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KS3 music lesson plan – Develop musical confidence by letting students put on a performance with minimal teacher input

Key Stage



Years 7-9


12-bar blues and the walking bass are the go-to for keyboard lessons up and down the country – but I have encountered problems when asking students to take that knowledge and the skill set acquired, and apply them to learning a song of their choice.

To promote the musical understanding of chord structure and basic keyboard skills it is essential the students are not scared to attempt chords that use those scary black notes – so this is a lesson with the key focus set on constructing chords, performing the chords, and developing a performance from the ground up.

Why teach this? With curriculum time at a premium, it is vital that lessons inspire and promote the love of music. Students learn so much through performance, and I for one want the learners to be hooked and coming back for more – so what better way than using the song of the summer, Despacito?

Key curriculum links

  • Ideal for KS3 performance unit (can be tweaked by instrument, solo/ensemble or by introducing sequencing elements)
  • Covers the construction of chords, the chord sequence, inversions, lead melody, and ensemble performance

About the author Daniel Austin is co-director of vocational and fitness, and head of music, at Clacton County High School.

KS3 music lesson plan – Develop musical confidence by letting students put on a performance with minimal teacher input

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