Playing the Curriculum is a pilot to model weekly classroom based exploratory music making sessions, led by artist mentored non-specialist early years teachers, nurturing children’s musicality and creativity.

“From an educational perspective, one of the key ingredients that is often missing in music education but seems endemic to the Norwegian approach…is the concept of creativity and finding your voice... an emphasis on the creative spark being as important – more so, even – than the acquisition of chops and technical knowledge.”


(From “Sound Check Norway: Music from Norway: Just How Important Is It, Really?” by John Kelman (Senior Contributor and former Managing Editor of, Music Norway

OCM is working with Max Reinhardt on a new schools project that we've called "Playing the Curriculum.  The project is in development and we began the pilot in schools in the autumn term of 2017.  

Our pilot will be an experiment to model a system that can be used by any teacher (whether they are trained musicians or not) to nurture musicality and creativity. 

This will take the form of weekly sessions in which the whole class makes sound and music together, often improvising, using tried and tested exercises for children as a launchpad to create music played by trained and untrained children, to empower musical elements in all the pupils.


Our hopes, aims and aspirations for PLAYING THE CURRICULUM include:

·         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


We hope that by doing this the legacy of the project will have an impact for many years.

“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

Playing The Curriculum Information Document for Schools Playing the Curriculum Handbook v1