Puzzle Pieces in action

The following shows just how Puzzle Pieces can revolutionise instrumental tuition across an entire borough – in this case, schools and children from across Halton and Warrington in the North West of England spent time working on one of the pieces to perform at one of the regular Play Days. As you’ll see, this covered every aspect of music service instrumental tuition, from beginners and whole class primary tuition to much more able ensembles right through to years 12 & 13.

PDF Introduction and Instructions

The pieces have been piloted by music teachers from Halton and Warrington Music Support Service (HWMSS) in schools across Warrington and Halton, and the materials have been shared more widely with project partners in the Czech Republic and Denmark.

There are 25 pieces with idiomatically differentiated parts for brass, woodwind, string and percussion instruments that can be pieced together in any combination. Each instrument part is available in different levels of difficulty – depending on the piece and the part there are anything from two to six levels*. Level 1 begins with notes and rhythms accessible for beginner players, with each subsequent level offering a new challenge, new notes and a higher level of technical proficiency. There are also ‘Melody’ parts included for more advanced performers. Each piece has an accompanying backing track.

A PDF file with detailed instructions is available and you might want to check this out before getting started!

*Three of the pieces – Jazz on Toast, Daydreamer and Pavane – are based on chord sequences and improvisation, so do not have separate levels

Artwork for the Music Maps was created by illustrator Mark Pankhurst.

Let’s get started!

Six of these new works also have additional parts for flexible ensemble.

More about flexible ensembles

These can be performed purely as ensemble concert works, or used as an opportunity for younger players (using the ‘levels’) to join in with more experienced band members in live performance.

In addition, there are a number of practical composition activities, including two Music Maps (with artwork designed by Mark Pankhurst) which allow children to explore making and organising different sounds with visual stimuli.

Ultimately, the pieces may be used in a whole class tuition environment, for a smaller group of learners (at any level) or even as a solo piece with backing track. The intention is for teachers and conductors to be able to use any of the pieces with any combination of instruments they may have, at various different stages of musical development

FREE DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCES FOR MUSIC TEACHERS

As a fully funded Erasmus+ project, the costs of developing and trialling Puzzle Pieces have all been fully met, and as a result all the material is now available to download absolutely free for anyone.

The pieces have been piloted by music teachers from Halton and Warrington Music Support Service in schools across Warrington and Halton, and the materials have been shared more widely with project partners in the Czech Republic and Denmark. They have therefore been tested thoroughly in a variety of settings across a wide band of abilities!

All the instructions, performing material, backing tracks and supporting material are available from this website, so once you’ve checked out the About Puzzle Pieces page to see what it’s all about, dive in and see how Puzzle Pieces could work for your young musicians!

Image of a music teacher showing a student how to play the guitar
Let’s get started!

Puzzle Pieces and the accompanying material have been designed so that they can be easily incorporated into both termly lesson plans AND the National Curriculum. Click below to download illustrations of both. These are also available on the Introduction and Teacher Notes page.

Suggested 2-year termly plan
National Curriculum Links

NOW, CLICK HERE TO GET STARTED!