Performing Activities - Songs & Scores
Starter & Plenary Activities
Learning, Listening, Composing & Evaluating Activities
Supporting Activities - Cover & Homework

This unit begins by exploring Holst’s “The Planets” to explore the connection between Music and Space and to provide a stimulus for creative composition work.  Pupils explore how Holst uses musical elements and features, including the use of an Ostinato, in “Mars”, before using these features to compose their own “Mars, The Bringer of War” programmatic pieces.  Pupils learn about the use and manipulation of dynamics including gradations of dynamics and the use of crescendo, performing a theme from “Jupiter” and listening to other movements from Holst’s suite.  Teachers are then given the option as to whether to use Music Technology (Audacity®) to allow pupils to compose an electronic soundscape - “The Missing Moon” - or a more traditional route of using classroom sound sources to compose a class “Planets Suite”, both of which build on skills and concepts learned about during the unit.                                                 Element Focus -  Timbre & Dynamics and Structure & Form

Secondary/Key Stage 3 Unit - Music and Space

Exploring Sounds, Dynamics and Instrumentation


Free Audio Editor and Recorder - ideal for using ICT for sound effects and manipulation in the Music Technology option in lessons 4 & 5A

Great Space Songs

Stephen Chadwick

Available from A&C Black, The pack contains six great songs on the topic of space for top primary. Includes David Bowie's Space Oddity, Eric Idle's The Galaxy Song, a moon walking new version of Debussy's Clair de lune.


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Score 1

The “Mars”


Audio 2

The “Mars”



The “Mars” Ostinato

(repeated 8 times)

Score 2

“I vow to thee, my Country” theme from ‘Jupiter’

Song Sheet 1

“I vow to thee, my Country”

Score 3

“I vow to thee, my Country”

Piano Accompaniment


“I vow to thee my Country” theme from “Jupiter” and song melody

Audio 5

“I vow to thee, my Country” theme from ‘Jupiter’

Audio 6

“I vow to thee, my Country”

(song example)




Cover/Homework 1

Music and Space Key Words Word Search

Cover/Homework 2

Music and Space

Kriss Kross

Cover/Homework 3

Gustav Holst

and The Planets

Scheme of Work

Lesson Plan (PDF)

Lesson Plan (DOC)

Lesson Bundles (ZIP)

Download all the resources you need for each lesson (excluding video files) in a ZIP file.

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Lesson 1

Exploring Holst and “The Planets”

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson 1

Resource Bundle

Lesson 2

Exploring “Mars” and the “Mars Ostinato”

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson 2

Resource Bundle

Lesson 3

Exploring the theme from “Jupiter”

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson 3

Resource Bundle

Lessons 4 & 5A

Exploring Electronic Soundscapes -

“The Missing Moon”

Lesson Plans

4 & 5A

Lesson Plans

4 & 5A

Lessons 4 & 5A

Resource Bundle

Lessons 4 & 5B

Exploring a class “Planets” Suite

Lesson Plans

4 & 5B

Lesson Plans

4 & 5B

Lessons 4 & 5B

Resource Bundle

Lesson 6

Exploring Pluto - The Missing Planet

Lesson Plan 6

Lesson Plan 6

Lesson 6

Resource Bundle









Audio 1

Pictures of Sound

“Mars” and “Venus” Extracts

Starter/Plenary 1

Listening to “Mars” and “Venus”


(uses Audio 1)

Starter/Plenary 2

Listening to “Mercury” from ‘The Planets’


(uses Audio 3)

Audio 3

“Mercury” from ‘The Planets’

Starter/Plenary 3

Themes from “Jupiter” from ‘The Planets’


(uses Audio 4)

Audio 4

“Jupiter” from

‘The Planets’

Starter/Plenary 4

“The Moon”




Starter/Plenary 5

Audacity Skills Checklist









Starter/Plenary 6

Holsts’s “The Planets” Card Sort

(uses Audio 9)

Audio 9

“The Planets” Card Sort

Audio 10

Theme from

“The X-Files”

Starter/Plenary 7

My Music and Space Learning

(Music Technology


Starter/Plenary 8

My Music and Space Learning

(Class Planets Suite Pathway)











Worksheet 1

Learning about Holst and the


Worksheet 2

“Mars - The Bringer of War”

Composing Sheet

Worksheet 3

“Mars - The Bringer of War ” -

Evaluation Sheet

Worksheet 4

Listening to “Jupiter” from ‘The Planets’

(uses Audio 4)

Audio 4

“Jupiter” from

‘The Planets’

Worksheet 5

Listening to Moon Music


(uses Audio 7)

Audio 7

Moon Music








Worksheet 6

“The Missing Moon”

Audacity Project














Worksheet 7

Listening to “Saturn”, “Uranus” and “Neptune”

(uses Audio 8)

Audio 8

“Saturn”, “Uranus” and “Neptune” from ‘The Planets’

Worksheet 8

The Planets

Composing Cards

Worksheet 9

Evaluating “The Missing Moon” Soundscapes

Worksheet 10

Evaluating the class “Planets Suite”

Worksheet 11

Pluto - The Missing Planet

Improvisation Sheet















Countdown and Lift Off


One small Step for Man


JFK Space Announcement


Jupiter Bowshock


Echoes from Titan


Spooky Sounds from Saturn


Curves of Saturn


Moon Landing Plaque


Moon Whistle


The Final Frontier