Playing the Curriculum nurtures children’s musicality and creativity through exploratory music-making sessions, and empowers non-specialist teachers to lead those sessions.

Since 2017, OCM has worked with Max Reinhardt to take Playing the Curriculum into primary schools.  The project skills up primary school teachers (specialist and non-specialist) to lead exploratory music making sessions, with a particular focus on musicality and creativity. At a time when many primary schools are losing their music specialists, this project is an opportunity to give non-specialist teachers the confidence to bring music back into the classroom. 

During sessions, the whole class makes sound and music together, often improvising, using tried and tested exercises for children as a launchpad to empower musical elements in all the pupils.

The project includes:

·         Supplying teachers with the mentoring, skills and support to lead inclusive and inspiring music making sessions;

·         Empowering the musicality of all children and teachers;

·         Inspiring playfulness, inspiration, exploratory momentum and spontaneity in approaches to music;

·         Reaching towards musical horizons beyond conventional song forms, harmonies, instruments and notation;

·         Expanding performance notions beyond audience and performer to more communal forms.


“This is all about tuning the ears of children and teachers to music beyond the confines of harmony and hit tunes and popular classics, and it’s not about acquiring an orthodox conception of instrumental skills. It’s about an inclusive music possibly similar to the deep listening concept of Pauline Oliveros, which includes free music, found sounds, musicians, non musicians, improvisational unrehearsed music, tribal music etc. It’s about people discovering:rediscovering their musicality, tapping into the music that’s inside them and that’s all around us”

Max Reinhardt


If you would like more information about Playing The Curriculum, or would like to get involved in the pilot project, get in touch with Victoria (01865 488369 /

OCM is supported by Arts Council England, Oxford City Council and Oxford Brookes University. Playing the Curriculum is also supported by Enfield Music Service and Philpott Design

Image credits: images are taken from Playing the Curriculum video (video credit Evil Hypnotist Productions), filmed at primary schools in Enfield. Banner image: Adriano Adewale, taken at "Hot House" event where the handbook exercises were devised. Adriano has also led sessions in the primary schools taking part in Playing the Curriculum.

Playing the Curriculum Handbook v1