Assembly Music

02 January 2018

Each week we listen to different music in assemblies and we learn a little about each piece - the music itself and the musician. Below you can read about the most recent music we have been listening to.


Term 3 - World Music

Week 6 (Failure)

The famous Riverdance is a performance of traditional Irish music and dance. The percussion (rhythm) is created by the dancers hitting the floor with their feet. The lead dances are both champion Irish dances and have won many competitions.However,  when they first started dancing they didn't always win their competitions, they found learning to dance challenging and difficult.  By not giving up, learning from their mistakes and practising their skills they got better and are now the best Irish dancs in the world.

Traditional Irish Music and Dance- River Dance 

Week 5 (Heroes)

This Tuesday China celebrates Chinese New Year. Each year is named after an animal. As the year of the dog ends, the new year of the pig begins. Chinese people celebrate their new year by decorating their homes with flowers, setting off fireworks, wearing red for luck and by listening to music. This video shows some Chinese instruments. They look and sound very different to our own instruments!

Traditional Chinese Music - Ancient China

Week 4 (Communication)

African tribes value the importance of communication with others so much that they use drums to communicate with other tribes to far away to talk to. The many different rhythms and sounds produced on a drum act a bit like words in a sentence. Put together and they create messages. Tribes use drums to ask for help, to warn of danger and even to invite other tribes to parties.

Traditional African Music - Djembe Rhythms 

Week 3 

The assembly music this week was written and performed by Cuban and American Musicians. Their goal was to bring Cuban Music to America and Britain and to share the culture of Cuba. Cuban music is a mixture of African rhythms, spanish instruments and lyrics and Jazzy melodies.

Cuban Music - Buenos Vista Social Club  - Chan Chan

Week 2 (Aspiration)

Instrument Focus - Ukulele - Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

The Ukulele orchrestra aspired to make the Ukulele instrument a popular instrument to learn. They were determined to show others that the ukulele was a versitile instrument which all types of music could be played on. One way they did this was by choosing their favourite songs and rewriting them to be played only on Ukuleles.
The Ukulele orchestra was successful and many musicians use the ukulele in their music including Taylor Swift. Year 4 have also been learning the Ukulele. Maybe we'll have our own Hannah More Ukulele soon? :)

The Ukulele Orchestra 

Week 1 (Determination)

Aboriginal Music - Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu was an Aboriginal musician from Australia and was born blind. When he was 4 years old he found that he had a love for music. His family had very little money and could not afford for anyone to help him learn at school. Despite his blindness Geoffrey was determined to become a musician. He taught himself to play the accordion with no help and he practised every day. Next he learnt the piano and then the guitar and drums. Being blind did not stop him from becoming a musician and he was determined to share his music. People loved his music and he travelled the world to play his music to many different people.

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu 


Term 2

Week 7 (Christmas)

This orchestral music 'Sleigh Ride" is often associated with Christmas and paints a picture of a sleigh being pulled through snow by a horse. Can you hear the horse clip-clopping and a whip used to get the horse moving. In most performances, a percussionist provides these sounds on blocks and the side of a drum (drum rim). Toward the end of the piece, a trumpet imitates the sound of a horse whinnying.

Sleigh Ride 

Week 6 (Peace)

During the second world war, people in many different countries were told they weren’t allowed to listen to certain songs. People who lived in German were told that the were not allowed to listen to music created by Felix Mendelssohn, and this piece of music was the worst music they could listen to. When the fighting stopped and peace was made, many people celebrated by listening to Mendelossohns Midsummer Nights Dream. People are still reminded of the importance of peace when they listen to this music.

Felix Mendelssohn - Midsummer Night’s Dream 


Week 5 (Unity)

Music can bring everyone together in unity. We come together to celebrate festivals, families or to remember loved ones and past events. As a school we come together every week and listen to spcecial assembly music before we celebrate our learning and to look forward to our futures. The assembly music that has brought us together this week in unity was written by a man called Dvorak. The music is about America and many people come together to listen to his music to celebrate the country. It is one of the most popular peices of music ever written.

