Music plays an important part in school life with all pupils having two class lessons each week taught by our music specialist. The emphasis of the music programme at SPS is one of involvement for everyone. Music is a part of all our lives and we can all relate to music in our own way. It is a universal language capable of bringing great enjoyment and allowing children to express their creativity.
Curriculum music lessons cover the three main areas of study: listening and appraising, composing and performing. Throughout the class music programme, children are encouraged to listen to and appreciate as broad a range of musical styles as possible. This is enriched by trips and visits to concerts and musical productions in the local area. The basics of music reading and notation are taught, enabling children to compose and perform within class lessons. Elements of music history are also covered, in order to help children understand more clearly how music has evolved over time. In Year 4, all pupils are given group lessons on an instrument by a peripatetic specialist. These lessons continue for the whole year and, together with instrument hire, are provided free of charge to give children the opportunity to experience learning an instrument.
Visiting musicians provide tuition in a wide range of instruments. Pupils currently learn piano, violin, viola, ‘cello, recorder, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, tuba, French horn, drum kit, guitar and voice. It may also be possible to accommodate other instruments on request. Children have successfully passed examinations with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) and Trinity College of Music, as well as performing in informal music assemblies and more formal concerts during the school year.
The School Choirs (Training Choir for Years 1-3) and Senior Choir (Years 3-6) enjoys much support from pupils and meets on a weekly basis. As well as singing in school concerts and other events, the Choir enters regional and national choral competitions and also ventures out to entertain the public. Recent events include carol singing and giving a recital at a local church.
The Orchestra has grown in size and stature since SPS opened and now has over twenty members playing a wide selection of instruments. Parts are tailored to the children’s individual levels of expertise and this allows many pupils to be involved, even if they have not been learning their instrument for a long time. The pleasure that can be gained from players making music together is the prime motivation for the group, along with the supporting skills of co-operation and teamwork, combining individual musical lines into a whole collective piece of music.
In addition to the Orchestra, there is also a weekly recorder group, as well as more informal groups of other instruments, who meet less frequently with the music specialist to gain further ensemble experience. Children in these groups often progress to take Music Medals, group assessments organised by the ABRSM. Children at SPS are currently working towards Bronze, Silver and Gold medals.