2;        MIDI 11 - Ostinato 3


Song Sheet 2 - The Victorian

Inventions Song

(lyrics only)

Song Example on Audio 2






Song Sheet 3 - Victorian Street Cries

Score 1 - Performing Victorian Street Cries

MIDI 4 - Strawberries;       MIDI 5 - Roses;     MIDI 6 - Milk

MIDI 7 - Knives;    MIDI 8 - Matches