Music is ‘live’ across the whole School. A big part of our lives, music enhances and supports every single one of us. It improves our cognitive abilities in many different ways and also enriches our learning experience across the curriculum. In the Pre-Prep and Prep School pupils enjoy listening to our Composer of the Month as they walk into and out of Assembly, and are also encouraged to recognise how the music or composer has particular links to different subject areas. Pupils throughout the School have the opportunity to have Individual Music Lessons which take place on a rotation in school time and include recorder, guitar, drums, piano, voice, clarinet, saxophone, violin and cello.
The Choirs in both Pre-Prep and Prep rehearse regularly in preparation for a variety of performance events throughout the year.
The Bullard Cup House Music Competition is a great opportunity for the whole School to come together to showcase all the hard work going on behind the scenes (see below for a report about our recent Bullard Cup House Music Competition: Instrumental and Composition).
Music in the Prep School
Pupils cover a range of activities in Music lessons. The basics of Music Theory are vital to music learning and children access this in fun and practical ways. Access to a range of instruments encourages pupils to think not only about notation, rhythms and a range of musical devices, but it also highlights the importance of respect and care for instruments.
The theory side of music is covered first and then access to instruments, involving composition and musical games. After this, pupils enjoy demonstrating their learning through technology, in particular, GarageBand. This ensures pupils have a deep and embedded understanding of techniques covered and their learning is spread across a range of forms.
Music enhances the curriculum in multiple ways, for example, Year 3’s Egyptian Music and Dance Workshop helped to bring their History topic to life. The children thoroughly enjoyed learning about the age-old customs and traditions of the Egyptian people and practising the different forms of celebratory dance. Lorraine, from Multicultural Dance Workshops, led the children through several dances and they were tenacious in their approach to copying her skills. They loved being able to play Egyptian instruments and make music together.
In addition to School concerts, pupils also relish opportunities to perform within the community. Magna Voce and our Woodwind Ensemble performed at the Norfolk County Music Festival, both achieving highly commended awards. It gave pupils a fantastic opportunity to not only perform outside of School but also to hear other performers. Miss Philippa Briggs, Director of Music, was particularly proud of both sets of performances and the way that all pupils conducted themselves.
Music in the Pre-Prep
Music is an important part of the Early Years and Pre-Prep curriculum. The children have a weekly hymn practice in which they learn new hymns and also sing our Growth Mindset songs to help them absorb the language that surrounds the teaching throughout the Early Years and Pre-Prep.
In the Early Years, the children sing nursery rhymes and simple songs in preparation for their time in Reception. Many of these include actions, which the children love to take part in, and are often accompanied by the percussion instruments.
As the children move into Pre-Prep they continue to have a weekly music lesson, which involves finding out more about their Composer of the Month, beginning to recognise the instruments used and the type of music. The children learn a variety of fun songs that increase in complexity as the children mature. The Year 2 children learn to sing partner songs and also in rounds. The children also start to become familiar with different elements of musical terminology, rhythm and pulse.
Bullard Cup House Music Competition
Much time and effort goes into music inside and outside of School and the Bullard Cup House Music Competition is an opportunity for pupils to showcase their skills and dedication to music. The recent Instrumental and Composition section of the Bullard was a great way of allowing pupils to be independent and to develop skills learned within lessons with great creativity.
All pupils performed to a high standard and their hard work, self-motivation and dedication shone. Performers proudly announced their pieces and songs to the audience. It was a true privilege to have a whole afternoon devoted to music and watching such keen and enthusiastic young performers, from Year 1 up to Year 8.
We were thrilled to have both the Director of Music, Mrs George-Broom, and the Assistant Director of Music, Mr Rob White, from Langley Senior School to adjudicate our competition. They certainly had a difficult task! A special well done must go to our overall winners of each year group:
Year 1 – Tabitha B
Year 2 – Ellie-Rose B
Year 3 – Isobel W
Year 4 – Amelia R
Year 5 – Nicole M
Year 6 – Lana K
Year 7 – Zoe S
Year 8 – William B
New to the Bullard Cup House Music Competition this year was the Composition section. Pupils had to organise themselves, without adult support, to create musical sounds, rehearse and finally perform their own compositions. The final results were particularly impressive and each House demonstrated true teamwork skills and immense creativity. A special well done to Crows for winning the Composition section.
The whole afternoon was a true delight. Well done to everyone involved! In particular, a big congratulations to the overall winners: Hawks!
We are looking forward to Part 2 of the Bullard Cup in the Summer Term in which all pupils in each House take to the stage to perform a song of choice.