Dvorak's 'New World' Symphony Dvorak's 'New World' Symphony


Week 4 (Diversity)

This piece of music is one of the most famous compositions in classical music ever written. It was written by a man named Sebastian Bach. Listen to the music – you should be able to hear lots of different instruments. They all sound very different (violins, flutes, cello and harpsichord). Bach understood that all instruments have their own sound so he wrote a different part for each instrument. No instrument is playing the same tune but all instruments are working together to create one piece of music. Each instrument’s individuality is celebrated but also equal to the other instruments.

Sebastian Bach - Brandenburg Concerto no. 4 


Week 3 (Exporation) 

The assembly music this week is titled after the biggest planet in our solar system, Jupiter. Through space exploration we have learnt a lot about our neighbouring planets and what they are made of. Gustav Holst was inspired by what was learnt when scientists explored outside our own earth. and wrote one of the most famous pieces of music to describe these planets.

Gustav Holst - The Planets - Jupiter 


Week 2 (Curiosity)

Curiosty is the first step towards of making something. The music we hear today was created through musician's curiosity in the different sounds we can make. We would not have the music we hear on the radio today had they not experimented wth blowing obects in different ways, hitting them in different places, combining different instruments together and trying out new rhythms.
The Assembly music today featiures Theramin! Leon Theramin was musican who's curiousity in building an instrument which could produce different sounds without being blown or hit led to him inventing the Theramin.
Summertime - Charlie Draper


Week 1 (Diwali)

This week many people are celebrating the Hindu festival Diwali. The music we're listening to this week might be played during the festival and is created by three Indian instruments; the Sitar, a bowed instruments called the Sarangi and a drum called the Tabla. Can you hear them? 

Diwali Music

Diwali video


Term 1

Week 1 (New Beginnings) 

Lark Ascending is based on a poem about a Sky Lark waking up and singing before starting its new journey.

Video of The Lark Ascending being played at the Proms in the Royal Albert Hall

Week 2 (Politeness)

This week we have ‘The young person’s guide to the orchestra’ by Benjamin Britten. It was written for children to introduce them to the orchestra and the sounds each instrument makes. 

BBC Symphony Orchestra play "The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra" by Benjamin Britten

Week 3 (Tolerance)

Two Cellos - Cover of Ed Sheeran's 'Perfect'. The two cellists are best friends and work together to create music. They take it in turns to play the melody (the bit that Ed sings) whilst the other creates the backing music.

Video of 2 cellos playing 'Perfect'

Week 4 (Cooperation)

The composer has taken a very old traditional English tune, thought to date back to the Elizabethan times, and turned it into a piece of classical music. 

Ralph Vaughan Williams "Fantasia on Greensleeves"

Week 5 (Fairness)

Carnival of the Animals - Aquarium by Saint Saens

Week 6 (Harmony)

This week's music was composed by George Butterworth. He wrote warm harmonies to accampany peaceful melodies. Harmonies are created when instruments play different pitches and work together to create music. George made harmony not only in his music but in the world too. During first world war he worked hard to stop the fighting and bring peace to the world.

The Banks of the Green Willow - George Butterworth

 Week 7 (Black History Week)

Throughout history, black composers from Africa have fought to be recognised as classical composers. The assembly music this week is written by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Samuel's father was from Sierra Leone in Africa. Samuel was proud of his identity and culture so he wrote the 'African Suite' which fuses African influences with the western classical style.

African Suite - Samuel Coleridge-Taylor 

Week 8 (Loyalty)

Most classical music we hear have been composed by musicians from the past. However, there are many musicians alive today who are loyal to the genre [type of music] and still write classical music. This week's assemby music is written by an Italian composer called Ludovico Einaudi. His music is made up of simple melodies, a bit like a pop song. This makes the music easy to listen to and to remember. Ludovico's loyalty to classical music allows others to enjoy this genre.

