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The Music Department

The team    Aims and Objectives  Information by years   Learning an instrument    Trips and activities

The Team

  • Mr  K Allen, Director of Music
  • Miss F Johnson, Junior Music Co-ordinator
  • Mr M Maryniak, Classroom Music, Chapel Singers choirmaster

 

  • Miss R Aspinall, Harp
  • Mrs E Curran, Piano
  • Miss E Ferrari, Singing
  • Miss E Jackson, Violin, Viola, String Orchestras
  • Mr I Judson, Flute, Flute Ensemble & Orchestras
  • Miss L Peacock, Clarinet & Saxophone
  • Miss K Pett, Percussion
  • Mr M Rose, Guitar
  • Mr C Smith, Brass
  • Mr A Storey, Guitar
  • Miss E Tingey, Oboe & Theory of Music
  • Mrs J Warren, Cello

Aims and Objectives

We aim to promote and support curriculum music for all children through classroom experiences and instruction with equality of opportunity as a basic entitlement.

We also provide aural and practical experience of a wide range of musical traditions in classroom music lessons.

There is an extended and challenging programme of individual instruction on chosen instruments for those electing to take lessons, with a visiting team of committed, professional musicians to provide them.

We encourage and arrange musical visits and trips for girls to experience as much professional music-making as possible.

We hope this will provide musical experiences which promote confidence and emotional development in the children concerned, as well as a love of music.

Please read on for more details!


 

Age 4 - 11   (Key Stages 1 & 2)

Music is an important part of the curriculum. From Prep I the girls are taught singing by a Kodaly specialist and 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 Juniors School, there is an annual Upper II production and usually one or two other class or year product

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.

In the summer term all classes perform for their parents at Songs and Certificates.

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

Age 11 - 14  (Key Stage 3)

Girls continue to build on the practical elements of lessons they have experienced in KS2. There is ample experience of keyboard work which is maintained throughout FIII – UIV. Singing remains a part of the overall syllabus as does appreciation of light classical music.

FIII write a ballet project and hear the music of Gershwin as extra activities whilst LIV attend the Gamelan, as part of a World Music project, study the Blues and do vocal and graphic work.

UIV analyse popular pieces followed up by keyboard work, and do projects on ‘West Side Story’ and Mozart and the film ‘Amadeus’. Girls frequently perform to each other in class and, in the summer term, FIII and LIV classes are a choir, singing for their parents at Songs and Certificates.

Age 14 - 16 (Key Stage 4)

GCSE - Edexcel Examination board
Music is a popular GCSE option, allowing girls to make good use of their instrumental and vocal skills.
All girls studying GCSE music are expected to participate fully in appropriate ensembles and choirs. Coursework consists of composing, rehearsing and recording ensembles and listening to and appraising music.

The syllabus is divided into three papers;

• Performing – 30%
• Composing – 30%
• Listening & Appraising - 40%
 

The Sibelius Suite is available for composing.  Sibelius is a sophisticated music software programme and the girls are proficient in using it for creative course-work at both GCSE and A-level.

Age 16 - 18  (Key Stage 5)

AS & A2 - Edexcel Examination board
Music is available as an option for both AS and A2. This builds on the skills of GCSE, with the study of harmony added and more challenging composition assignments. There are three units at AS Level and a further three at A2 Level which are:

Performing – 30%
Composing  - 30%
Aural Training & Historical Study and Analysis – 40%


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). The options available are:

Fife

Piano

Violin

Recorder

Cello

Advanced Tuition
As girls progress through the school a wider selection of instrumental and vocal tuition is available, dependent on the age and size of the student. All lessons are arranged on a rota basis during school hours. The following are currently offered:

Trumpet

Violin

Flute

Trombone

Viola

Clarinet

Voice

Cello

Oboe

Piano

Theory of Music

Harp

Saxophone

Guitar


Instrumental Exams

St Augustine’s holds Associated Board grade music examinations twice per academic year and, exceptionally, on other occasions. These are nationally accredited exams and the higher grades are recognised towards tariff points for University entrance.

The pass rate is 100% over the last four years.

There is an annual Music and Speech Festival in which a great many girls take part. The classes are heard over three days in the Lent term, culminating in a Prize Winners' Concert during the evening, to which parents are invited. Details and entry forms are made available before the event in March, at which a professional adjudicator is sometimes engaged.

St Augustine's girls have entered a number of classes in the Ealing Festival over the year and have done extremely well. Our string ensembles have particularly excelled in this area.

For more details of Ealing Festival please refer to their website.


Ensembles

 

We have thriving music groups at St Augustine’s, directed by our peripatetic team. Girls can join regardless of whether they learn instruments or out of school. Exam gradings are approximations:

 

  • Junior Orchestra  (from Grade 1)
  • Senior Orchestra  (from Grade 4)
  • Flute Group (from Grade 3)
  • Junior String Orchestra (from Prep Test)
  • Senior String Orchestra (from Grade 3)
  • Wind Group
  • Junior Choir
  • Chapel Choir (Junior & Senior – auditions usually held)

 

We are intending to start drum kit lessons and an exciting Percussion Club.

 

Trips & Visits

Trips and visits are seen as a key supplement, in order to present music as a vital and engaging experience. Girls are encouraged to attend concerts and other important events, such as:

• the London Symphony Orchestra school presentations at the Barbican for KS1 to KS3
• ballet at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
• opera at Glyndebourne
• the Schools Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in November (bi-annual)
• Gamelan Workshops, a ‘hands-on’ Indonesian music ensemble, for LIV girls

Visiting musicians recently have included

• brass ensembles
• saxophone quartets
• Japanese Taiko drum ensembles
• string quartets
• Scutterbugs music workshop for KS1

Overseas Tours

Our instrumentalists and singers have the opportunity to travel overseas and perform, usually bi-annually. Since 2008, there have been tours to:

  • Spain (Barcelona)
  • Italy (Tuscany)
  • Malta

We are planning to re-visit Italy soon.

The girls not only have the chance to play music overseas; they are enriched by the cultural aspects of another country. The tours have been extremely popular and are some of the most enjoyable moments to be experienced in our Department.

Our Chapel Choir has sung in London churches, Arundel Cathedral and Westminster Cathedral.


How can I help my Daughter?

 If your daughter is learning an instrument please refer to the PDF documents below. Learning an instrument is a joy, a great intellectual challenge and a key to the soul. The social potential is immense. Encouragement here is vital!

If your daughter chooses not to play something, please help her to broaden her  listening horizons. We encourage listening to Classic FM, a source of wonderful, approachable ‘classical’ music, now enjoyed by millions and attending concerts local and further afield.

Please contact the Music Department for more information. Please read the PDF documents regarding Learning an Instrument and How to Practice.

 Whatever your interest in music, please tell us! We want to share it with you, develop it and help you love this most wonderful of past-times.

 


 

Instrumental and Singing Lessons with Peripatetic Staff

Regularity and Length of Practice