Exploring Songs and Music from the Stage

New resources are being developed for this unit and will appear soon.

Please see the older-style “Musicals” unit below for resources. 


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Performing Activities - Songs & Scores
Learning, Listening, Composing & Evaluating Activities
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Musical Contexts Legacy Secondary/KS3 Unit - Musicals

 Musical Contexts “IN ACTION” - Cellblock Tango
Hear a selection of Year 9 Mixed Ability Classes approach the whole class performance task of “Cellblock Tango” from “Chicago” from Musical Contexts.
Supporting Activities - Cover & Homework

Exploring Songs from the Stage

This unit explores songs and music from the stage, beginning with an exploration into “What makes up a musical?”  Pupils explore the history and developments of elements of a musical, from their origins in opera, before exploring the impact of an “opening number” (‘All That Jazz’) in terms of chords and vamps, putting together a group performance.  Pupils move onto rehearse a full class performance of ‘Cellblock Tango’ (also from “Chicago”), with some great accompanying pupil audio tracks!  The unit ends with a choice of pathways - teachers can select whether pupils compose their own scene from a musical based on visual stimuli of a slave marketplace, or whether to continue the performance focus of the unit and allow pupils to work on a group performance of a song from a musical - there are plenty of arrangements in a range of difficulty levels here!


Key Words, Concepts and Musical Knowledge

Opera, Oratorio, Chorus/Company, Recitative, Solo Songs, Arias, Duets/Trios, Ensembles, Chorus/Company Numbers, Overture, Finale, Lyrics, Libretto, Opera Bouffe, Vaudeville, Chorus, Verse, Voice Types and Ranges: Soprano, Mezzo Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Through Composed, Strophic, Action Songs, Character Songs, Lyrical Melodies, Ballads, Comedy Songs.

Music Theory


Links to GCSE Music




Score 1 - “All That Jazz” - Chords & Bass Line

Score 2 - “All That Jazz” - Melody, Chords, Bass Line & Full Score

Song Sheet 1 - “All That Jazz”

Song Example on Audio 1

MIDI 1 - Song Melody;       MIDI 2 - Chords (intro);      MIDI 3 - Bass Line (intro);

MIDI 4 - Chords & Bass Line together (intro)

MIDI 5 - Chords (complete);   MIDI 6 - Bass Line (complete);        MIDI 7 - Melody, Chords & Bass Line together

Song Sheet 2 - Songs from “Chicago” (lyrics only)

All That Jazz - Song Example on Audio 1

When You’re Good to Mama - Song Example on Audio 3

They Both Reached for the Gun - Song Example on Audio 4

Funny Honey - Song Example on Audio 5








Worksheet 1

What does a Musical contain?


(uses Videos 1, 2 & 3)

Video 1


Part 1

Video 2


Part 2

Video 3


Part 3

Worksheet 2

Songs from Musicals

Worksheet 3

Listening to Songs from Musicals


(uses Audio 7)

Worksheet 4

Evaluating “All That Jazz” Performances








Worksheet 5

Learning about



(uses Audio 8-11 & Video 2)

Audio 8

Opera Aria


Audio 9

Opera Recitative Example

Audio 10

Opera Chorus


Audio 11

Opera Bouffe Example

Video 5

Historic Vaudeville Acts

Worksheet 6

Composing a scene from a musical -

The Marketplace





Pupil Audio 1 Class W Performance of Cellblock Tango

Pupil Audio 2 Class x Performance of Cellblock Tango

Pupil Audio 3 Class Y Performance of Cellblock Tango

Pupil Audio 4 Class  Z Performance of Cellblock Tango

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 the origins of Musicals

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson 1
Resource Bundle

Lesson 2

Exploring an Opening Musical Number

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson 2
Resource Bundle

Lesson 3

Exploring a complete song from a Musical

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson 3
Resource Bundle

Lesson 4

Exploring a Chorus song with Solos

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson 4
Resource Bundle

Lessons 5 & 6A

Composing a Scene from a Musical

Lesson Plans

5 & 6A

Lesson Plans

5 & 6A

Lessons 5 & 6A
Resource Bundle

Lessons 5 & 6B

Performing a Song from a Musical

Lesson Plans

5 & 6B

Lesson Plans

5 & 6B

Lessons 5 & 6B
Resource Bundle








Cover/Homework 1

Chicago - Plot and Characters

Cover/Homework 2

Chicago Crossword

Cover/Homework 3


Word Search

Cover/Homework 4

The History of the


Cover/Homework 5

Musicals Timeline










Starter/Plenary 1

What? Where?

When? Why?

Starter/Plenary 2


Brainstorm Template

Starter/Plenary 3


Picture Quiz

Starter/Plenary 4

Opera or Musical?

Listening Quiz


(uses Audio 2)

Starter/Plenary 5

Watching a scene from a Musical


(uses Video 4)

Video 6

“Razzle Dazzle” - Chicago on Stage

Starter/Plenary 6

My Musicals




Song Sheet 3 - “Cellblock Tango” (lyrics only)

Score 3 - “Cellblock Tango” - Performing Sheet

Song Example on Audio 6

MIDI 8 - Cellblock Tango Percussion Rhythms

MIDI 9 - Chorus Chords & Bass Line

Song Sheet 4 - Songs from “Grease”

Score 4 - “Greased Lightning”

MIDI 10 - Song Melody & Melody Line;   MIDI 11 - Chords;   MIDI 12 - Bass Line:   MIDI 13 - All parts together

Score 5 - “Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee”

MIDI 14 - Song Melody & Melody Line;   MIDI 15 - Chords;   MIDI 16 - Bass Line:   MIDI 17 - All parts together

Score 6 - “Summer Nights”

MIDI 18 - Song Melody & Parts 1 & 2 together;    MIDI 19 - Bass Line:   MIDI 20 - All parts together




Score 7 - “Any Dream Will Do” from ‘Joseph’

MIDI 21 - Melody Line:      MIDI 22 - Chords

MIDI 23 - Bass Line;        MIDI 24 - Melody, Chords & Bass Line

Score 8 - “Memory” from ‘Cats’

MIDI 25 - Melody Line:      MIDI 26 - Chords

MIDI 27 - Bass Line;        MIDI 28 - Melody, Chords & Bass Line