Resta Con Me - Ludovico Einaudi 

 Here is an extra song for you to enjoy listening to :) Divenire - Ludovico Einaudi 



Past Assembly Music (2017-2018)

Term 6

Week 1 (Our World) 

George Ezra was born in Hertford. He loved listening to old Jazz Blues music, especially one Blues musician who was called 'Howlin' Wolf'. Listening to this old music gave him ideas for his own music.
When he turned 18 he moved to Bristol so he could go to one of our city's music schools (BIMMS). He learnt how to perform music in front of people and he improved his skill in writing music (composing).
People in Bristol loved his voice and music. They would pack out our music halls to see him perform. Quickly he became popular across the UK.

Video of George Ezra playing Budapest

Week 2 (Eid ul Fitr) 

Beats of Happiness - Eid Nasheed. A nasheed is an Islamic song - usually just voice or sometimes accompanied by percussion. They are usually about Islam and refer to Islamic teachings or the words of the Qu'ran. This nasheed is to welcome Eid at the end of the Ramadan fast. The video shows a large mosque in the Cairo, Egypt called Ibn Tulun Mosque. 

Video of Beats of Happiness

Week 3 (Freedom)

From now until the end of term children have the chance to choose the assembly music. In this first week Ashton has chosen Stormzy as his favourite artist. In this tune Stormzy talks about the importance of his Christian faith to him.

Video of Stormzy singing Blinded by your Grace 

Alternative with B&W footage and community participation start at 1 minute 20

Week 4 (Living in Bristol)

This week Tyran has chosen Bob Marley's Three Little Birds. In this song Bob Marley talks about three birds he has seen as he sits on his doorstep. He talks about paying attention to the small things and not worrying to much.

Video of Three Little Birds

Week 5 (Journeys)

This week Amal has chosen the song "Your Mother" by Yusuf Islam. It is an Islamic song reminding Muslims that they shouldShe says: "My song is very meaningful as it reminds me about my wonderful mother. It is called 'My Mother'. It includes '"Never Say no to my mother" and it talks about how our mothers clothes us and feed us."

Video of My Mother by Yusuf Islam 

Week 6 (Express Yourself)

Video of This is Me Chosen by Sacdiyo in Y2 BFG

Video of Never Say Never Chosen by Kyeary Harrison Smith


Term 5

Week 1 (Relationships)

This week we're thinking about relationships. Relationships and having good friendships are some of the most important things to have. Relationships can be caring, loving, fun and supportive. Relationships make us happy, make us motivated to work hard and to be creative. In this video showing Jazz music, Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong have very good relationships with their musicians and with each other. Without their fun friendship then this music would not have been created. Notice how the jazz music is created bit by bit each time Bing introduces another musician. See the fun Bing and Louis have singing together. Think about your favourite artist, musician or author. Who do they have a supportive relationship with to help create their work?

Video of Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong

Week 2 (Getting on and Falling out)

Nina Simone was a Jazz singer and Pianist from America. Before her, female jazz musicians would only sing. Nina accompanied herself with the piano and played her own songs.
She was able to play classical music as well as Jazz. Her love of classical music can be heard in the middle of this song where she plays music written 300 years ago by the classical cmposer Bach. She then goes back into playing her own Jazz music again.
Her music continues to inspire musicians today.

Nina Simone - I wish I knew how it feels to be free

Week 3 (Democracy)

We had a visiting group of musicians today playing some great tunes. here they are again!

Wallace and Gromit: 

Pink Panther: 

Mozart Horn Concerto: 


Purcell Trumpet Voluntary:

Week 4 (Trust) 

The 5 singers in this video were brothers and they called themselves the ‘Jackson 5’. The young boy singing was 7 years old when he recorded this song and he later became one of the greatest pop musicians in the world, Michael Jackson. The young brothers had to trust each other when singing. They had to trust that each brother would start singing at the right time and that each brother would sing the right tune.

