As from September 2016, the Junior School has a brand new Performing Arts Centre with a number of large and wonderfully resourced music rooms. Every class from Reception through to Year 6 receive two lessons of music each week and all lessons are taught by professional and experienced musicians.
The Performing Arts Centre offers all the benefits of the latest music technology, as well as more traditional teaching resources.
The curriculum is varied and exciting. All classes sing regularly and make recordings of both their singing and practical performances.
Hand written music theory plays an integral part in class music right the way from Year 2 to Year 6. The Junior School boasts a first class IT infrastructure and, as a result, music technology plays an active part in lessons. We use the following software: Music Ace, Groovy Shapes, Groovy Jungle, Groovy City and Sibelius.
Other notable aspects of the curriculum are as follows
- Year 2: All pupils learn both the recorder and violin as part of their music curriculum.
- Year 3: As well as being taught class music, this is the time children are actively encouraged to take up a musical instrument. We are lucky at the Junior School as the academic timetable has been tailored to help budding musicians in Year 3. All four classes have their music lessons consecutively. This means that children are able to have their instrumental lesson during a timetabled music lesson. The lessons are at the same time each week and no academic lesson is missed. It is an excellent introduction to the disciplines of learning a musical instrument. The Head of Strings from St George's College also makes weekly visits to teach violin to selected children in Year 3.
- Year 4, 5 and 6 study a set work each year. Previous examples include Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’ and the musical 'Godspell'.
Numerous weekly ensembles take place at the Junior School. There is an Orchestra, Jazz Band, Chapel Choir, Junior Choir, Guitar Ensemble, String Group, Violin Ensemble, Rock School and Recorder Group. Also a weekly music theory club takes place to help pupils prepare for Associated Board theory examinations.
Individual instrumental lessons take place on a carousel system and many children take Associated Board Examinations each term. There are 18 visiting peripatetic teachers and about half the children from Year 3 to Year 6 learn an instrument. Instruments available include violin, cello, harp, piano, drums, classical guitar, electric guitar, clarinet, flute, oboe and saxophone. The Music Department is well equipped with electronic keyboards, a wide selection of musical instruments including a double bass, oboes and a bassoon.
There are many opportunities to perform at the Junior School; informal concerts, the Summer Concert, Inter-House Music Competition, carol services, Nativities, weekly assemblies and year group productions. It is expected that every pupil learning an instrument will perform at least once during each academic year.