Starting to Write Music

    School sections
    • Primary
    Educational subjects
    • Music and…

Starting to Write Music

The aim of the Starting to Write Music project was to achieve the primary school’s goal, namely, that students could represent “the basic elements of pieces of music and sound events using conventional and unconventional systems of symbols”. 
This proposal takes into account the fact that at primary school the time for sound and music education is limited, that teachers do not always have specific skills to teach music notation and, above all, that the students at this school level are not expected to take conservatory exams, but do need to realize that sounds can also be written down, and that other languages, both verbal and non-verbal, can be used to do so. 

Work tools

These tasks require versatile environments: classrooms with desks arranged in “islands” to allow group work, but also classrooms where the benches can be arranged around the edges to create free space in the centre to carry out activities requiring more movement. 

The tools required for the course are of various kinds: 

Material: Orff instruments, stationery, reclaimed material (cotton skeins, coloured twine,… comics), a sound recording and reproduction system, IWB, a traditional black/whiteboard, and a board with staves; 

Digital: audio recordings of some songs, videos of graphic scores and other musical performances, recordings of the work done in the classroom. 

Educational purposes

The skills, goals and training objectives selected by the teacher for this experience are shown below.

    • Sound perception
    • Execution
    • Composition
    Reading and Writing
    • Use of conventional analogic music notation
    • Learning to listen to oneself and to the others
    • Listening, interpreting and describing pieces of music of different genres
    • Exploring, identifying and elaborating sound phenomena on the basis of quality, space and source
    • Exploring different expressive capacities of voice, musical objects and musical instruments
    • Producing timbre, melodic and rhythmic combinations applying basic schemes; executing them with the voice, the body and instruments (including IT tools).
    • Playing, alone or in group, simple vocal or instrumental pieces of music belonging to different genres and cultures, using also didactic instruments and self-made tools.
    Reading and Writing
    • Using analog and codified notation
Educational targets


The students: 
-Participate in body percussion activities by imitation. 
-Perform sound gestures in time. 
-Listen to sound sequences and analyse them. 
-Listen to songs and music, recognizing certain sound parameters. 
-Distinguish between high, low, long and short sounds. 
-Distinguish between strong and weak intensity and the timbres of voices and instruments. 
-Describe the sounds and music listened to using adjectives, images, and similes. 
-Represent sounds using intuitive notation. 
-Produce simple scores, including polyphonic ones. 
-Can read a score and play in a group. 
-Can direct the class orchestra during performances. 
-Can use conventional notation to read, write under dictation, and invent short rhythmic/melodic sequences. 

The students: 
-Know and use synaesthesia to describe sound events. 
-Are committed to finishing work begun alone or with others. 
-Establish rules to be shared in the group and use these to read and write sound sequences. 
-Work with others to build a joint product. 
-Identify similarities between the mechanisms to read/write their native language and those of music. 


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