This unit introduces pupils to the genre of Rock ‘n’ Roll and its emergence in the 1950’s.  Pupils learn about the origins of Rock ‘n’ Roll and features which are characteristic of its style including bass lines, chords and revise the twelve-bar blues as a basis upon which many Rock ‘n’ Roll songs are constructed.  Pupils learn about the construction of triads and how these are formed from bass lines as a type of chord producing harmony.  Pupil’s take part in an ensemble performance of “Rock Around the Clock” before composing their own Rock ‘n’ Roll songs using features they have learned about during the unit. 

Musical Contexts Legacy Secondary/KS3 Unit - Rock 'n' Roll

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

Exploring Chords & Bass Lines

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Song Sheet 1 Rock ‘n’ Roll Around 


(Taken from Year 7 Unit 11 - “Voiceworks”)


Rock ‘n’ Roll Around

Parts 1, 2 & 3 separately


Rock ‘n’ Roll Around

All parts together repeated twice

Song Sheet 3 Rock Around the Clock

(staggered triad introduction, melodic verse line, lyrics and 3-part harmony Shuwaddy section)

Score 4

Rock Around the Clock

(Easy Bass Line, Easy Chords, Stabs, Riffs, Percussion and Bass parts)


Rock Around the Clock

All parts together



Rock Around the Clock

Karaoke Version


(Needs Quick Time Player® to open)

Video 2

Rock Around the Clock

Audio 2

Rock Around the Clock










Song Sheet 2 One More Song

Score 1

One More Song

(Piano Accompaniment)


One More Song

Part 1


One More Song

Part 2


One More Song

Part 3


One More Song

Part 4


One More Song

All 4 parts together


One More Song

Piano Accompaniment











Score 2

Rock ‘n’ Roll Bass Lines

Score 3 Chords into Bass Lines


Rock ‘n’ Roll Bass Line 1


Rock ‘n’ Roll Bass Line 2


Triads & Triads and Bass Line

Song Sheet 4

Rock ‘n’ Roll Songs Let’s Dance

Audio 5

Let’s Dance

Song Sheet 5

Rock ‘n’ Roll Songs Hound Dog

Audio 6

Hound Dog

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.

Click here for the latest version of WinZip

Lesson 1

Exploring Rock ‘n’ Roll & Bass Lines

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson Plan 1

Lesson 1

Resource Bundle

Lesson 2

Exploring Bass Lines into Triads


Lesson Plan 2

Lesson Plan 2

Lesson 2

Resource Bundle

Lesson 3

Exploring Triads in a Rock ‘n’ Roll Song

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson Plan 3

Lesson 3

Resource Bundle

Lesson 4

Exploring “Rock Around the Clock”

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson Plan 4

Lesson 4

Resource Bundle

Lessons 5 & 6

Composing a Rock ‘n’ Roll Song


Lesson Plan 5 & 6

Lesson Plan 5 & 6

Lessons 5 & 6

Resource Bundle








Worksheet 1

Rock ‘n’ Roll & Listening to Rock ‘n’ Roll

(Uses Audio 1)

Worksheet 2

Introducing Chords & Triads

Worksheet 3

Rock Around the Clock Self Evaluation Sheet

Worksheet 4

Composing a

Rock ‘n’ Roll Song

Worksheet 5


Rock ‘n’ Roll Compositions

Worksheet 6

Rock ‘n’ Roll Assessment


(Uses Audio 7)

Audio 7

Rock ‘n’ Roll Assessment




Cover/Homework 1

Rock & Roll

Cover/Homework 2

Triads Crossword

Cover/Homework 3

Rock ‘n’ Roll Key Words Word Search







Video 1

Introducing Rock ‘n’ Roll

Starter/Plenary 1 Lyrics in Rock ‘n’ Roll Songs

Starter/Plenary 2

Rock Around the Clock Staggered Triad Warm-Up


(Audio Example on Audio 4 & MIDI 11)

Starter/Plenary 3 Rock Around the Clock Performance Plan

Starter/Plenary 4

Revising Triads/Revising Sevenths

Audio 3

Year 9’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Song Composition “in progress”








Starter/Plenary 5

My Rock ‘n’ Roll Learning