I want you back - the Jackon Five: 

Week 5 (Honesty)

Last week we listened to the Jackson 5 which was fronted by the young Michael Jackson. When Michael Jackson grew up he became one of the best musicians in the world. This week we're listening to one of his songs called 'Man in the Mirror'. The song is about being honest which is this weeks theme. In the song, Michael sings that if you want to make a change or make the world a better place then you need to be honest with yourself first. You need to identify what you find difficult and and work to improve about yourself.

Man in the Mirror - Michael Jackson

Week 6 (Ramadan)

As many families prepare for a month of fasting during daylight hours, we focus this week on the importance of Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. The music of Yusuf Islam tells of a family waiting for the moon so they can break their fast.

Ramadan Moon Yusuf Islam

Week 7 (Strength)

One of the most famous bands of the 20th Century was the Beatles who came from Liverpoool. They were ordinary young men who shook the world with their music.

I want to hold your hand

Twist and Shout


Term 3

Week 1 (Determination)

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu - an Aboriginal musician from Australia who was born blind but found his love of music when he was four years old. His family had very little money and could not afford to get the help he needed to learn. Despite his blindness he was determined to become a musician and taught himself to play the accordion with no help - practising every day. Next he learned the piano and then the guitar and drums. He shared his music both in Australia and around the world.

Video of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu playing his own music

Video of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee concert in 2012 where Gurrumul contributed to the anthem "Sing" (skip to 5 minutes to see Gurrumul)

Week 2 (Aspiration) 

Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo - Somewhere over the rainbow. This song has become an anthem for people all over the world who hope for a better and safer life. The words in the song remind us that dreams can be achieved. The singer in this song is from the tropical island of Hawaii. He is playing the ukulele, which is the national instrument of Hawaii. The singer’s music and his high aspirations of himself and others helped to get Hawaii noticed and create a better life and rights for other Hawaiians.

Video of Israel "IZ" Kamakiwiwo singing Somewhere over the rainbow.

Week 4 (Communication) 

African tribes value the importance of communication with others so much that they use drums to communicate with other tribes to far away to talk to. The many different rhythms and sounds produced on a drum act a bit like words in a sentence. Put together and they create messages. Tribes use drums to ask for help, to warn of danger and even to invite other tribes to parties.

Video of African Uniques traditional Dance and Music group - Djembe Rhythms

Week 5 (Heroes) Songs were an important part of the civil rights movement in the US. They motivated and helped keep spirits up during long marches.

Video of We Shall Overcome

Week 6 (Failure) This music is from a brave country who lost everything during the second World War. When Japan finally saw that they had lost the war, they looked at all their failures. They thought about the suffering they had caused people and the millions of families they had hurt. They were sorry for what they had done and learnt from their mistakes. They are now a peaceful nation who work to make the world a better place.

Video of Traditional Japanese Music 

A different video of Japanese music


Term 4

Week 2 (Power of Reading)

Born in London, Maya Sona Jobarteh's father comes from Gambia in west Africa.  She plays an instrument called a kora and the first female kora player to become famous.  The kora is a 21-stringed harp-like instrument. The instrument is an important element of the Mandingo peoples in West Africa and their playing is reserved only to certain families called Griot.

Video of Sona Jobarteh playing

 Week 4 (Making good choices)

The music of Cuba is popular all over the world which is amazing because it is only a tiny island in the middle of the ocean.
The main roll of the music is for people to dance to.
Cuban people are very proud of their music and of their dance. They love sharing them with the rest of the world and have set up Salsa clubs in cities across the globe! Including Bristol!!

Video of cuban music

Week 6

This music is from India and the unusual instrument being played is called the Sitar. When it is not playing the melody (tune) it is playing the same note over and over again. This is called a drone. Like in other music we’ve heard, the rhythm is provided by the drums. These indian drums are called Tabla. If you squeeze the sides of a table, the drum skins are pulled and tightened changing the sound created when the table is hit.

Video of Indian music

Latest Tweets

Contact us

0117 9039936
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Hannah More Primary School, New Kingsley Road, St Philips, Bristol, BS2 0LT


ecar logo
Go To Top