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Year 6 Music

Year 6 Chinese Music challenges for pupils self isolating

In Year 6 Music this term we have been learning all about Chinese music. (See knowledge organiser for knowledge covered).

As part of this, we do the following:

  • Listen to performances of Chinese music and learn about some of the traditional instruments used.
  • Learn about pentatonic scales and recapping stave notation covered in Year 5 to notate a pentatonic scale.
  • Rehearse a Chinese lantern song on instruments.
  • Use the notes of the pentatonic scale to improvise and compose music


If you are self isolating choose one of the following challenges to complete each week related to our chinese music topic:


Challenge A: Can you name the traditional Chinese instruments in the pictures? (see pdf picture boards and powerpoint below if you need to recap the instruments).  Can you identify the instruments in the following performance: Click here to view



Challenge B: Can you use the knowledge organiser to create a poster about Chinese music? Include information and pictures about Chinese instruments and the pentatonic scale. Click here to listen to some traditional Chinese music while you work.

Challenge C: Click here to listen to the following performance ‘Hundreds of birds worshipping the Phoenix’: Can you create some art work to go with the piece of music representing hundreds of birds? Then on the back can you create a mind map with the instruments used? You can use the picture mat answers from challenge B to help you.


Challenge D: Can you learn to sing the Chinese lantern song with Miss Neil-Smith? In the instrumental breaks you could clap a repeating rhythm or with parents permission play it on spoons or something similar. If you play a musical instrument-can you use the notes of the pentantonic scale CDEGA to improvise some music to go in the instrumental sections of the lantern song? Click here to hear the song. There is also a link to this microsoft stream video in your Teams classroom.

Challenge E: Recap stave notation knowledge from Year 5.

Click here to watch video ‘Treble When you Walked in' to help remind you of the stave notation.

Can you draw a treble clef? Click here to watch a video demo!

Click here to watch the first 3 minutes of this video to recap names of the notes in treble clef.

Can you use stave notation to complete the code breaking activity? Click here for the code breaking activity. Click here to try the treble clef notes interactive online quiz.

Challenge F: Can you use music technology to compose your own pentatonic music?

Click here to use Chrome music lab, which is free, to create a pentatonic melody (5 note tune using CDEGA). Click on the ‘Song Maker’. Use the notes C= red, D= orange, E= yellow, G= dark green, Purple= A in any combination or order to create your own tune. If you are familiar with the notes on the piano you can use the chrome shared piano.

Alternatively, if you have access to an ipad at home with the app ‘Garageband’ you can create some Chinese music using that. Either; select ‘Chinese traditional’ under live loops and listen and experiment with a live loops grid or create a new track. If you create a new track you will need to select the loop icon in the top right hand corner (next to settings) and select ‘genre’ then select ‘Chinese traditional’. Then listen to the loops by clicking on them one at a time. If you like the sound of a loop drag the loops into the grid and arrange to create a composition.

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