Pupil Referral Units

COBS Primary Centres

April 2018 – April 2019

What did the music sessions involve?

Lyric writing 

Melody writing 

Musical games 

Performing & Sharing 

Rhythm games 


Song writing 

Composing & Improvising Recording 

Instrumental exploration – tuned and untuned

Child led conducting 


Vocal exploration incl. using microphones

Graphic scores

Examples of genres and themes explored

Black History Month 

TV advert jingles 

Hip Hop & Rap




Spoken word/poetry e.g. Benjamin Zephaniah 


Fifa World Cup 

Film music 


Cossack Dancing 

Solstice – modal music 

Sea Creatures 

Lego Musicals incl. Greatest Showman 


Russian Folk Music 

Slide Guitar 

World Dance Styles

Musical Objectives

1. To enable groups to play together as an ensemble, with improving beat, listening and rhythm skills. 

2. To enable young people to create their own music by modelling ways of leading that they could then utilise. 

3. To encourage young people to use their voices as part of their music making. 

Social Objectives

1. To gain group working skills 

2. To improve communication skills

Personal Objectives

1. To impact on self confidence 

2. To impact on self-esteem 

Feedback from Staff

Primary Pupil Comments 

“Music makes me feel happy.” 

“I liked doing beat boxing and drumming. It makes me feel happy and excited and sometimes it helps me calm down.” 

“I’ve enjoyed the microphones, I like singing on them. I have practised every day at home with my sister.” 

“I like singing the mango song. I feel like I’m famous for writing it, and when I get older I’m going to record the mango song and put it on YouTube. I felt proud.” 

“Good music here. We didn’t use instruments at my old school, we just sang.” 

“I like music, it takes my mind off stuff.” 

“I love singing and my singing voice. I can make up songs all day long. Music makes me happy. I love an audience!” 

“I like quiet music best, playing on my own.” 

“I have loved doing the drumming, it suits me.” 

“I really liked performing for the other group. I have got better at drums.” 

“Music is calming; it makes me feel calm if I am angry. Music is so special.” 

“Music makes me feel normal. I like doing it. I like playing more than listening, way more.”

Participant Case Study 

X is a pupil at a primary pupil referral unit. A MAC Makes Music leader has been delivering creative music making sessions at the pupil referral unit for two out of three school terms over a number of years now. The sessions are child-centred and so are designed around the needs and interests of the children participating. There is often a lot of change at the centre with new pupils arriving while others move back to mainstream or onto specialist provision, which means that sessions vary weekly. The music making sessions are usually in small groups or 1:1s depending on the individuals and can involve creative improvisation, drumming circles, rapping, singing, stomp-style percussion, song writing and technology. 

The following quote from the music leader working with X demonstrates the impact that the music making sessions have had; 

“One of the most amazing moments for me this term was hearing X sing. When I first met X in January she presented as non-verbal, and had full one to one support from staff as she could be very physically unpredictable. If she was given an instrument she was most likely to put it in her mouth to explore or to throw it. As the term progressed X started to join in, but only minimally, often being restrained or taken out, as she became agitated. 

This term, X has been much calmer and in one session I could hear that she was humming whilst playing the drum she had chosen. We stopped and commented on how lovely it was to hear her voice. In the next session she started to sing whilst drumming. We all stopped and asked X if we could record her. She sang quietly but was evidently singing a full song with lyrics that she knew well. It was a very beautiful moment and staff and children from purple were all very encouraging towards her. We listened back to her recording with the volume right up, and she had such a big smile on her face, she was so proud. 

At this point she started to communicate far more, letting us know what she wanted to play and that she wanted to try the violin, and that she loved the violin. This was more than X had communicated all year. It was so exciting. She used a mixture of gestures and words, but it was such a step forward in communication. The singing was a very emotional moment and she continued to sing to the end of term, as if something had opened up. Both myself and staff spoke to X’s parents, who were really pleased to hear this, and let us know that X loved the music at church. I hope she continues to sing in front of more people, as it is evidently something she really values doing.” 

From the music leader’s feedback, it is very clear that the sessions have had a profound effect on X’s communication, confidence and relationships with her peers.

0121 446 3222    |     jen.loffman@macbirmingham.co.uk    |    @macmakesmusic