The goal of the Music Department is for pupils to develop a lasting love of music and to be given the opportunity to enjoy a rich variety of musical experiences.
Class lessons aim to develop a strong aural awareness, to develop a child’s ‘inner ear’ and to translate this understanding into their instrumental work becoming musically literate in the process. The children will experience music from many different cultures during their time at the school and curriculum music is enhanced by special cross-curricular events such as Africa Day and Hip Hop Day. With the Junior School in such close proximity to the senior music school, pupils have the added benefit of being able to hear many excellent performances from senior ensembles and soloists. With our assembly listening programme rotating over three years, the children’s musical awareness is further enhanced through listening to a huge variety of different musical styles and genres.
All classes receive two or more music lessons each week that are based on the Kodaly system of singing and aural training using children’s songs and games to teach all musical concepts. In Years 2, 3 and 4 every child participates in the String Scheme in which they have the opportunity to learn the violin or cello and receive two lessons a week from specialist instrumental teachers. In Year 5 all children then have the option to learn a brass or woodwind instrument for a year, again delivered by specialist teachers. This is a great stepping stone into other groups such as Woodwind Ensemble and Jazz Band. The cost of these two schemes, both teaching and instruments, is borne by the school. The music room doubles as a music technology room and pupils use a number of different applications, especially the Sibelius composing software. There is a strong focus on composition in Year 6 and the children develop their choral skills even more in Year 6 Choir.
We enjoy two large music rooms and share many areas with the senior music school, giving us even more flexibility for classes and rehearsals. We are fortunate in having the use of the purpose-built MCT theatre where many of our main musical events take place, including the Year 6 Play. We also use the nearby St Barnabas Church for many events and this modern church has a superb acoustic for musical performances.
Lessons are complemented by a wide co-curricular offering that include Choirs, Grande Salle Orchestra, Woodwind Ensemble, Jazz Band and several chamber groups.