We believe that quality music teaching is important and should be offered to every child. All children are encouraged to make the most of the music opportunities on offer.
Pulse and rhythm are taught first, using the body as the primary instrument. We interweave the teaching of musical elements during the early developmental stages.
Conceptual engagement with musical elements is developed through movement and hand-beaten percussion. Awareness of pitch and timing is developed through singing songs together.
In the early years, listening skills and awareness of sound are introduced through games and conversational prompts. These prompts begin with the elements discernible by the child at each stage of their development e.g. what is that sound? How loud is that sound?
We celebrate the diversity found in our school and our community with music from all over the world, from various times and cultures. Our children enjoy playing Samba, classical European music, African drumming and steel pans to name a few.
Singing is a significant part of both our music sessions and our weekly school life. We sing in assemblies, in class and in our music lessons. We use the power of song to unite us as a school, to aid memory of facts learned in our topics, and to support the ethos and values we seek to instil within our children.
We are proud of our 60-piece orchestra, led by Una Birtchnell, and supported by several talented volunteers. We include children from Year 2 to 6, with a mix of abilities. They have performed at several public events, from our much-loved, local St Catherine’s Church to the famous Southbank Centre.
Early Birds Music Club
Every Thursday our Early Birds music club provides small group instrumental tuition and general musicianship classes for up to 50 children. Typically, they start at age seven and many stay until they leave the school in Year 6.
We give every child the opportunity to try an instrument. We do this by providing whole-class instrumental tuition in strings in partnership with Goldsmith’s University and Lewisham Music. This is usually in Year 3, and thereafter children are offered several ways to develop their individual musicianship.
Our Steel Band, with players from years 4-6, is a regular source of joy and excitement to all who hear them. They play upbeat, vibrant music and feature in all the school’s major events and concerts. The Steel Band develops children’s ability to play from memory, keeping in rhythm with others.
Our year 1 and 2 children have the opportunity to learn the ukulele after school on Tuesdays.
Our school choir, led by Ms Holder, is a non-auditioned, enthusiastic group of singers from years 4-6. They regularly perform at our concerts and are looking forward to singing at Young Voices at the 02 Arena, Lewisham Live at the Broadway Theatre and our own Summer Celebration at London’s Southbank Centre.
Not to be left out, our staff have formed a choir of their own. Rehearsing bi-weekly, the “Grown-Ups’ Choir” sings soul and pop music to the delight of all the children and parents. Having recently sung at the Christmas Concert at St Catherine’s Church, our next performance will be in the Summer Celebration in July at Queen Elizabeth Hall.