Home Learning Resources

As we find ourselves in another lockdown and families across the city are working and learning from home, Bristol Beacon’s Creative Learning team have compiled their top picks of resources to help when you get stuck for inspiration!

For Early Years

Naomi Wilkinson’s Nursery Rhyme Time

Come and join Bristol-born CBBC presenter, and good friend of BPM, Naomi Wilkinson for some singing and dancing fun as she leads you through everybody’s favourite nursery rhymes.

Join in the fun here

London Rhymes

London Rhymes  is a collection of original songs for families, co-written with parents, their babies and professional musicians, all around London.  The website features short live interactive music sessions and a host of fun songs for children under 5 and their families.

Find out more here

For Primary

How to hold, tune and play a ukulele

Do you love playing your ukulele but can never get it in tune? Learn the ukulele basics of how to hold, tune and play your ukulele with BPM music teacher Ella Polczyk.

Get strumming here

A New Song for Bristol

A New Song for Bristol is Bristol Beacon’s invitation for everyone to write words and songs that capture feelings about our lives. Our resource pack is full of creative activities and ideas to get you inspired, aimed at anyone aged 7+.

Find out about A New Song for Bristol here

Download the resource pack here

Start with Singing

Devised by Bristol Plays Music tutor Nonny Tabbush, Start with Singing introduces the elements of music in nine easy to follow short films using fun songs including ‘Who Stole My Chicken?’, ‘Five Little Monkeys’ and ‘Pitter Patter’. Through an engaging series of songs and games, children are able to explore the fundamental building blocks of music such as pitch, timbre and rhythm alongside enjoying performance, breathing and the physicality of singing.

These short films will help children with the foundations of music, preparing them for the next step of learning a musical instrument.  They can be used at home just as easily as in the classroom. It’s even more fun when others join in, so raise your voice and start singing!

Start with Singing is part of the Earthsong programme, an initiative between Bristol Music Trust and the Earthsong Foundation.

Click here to head to the Start with Singing resource page 

Minute of Listening

We’ve made 60 minutes of Bristol sounds from Minute of Listening available for free during lockdown. There are sounds from all over Bristol – some you might recognise and others, like inside the Cameron Balloons factory, you can hear for the first time.

Each activity is fun, adaptable, suitable for most children and has flexible levels of difficulty. KS1 children will need some support; KS2 children might want to try these with less help.

Head to our Minute of Listening resource page here

BBC’s Ten Pieces Tasters

Previously known as Ten Pieces at Home, Ten Pieces Tasters are simple, fun, creative activities for primary age children. The activities are easy to follow and do not require any specialist knowledge or equipment. Each activity is led by an artist or specialist in their field and offers different ways to get creative with classical music.

Find out more here

BBC Ten Pieces Musical Menu

A weekly buffet of primary music activities from across the BBC. Each selection will include oven ready music and cross-curricular resources that can be used for home learning and in the classroom. These weekly activities will be linked by a theme but you can pick and choose as many activities from each menu as you fancy.

Get inspired here

BBC Bring the Noise

Free primary school music, songs and resources for teachers, pupils and parents from BBC Bring The Noise. We particularly like the five films with songs in British Sign Language (BSL). Learn to sign and dance-a-long to the songs. Watch the music videos and see how they vary in different genres, from electronic synthesiser sounds, slow ballads to pop, upbeat and lively summery tunes.

Get moving and signing here

YolanDa’s Band Jam!

Get your free, easy to use and super fun music resources from YolanDa Brown. Learn about different instruments, rhythms and tempos and Join the Jam with some really funky tunes. Ideal for ages 5-7 with free songs from YolanDa’s lastest album. Whether at home, in classroom or online, these easy to use music resources are ideal whatever your musical ability.

Get ready Band Jammers – YolanDa is here to bring you free music lessons here!

Sing Up #FeelgoodFifteen

Get involved from the 12th January at 9am for the first #FeelgoodFifteen live session to start off the day with song and get children feeling good and ready for a day of learning. Tune in for fifteen minutes of warming up and singing with one of Sing Up’s fantastic vocal leaders, streaming on Sing Up at Home.

Friday Afternoons

Friday Afternoons is a Snape Maltings led singing project connecting teachers and young people with contemporary composers, through creating high quality repertoire, resources and training to encourage challenging and exciting music making experiences for all.

Head to the website for the full set of resources

The Royal Opera House 

The Royal Opera House’s Create and Sing programme provides a creative learning programme, created with teachers, providing songs for children in primary schools across England.
They cover classroom-based and digital activities, with strong curriculum links, to give better understanding of singing and opera for kids, unlocking their imagination and creativity.
With teacher training, classroom films, lesson plans and resources to use in ways that suit the needs of the teachers and their students.

