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Spotlight On… ABC Music Creative

ABC Creative Music are Scottish-based music education resource developers founded by Jazz musicians Dr Phil and Dr Tom Bancroft.

They are so interested in the positive role musical creativity can play in learning and development, they wrote an academic paper on it- read it or watch a video here.

ABC Creative Music offers a wide range of online and physical resources with linked training programmes, providing a core Early Years, ASN and Primary Creativity-centred Music provision deliverable by non-specialist educators, with extensive cross-curricular reach including post-pandemic recovery (Health and Well-Being, Socialization, Emotional Literacy), Literacy & Numeracy through Music and Languages through Music (French, Spanish, Gaelic, Scots).

Resources are accessible through cost-effective subscriptions, with free trial courses available, and training options range from video, live online CPD, on-site CPD to support visits working with children and educators in classrooms. ABC staff also deliver bespoke programmes designed for individual school’s needs.

Go here for your Free Trial Courses-

Core musicality courses- Primary

See also: Primary, Curricular, ASN.  

The innovative core musical programme develops listening, rhythm pitch, vocal and instrumental skills using standard classroom instruments, with videos and creative workspaces on screen moving to small group work with handouts, all producing movement and music-making activities in the room, Smart activity design ensures positive outcomes while keeping the drama, excitement and sense of ownership that flows from authentic creative and performance experiences set within age-appropriate social music-making activities- making genuine creativity safe for children and teachers alike, driving enjoyment and engagement producing high levels of learning in both creative and non-creative learning outcomes.


The ABC course utilised creativity to engage pupils in real musical activity and as a result students learned from doing rather than just listening.  Perhaps the most impressive technique was using shapes to introduce rhythm. The effectiveness of this method led to an entire P5 class correctly notating a series of random rhythms clapped by myself from the front of the class and being able to read and play a piece for chime bars from a musical score.  The results, even after just 8 weeks were quite amazing and, the kids, class teacher and I loved it!!!!!

— Gavin Woods, Chair Western Isles IMT network

Here is an example interactive from Early Years- Lower Primary. Click ‘Perc’ if you want to compose with percussion sounds.

Literacy and numeracy through music-

The Literacy and Numeracy Through music strands begin in EY with a focus on auditory discrimination, phonological awareness and syllable segmentation, proceeding in  lower primary to link individual and social music-making to specific literacy and numeracy processing tasks, fostering multi-sensory processing of number concepts and phoneme/grapheme patterns while precisely targeting learning of specific sounds in all major phonics and SEAL learning programmes- offering a genuinely distinct yet complementary alternative to mainstream approaches. Go here and here for more info on Literacy & Numeracy Through Music.

Here is an example interactive from the Numeracy programme…

Upper Primary creativity

See also: Primary.

Upper primary composition software and use of virtual instruments for pcs, tablet and smartphones allows ordinary classes with non-specialist teachers to compose a rich range of melodies, and explore a range of instrumental skills and practice techniques. Try using this intermediate level pitch composer yourself.

Upper Primary RAISE Programmes link musical creativity to a digital marketing programme- with P6-7 classes composing music for their own digital album using ABC’s innovative Create with Pitch software.  They then market their album through social media a huge range of creative literacy numeracy and cultural learning experiences, Go here to enjoy some of the remarkable music these classes create.

African dance and drumming

See also: Participatory, Musicianship, Creative Learning

Other cross-curricular options include the richly effective African Dance and Drumming programmes- go here for an info video.


See also: Early Years, Primary, Secondary, ASN.

ABC offers a wide range of resources for use with children with ASN- from mild to severe/ complex needs. Recent developments include the launch of Secondary ASN resources with early years level musical challenge provided within more grown-up musical and visual environments. Go here for more info.

Early Years

See also: Early Years.

ABC’s award-winning Early Years resources are richly cross-curricular, available with highly-valued linked instrument bags, and are now even more cost-effective- with lesson plans delivered online, and online training videos available 24/7 to subscribers. Teach Early Years Awards for Excellence gave the resources five stars, describing the resource as ““The complete package for anyone setting up an Early Years music programme from scratch. Varied and imaginative, it develops key musical skills such as rhythm and pitch; is user-friendly, and fantastic value for money too.”  – with new strands addressing post-pandemic recovery in emotional literacy and socialization. Go here for an info video and here to sign up for a free trial.

Freeplay and individual assessment/intervention

See also: Early Years, Primary,ASN.

Innovative approaches for musicality work through adult modelling in Freeplay have been developed for use in mainstream Early Years, Lower Primary and ASN settings, and the 8-dimensional framework for individual assessment and intervention is proving powerful for diagnosing and addressing the challenges and needs of individual children in in a huge range of settings across mainstream, ASN and behavioural support settings..

Go here and here for more information.

Pre-instrumental learning

See also: Early Years, Primary, ASN.

Pre-instrumental programmes are the focus of a current research project with Glasgow Caledonia University- giving children a head start in rhythmic skills, learning about the stave, an understanding of pitch and general confidence and engagement with music and increasing and broadening the range of children who sign up for instrumental learning opportunities. Go here for more info.

How to get involved

To find out how ABC Creative Music can work with your School or Local Authority, contact:


ABC Creative Music
Borthwick Mains Farm,
EH23 4RA

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