At the Prep school, children are taught music from when they arrive Early Years. Pre-Prep receive 40 minutes of music a week, and Prep receive two 40 minute lessons a week.
The aim of the music department is simple. To teach musical skills and develop knowledge and understanding through exciting and varied musical activities so that children are able to develop both a love for music and the necessary skills to participate in and appreciate music making for life.
Performance is at the heart of what we do here, reflecting the demands of performance in the music profession, and our specialist music staff nurture performance skills and values that transfer into all aspects of life: confidence, team work, mutual respect, literacy and numeracy – the list goes on.
Our curriculum and performance repertoire shows no musical bias – we are as interested in Ed Sheeran, ABBA and One Direction as we are in Mozart, Stravinsky and Miles Davies, and we encourage children to be open minded and explore as much music as possible.
Children are taught the rudiments of music theory so as to be able to understand how music works; historical, social and cultural contexts so as to be able to appreciate music and all of its facets; how to improvise and compose to enable them to take ownership of and create their own music and rigorous performance and musicianship skills to allow them to hold the highest standards and enjoy making a vast range of music, be it instrumental or vocal.
We treat every child like they have the potential to be a professional musician, and whether or not they choose to pursue music later on in school, they leave the Prep School with an appreciation and understanding of music and the skills to be able to sing, play and listen recreationally for the rest of their lives.
Beyond the Classroom
Outside of the classroom, the music department runs a wealth of activities to enrich and enhance the curriculum, and to create cultural and artistic opportunities that allow all pupils, regardless of ability, to develop an enjoyment of making and appreciating music. We also ensure gifted and talented pupils are challenged to achieve their full potential through regular performance opportunities and additional coaching.
We have a superb peripatetic music tuition team consisting of specialist piano, guitar, violin, cello, voice, clarinet, saxophone and percussion teachers. Lessons are available weekly. The Junior Vocal Ensemble, which is open to all, is a vibrant and enthusiastic group of children who love singing and perform every term. The Treble Makers is an auditioned vocal ensemble with a focus on singing in harmony to the highest possible standard. They compete regularly in competitions and have enjoyed participating in the North Wales Choral Festival and Chester Music Festival.
Each term, we hold a concert comprising of items prepared in class, by co-curricular groups as mentioned above, by soloists and by small ensembles. We also hold a Young Performers evening termly to present works in progress in an informal and friendly atmosphere. Children are regularly invited out into the community to perform, be it at local care homes at Christmas or at the Remembrance Sunday service.
Within the Pre Prep department, music lessons revolve around developing skills and having fun. Through singing, playing instruments, challenging performance work and musical performance appraisal, children are introduced to all areas of the world of music. Initially we help them to develop a strong sense of rhythm and pitch through games and songs.
They then progress onto singing technique, musicality and musical appraisal, allowing them to appreciate and perform a wealth of different music. Performance is at the heart of what we do in the music department, and the children perform frequently and are coached to a high standard. The music room is a fun, inclusive and creative environment in which children also develop hand-eye coordination, team work and communication skills, numeracy, literacy and learn more about the world we live in. Children also have access to individual instrumental tuition weekly with our visiting tutors. We operate a whole school approach to our pupils’ musical development, ensuring children are learning and refining the skills they’ll need early on to maximise their progress and ability when they are older.