Breakthrough

Breakthrough is a composition for KS2 (8-12y) of UK primary school, music education. The composition comes with 7 themes,  three different speeds (Easy, Challenge & Extreme) and four instrument parts.

There are also supporting audio files available, with complete recording of each track, backing only, and isolated performance of the groups' parts.

Some melodic instruments and chords parts have coloured notes and note names engraved in the note heads.

It was composed and recorded it in 2011, initially with recorders as the melodic instruments in mind. Of course, it can be performed with any instrument usually played at schools today.

The composition is ideal for involving the whole class into performing, as addresses the various musical ability levels of pupils. It's ideal for class music assemblies, where performance is one of the topic of inquiry.

Every song variation starts with 8 bars of chords only, before theme 1 is introduced.

The songs speed variations are:

  • Breakthrough Easy, 80-90bpm (coloured notes with names)
  • Breakthrough Challenge, 80-160bpm (coloured notes)
  • Breakthrough Extreme, 200bpm

The instruments are divided in five groups:

  • Group 1 - Percussion
  • Group 2 - Basic melody (A-B notes only)
  • Group 3 - Advanced melody (F#-G-A-B notes, more challenging rhythmic patterns)
  • Group 4 - Basic chords for piano and guitar
  • Group 5 - Advanced chords for piano and guitar

The basic and advanced melody can be performed on ocarina, recorder, keyboard/piano, guitar, violin etc.

For each song there are is a PDF for every part, as well as teacher's score of the complete song. There are also several mp3 tracks available:

  • Complete (full song)
  • Backing track
  • Isolated performances of the Groups 1-3 instruments

The whole composition is available free of charge with a permission to be used for educational purposes only.

On this page you can download the complete song (below), or you can also read more about and download a particular version following the links on the top right of this page.

History and motivation.

Working as a Head of Music in an international, IB and PYP oriented school over the years, I was challenged with the wide array of difference in music abilities among the children; In September each year, a typical class situation would be to have a third of the children as newcomers, some of whom already have musical training on various instruments, others with totally no music experience of any kind.
On the other hand, of all the activities that we do, children  mostly like to sing and play instruments.
The solution was to have the whole class play together, but there were no fitting music resources.
One day in 2011 I created this tune - it was a personal breakthrough, I guess. It became such a success, that I started developing the idea and it eventually turned into the Let's Musicise project.

The notation is created using the excellent, free and open source music engraving program Lilypond, and its GUI companion Frescobaldi, both available on all OS platforms.