Music plays an important part of life at St Faith’s, and it is taught to a level that few primary schools can match.
All children have a weekly class music lesson, taught by Mr Ainsworth, Head of Music. Children in Nursery and Reception are taught using elements of the Kodaly Method and their lessons always include singing, listening and movement. When children enter Year 1, they are introduced to formal musical notation, theory, composition, singing and instrumental playing. From Year 3 the History of Music is also taught. Instrumental playing is a key part of lessons and all children from Years 1 to 6 learn to play a musical instrument. Years 1 and 2 learn the recorder, Years 3 and 4 the violin while Years 5 and 6 are taught to play the trumpet.
More than 50% of children have individual music classes. A team of peripatetic music teachers means that at St Faith’s we can deliver a wide range of one-to-one lessons in woodwind, strings, brass, piano, guitar, ukulele, drumming and singing. When they are ready, children are prepared for exams through ABRSM and Rockschool.
Aside from the quality of their musical education, what makes this such a rewarding experience for the children is the number of opportunities they have to perform to an audience.
From Speech Day, Grandparents’ Day, Twilight Concerts, the House Music Competition and other events which are arranged throughout the year. The children learn the importance of regular practice and find that playing a musical instrument can help their progress across the rest of the school curriculum.
There are several choirs, with children from Nursery to Year 6, sing at a variety of events including Young Voices in London’s O2, the Canterbury Big Sing at the Marlowe Theatre and the Folk and Ale Festival in Sandwich. Our pupils are also encouraged to audition for County Groups, run by Kent Music. We currently have three children in Years 5 and 6 who are members of the Kent County Junior Singers.
Playing in an ensemble and making music together is something which children at St Faith’s enjoy and something which gives their instrumental learning greater purpose. We have a variety of ensembles for children.
The Senior Orchestra comprises around 30 of our more experienced musicians. We meet each week on Thursday afternoon and perform in the Summer Concert and during Twilight Concerts. The children learn important skills such as following a beat, being sensitive to others, staying in tune and playing the right notes at the right time!
The Training Orchestra is a feeder group into our Senior Orchestra. Once children have learnt the basics in their instrument, they are able to come along to rehearsals. Some players are children who learn the trumpet, violin or recorder through their weekly class lessons and don’t have regular, one to one lessons. We try to give as many children as possible the chance to join the Training Orchestra.
String Orchestra meets on Monday afternoon and the children perform in the Summer Concert and in Twilight Concerts. We hope to be able to have a string quartet at some point in the future and there are two recorder ensembles which meet every Wednesday lunchtime.
The annual House Music Competition is held in January or February each year. All children are involved in singing and there are also opportunities for solo and ensemble instrumental performances.
We are very proud of what is a growing, thriving music department at St Faith’s. If you would like any further information, please contact the Head of Music, Mr Paul Ainsworth at school or by email firstname.lastname@example.org