Introduced by Lucy Ball Deputy Head Teaching and Learning
and written by Chris Hoban, Director of Music and Head of Faculty for Performing Arts.
Each article below describes why we have to fight hard to get music back on to our curricula and be creative to find ways to allow music to be of the highest quality, whilst at the same time abiding by current (and ever changing) government guidance. Click on the text above each image to access the full articles.
Music departments worldwide have been hit hard by some of the most rigorous and complicated guidance being applied, owing to the use of voices, wind operated instruments and the nature of music to bring people together as an ensemble or audience in both performances and rehearsals.
It is not an easy road to recovery, but we hope you agree that it is an essential one.
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Music is a vitally important and culturally integrated part of our curriculum. As a subject, it is continually evolving yet its relevance and benefits towards intellect, coordination, emotional expression, community and social development are more important than ever. I now hand over to Mr Hoban to explain more about how ‘music is back’ at St Peter’s Prep School.
Music has been hit hardest of all since restrictions began in March last year – more so than sport and even drama. It has always continued in our classrooms and online, but music is so much more than just a subject; it is an experience, an event, something that requires participation by both its participants and its audience. It is a glue that binds us all together and through which we mark our most precious occasions – births, deaths, marriages, celebrations, arrivals and farewells. Every rite of passage in our lives has an element of music at its core.
Bit by bit, since the start of the year, we have seen the return of our much-loved peripatetic music teachers. Seeing the joy on children’s faces in their lessons and hearing the music percolating through open doors and windows of the school buildings lifted all of our souls last year at a time when many situations were still very difficult.
Choirs are the beating heart of a school, however, and the largest activity group in which the children will ever participate. Thus the return of choirs this term has been particularly important and has really stirred the soul. From the start of term, our Year 6-8 Harmony Choir have been quickly learning a repertoire of songs by Bill Withers, The Beatles and the like, while Syncapeters (Y1-2 Choir) started up yesterday with Mrs Hurley and our Junior Choir is kicking into action after half term.
Not only this, but we are truly delighted to announce the return of live concerts onsite. Friday 11th June sees our first concert in the school since March 2020, a Lower School Music Assembly with a line-up that is rapidly expanding. This is followed by an Upper School Music Assembly the following Friday (18th June). Every concert needs an audience, however, and in line with government protocols parents will be allowed back on site to performances after June 21st, meaning that our Speech Day at the end of term will be open to family members as well. We very much look forward to seeing you all there.
It has been a very long wait. Thank you all for your patience and continued support of music in the lives of your children.
To sign off… we wondered if there might be any parents out there who feel as passionately about Music for children as we do here at St Peter’s?
Below is a link to a petition against the proposed funding cuts of the Arts budgets in Higher Education. Currently at 30,000 plus signatures, we really need to get up to 100,000 so that the proposal can be debated in parliament. Many thanks for your time and do feel free to pass the link on!