Music is an integral and important part of school life, and a large percentage of pupils receive individual musical tuition from our fine team of peripatetic staff. Over half of the pupils are members of our choirs and instrumental groups.
Each child has classroom music at least once a week, and pupils in Year 3 and Year 5 receive two music lessons per week. Lower school pupils sing each week, instilling in them a confidence in using their own voice and enjoyment in performing music together, in addition to guided creative work using the classroom instruments. In Year 5, all pupils learn the ukulele in one of their lessons and this has proved to be very popular indeed, with several pupils purchasing their own instruments to play outside of school. In the upper school, pupils develop their keyboard skills and they are encouraged to bring their own instruments to lessons.
The curriculum exposes pupils to a variety of styles from pop to classical and they develop their own musicianship through lots of creative composition and improvisation work. Practical music making is complemented by grounding in musical notation and there are theory classes available for pupils who are working at a higher level.
The musical life of the school is busy, vibrant and varied, with many opportunities for all to perform. Junior Choir is very popular with pupils in Year 3-5 and older pupils sing in our Senior Choir and have the opportunity of auditioning for the Chapel Choir. This year will be busy for the Chapel Choir as they prepare for their tour of Venice in Spring 2011 which we hope will include the opportunity to perform in Mass at St Mark’s.
In addition to the choirs, instrumentalists are encouraged to join the Orchestra and we are delighted to be starting a school Samba band this year which will be open to pupils from Year 6-8.
There are regular opportunities for pupils to perform at school and showcase their talents and the school calendar is filled with concerts including:
- St Cecilia Concert
- School Carol Service
- Choir and individual vocal performances at the Cheltenham Festival
- Chapel Choir Mass at Prior Park College
- School Play
- Junior Spring Concert
- School Music Competition
- Year 8 Leavers’ Concert
Music supports the personal development of children and it demands sensitivity, team work and encourages independent thinking. The position of Music, therefore, is key in fulfilling the school aims and ensuring 'an education of the whole person'.
Our main goal is that music is accessible to all and that it offers an enriching and enjoyable experience to pupils. The breadth of opportunity for music making and the enthusiasm of the pupils at Prior Park are testimony that we do this extremely well.