Music

Key Stage I and II

Music is an important part of the curriculum. From Prep I the girls are taught singing by a Kodály specialist. For an explanation of the Kodály Method please see below. They also begin to learn to read and clap simple rhythms from musical notation. The girls explore a wide variety of topics which investigate the elements of music, and musical forms and styles. Girls work on group arrangements and compositions using their voices, classroom percussion and frequently other instruments which they are learning individually.

There are a number of performance opportunities throughout the year. There are two Nativities for Prep pupils and a Prep Spring Concert in the Lent term, often showcasing the instruments which Prep III girls have begun to learn. In the Junior Department there is an annual Upper II production and usually one or two other class or year productions. Music plays an important part in the religious life of the school: all Junior girls combine with the Lower Seniors to form a choir for the Carol Service and music always features in school Masses. Lower I girls lead the singing in their First Holy Communion Mass in the summer term and have premiered several new arrangements or specially composed anthems.

All Junior pupils are involved in choral singing throughout the year and in the Summer term all classes perform for their parents at Songs and Certificates. Many girls from Upper I to Upper II are also members of the Chapel Singers, an auditioned choir for pupils who enjoy singing and wish to work towards performances in the School Chapel and external venues.

Junior girls are extremely enthusiastic participants in the annual Inter-House Music and Speech Festival.

The Kodály Method

The Kodály Method was developed by the Hungarian music educator Zoltán Kodály. It introduces skills in accordance with the capabilities of the child and uses solfege (do, re, mi, fa, so, la, and ti) and hand signs which allow children to actually see and feel kinesthetically the height or depth of the pitch. The Kodály Method improves intonation (singing in tune), rhythm skills, music literacy, and the ability to sing in increasingly complex parts.

Instrumental Lessons

Beginning Instrumental Tuition

In Prep III (Year 2) girls are given the opportunity to take up an instrument. Instruments available at this stage are those suited to the younger child. Most parents opt for a shared lesson at this level (in pairs). In early September we have a Music Taster afternoon where instrumental teachers demonstrate their instruments and are available for parents to speak to at the end of the day. These lessons are arranged on a rota basis during school hours. The options available are:

Fife

Piano

Violin

Recorder

Cello

Instrumental Tuition in the Junior Department

A wide range of musical instruments are played by girls in the Junior Department; fife, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, violin, viola, cello, piano, harp and guitar to name a few. These can be taken up when girls are the appropriate age. For more information contact the Director of Music. These lessons are arranged on a rota basis during school hours.