KS3 Music

a professional development programme

Modelling to clarify how to develop and improve skills

Accommodating different learning styles

Pupils learn in a variety of ways and therefore need the modelling process to accommodate a range of learning styles. A combination of visual, auditory and kinaesthetic demonstration accompanied by oral commentary entices all pupils. Look again at the blues lesson in Video 4a, noticing the way in which the teacher uses different visual and oral prompts within the modelling episode. Look at Document 4a Microsoft Word 2mb to see an exemplar resource for listening which enabled pupils to engage with the task in different ways using written language, symbols, card sorts and physical modelling. Such a combination has particular benefits for pupils learning English as an additional language.

Some pupils with special educational needs benefit from having processes modelled in a clear and concrete way and where strategies such as ‘no hands’ are employed to ensure that they feel included.

Modelling that caters for a variety of learning styles will support the development of independent learners. This results in pupils who are aware of the learning sequence, know how to tackle the challenge and can think of solutions for themselves.

Case study 1

Accommodating different learning styles

A Year 7 mixed-ability class was exploring the construction of a standard rock rhythm using just their voices and body sounds. The teacher was modelling pupil expectations and outcomes from the task using a variety of resources aimed at engaging all pupils in the challenge. The pupils worked in groups of four to realise the task.

The modelling was structured and well planned. A variety of scaffolds were provided to support the pupils with their thinking. These included a graphic realisation of the task and a fully notated musical score (see below), allowing the pupils to follow the modelling process and see how the components fitted together.




The teacher then modelled aurally the ways in which pupils could use their voices to create one of the four percussion parts. Audio recording software was used to capture the teacher’s voice as the four parts were performed, layering one sound onto another until all four parts were added to the sequence. The teacher was able to display this information as the recording software played through the rhythm cycle. The teacher provided an oral commentary when playing back the recording, making suggestions and tips as to how pupils might tackle the task and how they could add variety to their performance.

The following screen shot shows four cycles of the same pattern, after the recordings had been completed.


Pupils were encouraged to add movements to their performances so that they physically engaged with and embedded the rhythmic patterns in their ensemble work, thus the kinaesthetic learner was accommodated.

If you want to know more about using audio recording software, you can go to the Practical Support Pack module called Drum chant.

Task 5: Developing resources to support all learners (1 hour)

Think about the ways in which you scaffold the learning experiences for a particular class. When you are next modelling how to improve a particular skill, develop a range of support materials that will accommodate a range of learning styles (visual, auditory, kinaesthetic).

After the lesson, identify the impact on different groups of pupils. Notice which version of the materials had the greatest impact on most pupils.

What does this tell you about the preferred learning styles of your pupils, and what sort of resources you might develop next?

Department for children, schools and families Modelling in Music

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