Building Bricks - DOITNOW (Starters) and Plenary Activities

Building Bricks - “DOITNOW” Presentation


Cutting down on printables, file storage and media files, the “new look” Musical Contexts “DOITNOW” Building Bricks lesson openers Presentation contains  a wealth (only two samples shown here), of effective “DOITNOW’s” when delivering the Building Bricks unit in just one place - all audio and video files are embedded and there’s accompanying Teacher’s Notes in the “slide comments” section. 

Building Bricks - Plenary Review Activities

A series of lesson reviews where pupils review their learning and understanding.

Building Bricks - 5 Minutes Silent Reading

For teachers who prefer to begin their lessons with quiet, focused openers.  All contain “Questions to Think About” which can also be used as Cover or Homework tasks.

1. The Building Bricks of Music

2. Pitch

3. Tempo & Duration

4. Dynamics

5. Texture

6. Timbre & Sonority

7. Articulation

Building Bricks - Elements of Music & Graphic Scores - Cover and Homework Activities

Please feel free to copy, modify, customise, personalise and use Musical Contexts resources for your own use, with your students and pupils, within your own school or college and on internal Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs). 

​Please use the resources responsibly and ethically, as continued irresponsible free sharing and poaching of paid published resources (particularly “free sharing” to Facebook groups and the current trend of setting up “free” music resource websites using Musical Contexts and other published resources) is not only a breach of copyright, but the implications of making these publicly available on websites, even if only for a short period of time, are that other schools and teachers can freely access them meaning a loss of earnings for authors and publishers, jeopardising future resource development for YOUR subject specification and will only sadly see the demise of sites such as Musical Contexts which rely on the support (and honesty) of schools and teachers for future development. 

Musical Contexts is unitedly working with a range of publishers together to monitor Facebook groups for such “free sharing” and regular checks to the web are made using a program which scours the web for PDFs using automated code (scrapers).  Any subscriber found freely sharing Musical Contexts resources online will have their log-in cancelled with immediate effect and no refund given in respect of this.

Building Bricks from Musical Contexts has been designed as a unit of work which can be used during the first term of Year 7 (although not exclusively and may be used or referred back to at any point within a Key Stage 3 Music Curriculum), to both allow pupils the opportunity to engage in active music making and teachers to “baseline assess” pupil’s prior skills, knowledge and understanding in terms of performing, composing, listening and evaluating and responding. 

Pupils learn about Pitch, Dynamics, Duration, Tempo, Texture, Timbre or Sonority, Articulation and Silence and are introduced to Graphic Notation and Graphic Scores.  It is hoped that this unit will develop pupil’s understanding of the Elements of Music and provide pupils with a foundation of musical vocabulary for use at Key Stage 3 which can be developed for GCSE Music. 

Building Bricks contains several different “pathways” allowing teachers to use and sequence the resources in whatever order best suits their school, classes and pupils.  After a common two introductory lessons where pupils are introduced to the Elements of Music and Graphic Scores, there is an opportunity for composing and evaluating baseline assessment in response to either Britten’s “Four Sea Interludes” from ‘Peter Grimes’ or Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”.  The final two lessons are given over to an opportunity for performing baseline assessment using Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” from his ‘Symphony No.9’ while allowing options to administer either of the Musical Contexts Year 7 Baseline Assessment Listening Tests over one or both lessons.

Exploring The Elements of Music

Building Bricks - Scheme of Work and Lesson Pathways

Building Bricks - Scheme of Work and Lesson Pathways

Includes Scheme of Work Overview, Unit Learning Objectives, Learning Outcomes and Lesson Pathways.

Building Bricks - Music Theory and Rhythmic and Graphic Score Dictation

Building Bricks Music Theory - Tempo, Dynamics and Articulation

Introduces pupils to Italian musical terms relating to tempo, dynamics and gradations of dynamics as well as introducing legato and staccato articulation markings. 

Building Bricks Rhythmic and Graphic Score Dictation Exercises

Rhythmic dictation based on the ‘Promenade’ theme from Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and graphic score completion based on ’Dawn Interlude’ from “Peter Grimes” by Benjamin Britten.

 All of the audio examples are given on the accompanying audio file. 

Building Bricks - Graphic Scores and Chinese Music

Building Bricks - Four Sea Interludes

(Baseline Composing & Responding/Evaluating/Reflecting Opportunity)

Building Bricks - The Elements of Music

Building Bricks - Pictures at an Exhibition

(Baseline Composing & Responding/Evaluating/Reflecting Opportunity)

Building Bricks - Ode to Joy

(Baseline Performing Opportunity)

AS & A-Level Music Resources Shop


About Musical Contexts

Subscribe to Musical Contexts

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)/Help

Musical Contexts Year 7 Baseline Assessment

2016 GCSE (9-1) Music

Resources Index

Musical Contexts Music Cover Bank

Musical Contexts Shop &

Seasonal Topic Packs

Musical Contexts Topic Exploration Packs

Musical Contexts “Warm-Ups” Compendiums

Musical Contexts World Music Resources

Musical Contexts Music History & Theory Resources

Primary/Key Stage 2 Music Resources Index

Secondary/Key Stage 3

Music Resources Index

Musical Contexts


Building Bricks - Experimental Vocal Music

(Baseline Composing & Responding/Evaluating/Reflecting Opportunity)








Elements of Music Word Search and Activity Sheet

Pupils fill in the missing words of sentences describing the Elements of Music, the answers of which are given in a word search grid.  Additional tasks include designing a poster on an Element of Music and describing how the Elements of Music could be used in a short storyboard.

Can be done without using ICT.

Elements of Music Word Search 2

Simple word search covering terms relating to the Elements of Music.

Answers provided.

Can be done without using ICT.

Elements of Music Word Search 3

More complex word search covering terms relating to the Elements of Music.  Answers provided.

Can be done without using ICT.

Graphic Scores Comprehension

Reading and questions to test understanding of Graphic Scores and Staff Notation.  Suggested answers provided.

Can be done without using ICT.

An Elements Acrostic

Pupils create an Acrostic to help them remember the Elements of Music (along the lines of “Mad T-Shirt” and “Dr. Smith” etc.)

Can be done without using ICT.

Listening and Describing Music

Pupils choose two contrasting songs or pieces of music and analyse them in terms of the Elements of Music.

Can be done without using ICT but helpful if pupils have access to their chosen songs or pieces of music.

Building Bricks Cover and Homework MS-Word Pack

MS-Word version of Cover and Homework activities from Building Bricks

Key Words, Concepts and Musical Knowledge

Pitch, Tempo, Dynamics (pp, p, mp, mf, f, ff, cresc., dim., <, >), Duration, Texture, Timbre, Sonority, Articulation, Silence, Notation, Staff Notation, Stave, Graphic Notation, Graphic Score

Music Theory

Italian terms relating to Tempo

Italian terms and musical symbols relating to Dynamics and Gradations of Dynamics

Legato and Staccato Articulation markings.

Links to GCSE Music

Elements of Music across all GCSE Music specifications.