Teachers and parents do not need any previous knowledge of opera in order to take part.

Delve deeper into the world of opera here

Learn to Beatbox with SK Shlomo and Michael Rosen

Have you ever wanted to learn how to beatbox? Michael Rosen has. In this short film SK Shlomo teaches him how!

Flex your vocal percussion chords here

Music For Youth – The Future is now!

Join MFY Music Mentor Neil Valentine in a free, interactive virtual music workshop series, proudly supported by NEU, and created especially for primary school-aged children.

In this series, Neil will show you how to create your own soundtrack through four fun and engaging weekly online sessions, which will be released on YouTube, so you can take part via your desktop, laptop, digital TV or mobile device.  The series of weekly workshops will help your class, group or young person gain the skills they need to create their own soundtrack by covering a different element of the creative process. Starting Wednesday 3rd February.

Sign up here

For Secondary

BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales

Whilst the BBC National Orchestra have been unable to play in the concert hall, their players have been busy recording a range of content from the first lockdown, from their homes for you to enjoy!

They’ve been sharing full orchestra montages and smaller ensemble pieces to celebrate occasions such as Welsh Heroes Day, Bastille Day and the Summer Solstice. They’ve also been finding out how well they really know other members in their section in “The Me and You Review”, getting a sneak peek into their gig bags and learning from the many tips they’ve shared in their “Tip Tuesday” series.

Find out more here

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra have created a number of ‘Meet the Music’ videos in which BSO Associate Dr Jon James explores several key works performed this season, giving you additional insight before the concert itself.

Works covered are;

  • Holst: The Planets,
  • Copland: Rodeo
  • Mahler: Symphony No.1
  • Debussy: Images
  • Beethoven: Symphonies 1-5
  • R.Strauss: Elektra

Find out more here

Song Exploder

Song Exploder is a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made. Each episode is produced and edited by host and creator Hrishikesh Hirway in Los Angeles. Using the isolated, individual tracks from a recording, Hrishikesh asks artists to delve into the specific decisions that went into creating their work. Hrishikesh edits the interviews, removing his side of the conversation and condensing the story to be tightly focused on how the artists brought their songs to life. Guests include Fleetwood Mac, U2, Metallica, Solange, Lorde, Yo-Yo Ma, Carly Rae Jepsen, and more.

Listen to the podcasts here

BBC Bitesize

BBC Bitesize has a huge range of great resources to support your childs learning.  The music section covers entire ranges of activities such as composing music from scratch, song writing, performing music and improvisation to music technology.

Find out more here 

BBC Bitesize GCSE Music topics include elements of music, music appreciation, classical orchestral music, music for dance, contemporary music and world music.

Click on your exam board to access relevant resources here

How to Rap with C Cane

Find out about rap and its history, including hip-hop, MCs, sound systems and grime with BBC Bitesize and grime artist C Cane, where she explains some simple steps for how you can get started with rap.

Find out more here

How to write rap with Charanga

Getting started as a rapper is different for everyone. Some people pick it up by listening to tunes. Others have a friend who raps and can help them, while some learn the basics.

Get inspired here

Homework for Punks

The Roundhouse has produces a set of inspiring learning resources so that you can get familiar with some of the iconic artists that have played on their stage – Bowie, Blondie and the Ramones – whilst covering curriculum areas such as Media, English and History along the way…. It’s homework, but punk.

Find out more here

Music Production with Point Blank

Point Blank maintains an award-winning YouTube channel with nearly 400K followers providing free video content relating to modern music production, DJing, and much more. You’re encouraged to dive deep into the channel yourself, but click on the link below to find a selection of some of the best videos they’ve created to date.

Delve deeper here

Chineke! Challenge

Our friends at Chineke! Juniors are sharing their practice tips and techniques, as well as music research, to help feed their creativity and learning while on Covid-19 lockdown.

Get inspired here

Operasonic Song Creators

Are running free online songwriting workshops for 14-25 year olds.
These workshops are a great opportunity for you to get some support and feedback if you are a budding musician.  Led by Welsh musicians, covering a range of different genres including pop, rap and folk.

You can sign up for a set of three connected workshops from three amazing artists – Maddie Jones, Martin Daws and Eädyth Crawford. Each artist will be running three workshops exploring the art of songwriting from their perspective starting on the 15th February.

See here for more info and sign up

We’re changing

On Wednesday 23 September 2020 Colston Hall changed its name to Bristol Beacon, and this means we’re changing too.

Bristol Plays Music is run by Bristol Music Trust, the charity that also runs the venue formerly known as Colston Hall. These two organisations will soon unite under one name: Bristol Beacon.

Click below to find out more about how we’re changing, watch our name announcement, and discover how we want everyone to share in the joy of live music.

More info Enter site