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Resources for Schools

This page is under development. Below are links to some freely available resources developed by OU Music academics. While these were not developed specifically with school curriculum in mind, they address topics that may be useful in that context. We plan to develop further resources specifically aimed to support the teaching of music in schools following the UK's National Curriculum and GCSE and A Level exam syllabi. 

'A' level resources

Below are teaching resources designed to support teachers preparing and delivering lessons on set works for ‘A’ level Music qualifications. We will be adding more resources over time, so please check back regularly.

F. Chopin, Nocturne in E minor, Opus 72, No. 1


C. Schumann, Piano Trio, Opus 17



J.P. Sweelinck, Pavana



Vivaldi: Concerto Il cardellino





Music theory

An introduction to music theory

This interactive online course provides an introduction to music theory using western staff notation. It covers topics to a depth roughly equivalent to ABRSM Theory of Music grade 3.

Understanding musical scores

This course explores how musicians work with scores to create musical performances.

Discovering music through listening

This free course will introduce you to the musical elements used by musicians to create a piece of music: pulse, tempo, metre, rhythm, melody, harmony, structure, texture, timbre, and dynamics. You’ll learn how to identify the different musical elements by taking a particular approach to listening to the music, known as close listening. Alongside developing your listening skills, you will learn how to explain what you hear using technical language.

Musical genres

Discovering music: the blues

This material, based on a unit from our module A111 Discovering the Arts and Humanities provides an introduction to to a musical tradition with roots in the nineteenth century but which is still relevant to making music today.

Schubert's Lieder: Settings of Goethe's poems

This course looks at the short poems in German that were set to music by Franz Schubert (17971828) for a single voice with piano, a genre known as 'Lieder' (the German for 'songs').

The birth of the symphony

This video, developed in partnership with the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment, explores the early history of the symphony.

Music technology

A history of music and technology

Pink Floyd's Nick Mason explores the impact of technology on music through the years.

Music and culture

The music of time

This BBC World Service series explores the ways in which music gains meaning in different societies.

Musicians' Experiences

The Frequency of Magic: Five Musicians Share their Experiences on film

In this film, five acclaimed musicians – Denys Baptiste, Andrew John, Anthony Joseph, Thibaut Remy and Rod Youngs – share their different experiences of music education and careers in music, including how they started in the music business, how they write music and the use of technology in the music industry. Learn more here.

OU Music, which is committed to creating diverse educational resources, has advised on this film, which is part of Anthony Joseph’s Arts Council England funded Frequency of Magic tour, produced and managed by Speaking Volumes Live Literature Productions.

Full-length film:


How did you get interested in performing? -

What was your music 'education' like? -

What music or musician do you wish you had learned about at school? -

What was key to preparing you for a life in music? -

What challenges have you faced as a professional musician? -

How do you go about writing a new song or piece of music? -

Does music of the past influence your work? -

How has your work been influenced by technology? -

Who is your favourite musician? -

Can you play us something? -

What consequence has Coronavirus had on your work? -

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