Pupil Referral Units

The Primrose Centre

The MAC Makes Music programme at The Primrose Centre has been exploring alternative ways to offer creative, inclusive music making opportunities for the children that aim to improve musical, social, and personal development. Music Leaders and Professional Artists, Nicole Inniss and Alex Lowe, have been visiting the school weekly throughout the Summer Term 2021. Sarah Wilson and Eloise Fabbri previously delivered music sessions on behalf of MAC Makes Music in 2020. While the MAC Makes Music Leaders all have different areas of expertise, they all work following Youth Music’s Quality Framework, and use a young-person centred, creative, inclusive approach. They are reflective practitioners who keep diaries after each session to monitor the development of the children and their own professional practice. The music leaders work alongside young musicians to help them find their own unique musical voices. MAC Makes Music is close a partner of SIPS Education Music and Arts Service and the work at Primrose Centre is delivered as part of the Sandwell Music Education Hub.

Musical Objectives 

Improve the music and creative skills of the children, including; 

  • Ensemble playing
  • Exploring different instruments, timbres, and playing techniques 
  • Exploring timing, pulse, rhythm, structure and dynamics 
  • Creating own music and songs
  • Active listening and aural skills

Personal Objectives 

Improve focus and concentration 

Improve self-esteem, self-efficacy, and confidence

To express themselves through music

To reflect on learning through listening to their recordings and participation in critical discussion 

Social Objectives

Improve the quality of communication with other children and adults

Support, respect, and listen to each other 

Share ideas together

Improve turn taking and awareness of others

What did the music sessions involve?

Lyric writing 

Melody writing 

Musical / Rhythm / Co-ordination games 

Performing & Sharing 


Song writing 

Composing & Improvising 


Instrumental work

Child led conducting 

Beatboxing & Rapping 

Call & Response 


Graphic scores 

Examples of Genres and Themes explored 

Rainforest Music – to link to curriculum learning across the centre 

Hip Hop 




Music Technology 


Creating narrative through music 



Model Music Curriculum 

The Model Music Curriculum categorises in-school music tuition into four components: 

1. Singing 

2. Listening 

3. Composing 

4. Musicianship (KS1) or Performing (KS2 & KS3) 

The sessions delivered at Primrose Centre cover all four components listed for example:


The sessions always begin with a variety of vocal and instrumental warm up activities, this may include improvisatory/call and response games. Singing is integral to the offer, with young people encouraged to sing at every session, usually to their own compositions but sometimes looking at existing popular repertoire (and discussing the context and lyrical meaning of text). Good technique was demonstrated and encouraged throughout including breathing, posture, vocal health, dynamics, and use of microphones. 


During the summer term 2021 sessions included listening to music to hear different styles, such as samba, salsa, hip hop, grime, funk, soul, rock, and popular music. The children experimented with samples from African music as well as garage and dub-step to give the group a wide range of genres and help broaden their knowledge. The children are encouraged to share their musical tastes and the influences of their family and friends. This creates a rich wealth of music influences to explore and listen to within the session.


The MAC Makes Music approach to working musically with children is based around creativity. Building on warm up activities and improvisation, composition is embedded throughout sessions. Composition during sessions often results in the production of songs, which the children also write their own lyrics for. Pupils composed using acoustic and electronic instruments, with technology e.g. iPads, and through production software. Graphic scores and imagery is used by and created by the children to notate their compositions. 

Musicianship / Performing

The majority of every session is practical with the children playing a range of instruments (acoustic & electronic), alongside technology. The sessions involve group collaborative music making and the opportunities for solo playing. Development of pulse, beat, pitching, rhythm, dynamics is worked on with specific warm-ups and creative tasks. Pupils regularly share musical ideas and perform to each other, with peer feedback encouraged throughout. Stage craft is practiced when the young people perform and record their tracks in front of others. Feedback time is also built into the end of every session. 

Music Leader Reflective Diary Comments 

“The conducting warm up worked brilliantly - almost every child in every group led as the conductor... This game caused lots of smiling, laughing, interaction and communication from the pupils.”

“The first part of the session went very well, especially as B has never engaged before and he not only told us what music he liked but chose some good sounds and created a nice piece of music.” 

“T didn’t want to participate initially but by the end of the session his mood had lifted.” 

“A particular win for me was seeing quieter members having a say and contributing to the session in a meaningful way and the more confident children allowing them space.” 

“We created an improvised jam with R on the Tongue drum, and wrote lyrics inspired by rainforest deforestation; calculating the number of trees being cut down per minute (T did the maths for this on the board as part of the lyrics).”

Participant Case Study

C showed an interest in music initially, with a desire to learn the drums, but had difficulty engaging in group activity and often chose to work alone. The Music Leaders Sarah and Eloise worked closely with C to help him see that good communication and team working skills are very important for being in a band. Sarah identified his ability to play steady rhythms and invited him to take this role in the group, allowing him space to develop trust in the group activity. He began playing the keyboard with others and offering other members of the group a turn. By the end of term Sarah reflected that ‘C sang, took himself seriously, engaged for the whole session, took positive comments and glowed’. 

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