Greenvale Levels Music


New Greenvale Levels have been created to assess music following the recommendations from the Rochford Review (2016) of the removal of P Levels as statutory requirement for the assessment of students working below the standard of national curriculum tests. The Greenvale Levels have been designed to assess the development of students’ skills and creativity within music for students that are engaged in subject specific learning.

The Durham Commission on Creativity and Education (2019) was conducted by Arts Council England and Durham University, and has the following definitions:

Creativity: The capacity to imagine, conceive, express, or make something that was not there before. 

Creative thinking: A process through which knowledge, intuition and skills are applied to imagine, express or make something novel or individual in its contexts… It may appear spontaneous, but it can be underpinned by perseverance, experimentation, critical thinking and collaboration

In terms of musical skill, ABRSM (2019) describes musicianship as:

a broad concept that covers a complex range of musical abilities… it is loosely defined as the ability to ‘think in sound’. This occurs when a musician is able to produce music which they perceive internally and in the imagination, whether through playing by ear, singing, reading from notation, or through improvisation.”

There is a strong emphasis in the GV music curriculum on developing creativity and musical skills, whether internally and spontaneously, or through critical thinking and experimentation. A students’ cognitive ability should not deter them from progressing in their musical development. Core skills to be assessed that underpin musical development include responding, producing and interaction with sound either solo or in a group using a variety of instrument, voice and/or music technology (Sounds of Intent, 2011). Other musical skills include tempo, rhythm, expression, dynamics and pitch (ABRSM 2019).  

Data sources used include:

  •          P Scales (2009)
  •          Sounds of Intent framework (2011)
  •          Music Therapist input
  •          Marjorie McClure music levels
  •          Charlton Park Academy music levels
  •          ABRSM Musical Medals
  •          Arts Award
  •          Early Years Development Matters
  •          Amber Music Trust
  •          Durham Commission on Creativity and Education (2019)

Greenvale Levels


  •         Responds to music being used to symbolise daily events (breathing space music, TV jingles, tutor time music, hello songs)
  •         Responds to ‘call’ (simple song, drum circle)
  •         Shows understanding of others responding to their sounds (e.g. by starting to play for others to copy, or indicate by taking staff hand to initiate playing)
  •         Creates distinctive groups of musical sounds (e.g. rhythmic or melodic on any instrument or music tech)
  •         Create a soundscape (picture, dance, video clip) 


  •         Recognises prominent structural features (e.g. chorus)
  •         Responds to changes in characteristics (e.g. volume, speed/tempo)
  •         Improvises with short familiar musical phrases e.g. Canon in D melody
  •         Responds to cues (visual, auditory or tactile) as to when to stop and when to start
  •         Incorporates silence in their music e.g. before the start of a piece, or during a piece.
  •         Performs or improvise as a group, showing listening skills through an awareness of other members 


  •         Plays a range of instruments expressively by varying dynamics, pitch and tempo when directed by a conductor/leader (through visual, auditory or tactile cues)
  •         Plays a range of instruments expressively responding to their peers (including ensemble work and turn taking)
  •         Performs/plays with a sense of timing (rhythm)
  •         Creates simple visual pattern to compose a short piece of music or phrase (pictures, symbols, colours, or notes)
  •         Recognises the sounds of distinct instruments (does not need to name) 


  •         Follows a conductor or simple graphic score (pictures, symbols, colours) to vary sounds (dynamics, tempo etc)
  •         Leads group playing e.g. who starts and stops playing
  •         Initiates during musical improvisation
  •         Listens and responds to a range of musical emotions (verbally or musically)
  •         Organises their playing/singing into simple sequences to make their own simple composition
  •         Performs/plays with a sense of pitch (tuning) 


  •         Improvises on familiar pieces of music, varying the original material in simple ways (solo)
  •         Improvises on familiar pieces of music, varying the original material in simple ways (ensemble)
  •         Understand and respond to words, symbols and signs that relate to tempo, dynamics and pitch (for example, faster, slower, louder, higher, and lower)
  •         Creates simple graphic scores using pictures or symbols
  •         Works creatively in a group context and communicate effectively in order to organise their ensemble 


  •         Plays or sings accurately (in tune and in time)
  •         Conveys expression through a variety of moods or feelings with clear intent
  •         Improvises on music in a familiar style or styles to convey desired effects (solo and ensemble)
  •         Responds expressively to others’ playing or singing in ensemble (group)
  •         Improvises with others with demonstrating a clear style and genre


  •         Leads an ensemble either by playing or conducting to structure the music (e.g. through change of section, to vary dynamics etc.)
  •         Composes pieces in a familiar style or styles to convey desired effects (solo and ensemble)
  •         When composing, makes independent choices throughout the process and includes a beginning, middle and end
  •         Demonstrates technical proficiency on instruments (including use of technology and voice)