Music is an integral part of life at St. Michael's School. With weekly music lessons, regular singing during assemblies, a wide range of instrumental lessons available and a range of extracurricular ensembles, children can immerse themselves in music from Monday to Friday.
Each class has one music lesson per week, delivered by specialist music teachers with a wealth of experience both in the classroom and as professional musicians. Children are taught in a highly practical environment where they quickly become confident and enthusiastic about making music. From the rhythms of West Africa to the pulsating Samba rhythms of Brazil; from learning the skills of listening to applying their skills through composition and performance both as a class and as small child lead groups; from pentatonic folk music to the ever-changing genres of the present day, children will have the experience of making music come alive - making it real and relevant to them.
Children are encouraged to learn an instrument from the wide range on offer. Our dedicated peripatetic team does a fantastic job and the quality of the musicianship and performance heard in our orchestra, choir, handbells and various instrumental ensembles are testament to their fantastic tuition. Children are encouraged to enter nationally recognised examinations which provide an excellent grounding in all the elements of musicianship.
There are many opportunities to perform throughout the school year. As well as the annual Christmas Service in Wimborne Minster and the Summer Concert, individuals and ensembles perform regularly during assemblies as well as at other community events. Performance is also an important part of class music lessons giving all children a chance to taste the excitement of the limelight. The biannual show is a chance for singers and instrumentalists alike, to shine in an unforgettable experience.
Music at St Michael's aims to get every child realising their musical potential through fun, engaging and practical lessons. Through a disciplined approach, children will learn basic skills across a range of classroom instruments which will allow them to work creatively on their own compositions both individually and in bands. Those children wishing to take their music further have the option of taking extra instrumental lessons. There are a wide range of clubs to get involved in for all levels of players including a thriving school orchestra. Performance is an important part of the musical process and the children are encouraged to perform regularly at concerts, community events, assemblies and in lessons. Music is alive at St Michael's!
MUSIC builds ASPIRATION by:
Weekly musical performances in assembly show children what can be achieved through practise. This is highly motivating.
Use of accessible instruments such as djembe and samba drums and ukuleles allows children to play as part of a large group that really does sound like music which shows them they are musicians and that music is in all of us, not just for certain people who have a gift or take lessons.
Large-scale musical concerts and musical shows allow children to be part of something very special and this lets them see the process involved in making something special happen – know that good things come through hard work and effort.
Skilled subject teaching from professional-level musicians brings the best out in our children.
MUSIC builds BELIEF by:
Carefully designed topics allow every child to live out the ‘I Can’ rather than ‘I Can’t’ attitude as well as being relevant to this time and culture. Being a musician is something all can consider possible.
Work with tutorial videos shows the children that they can teach themselves. Many young players now have learnt their skills using Youtube.
MUSIC builds CREATIVITY by:
Allowing the correct combination of freedom and boundaries to guide the children to create group musical compositions that they can be extremely proud of. Band work in Y7 and 8 allows them this space and freedom to express themselves in a motivating and relevant setting.
Computer-based music using Soundation shows the children the power of technology to create professional-sounding music without any formal training. Computer-based music is a huge part of the industry nowadays.
Wider British Values
St Michael’s is a church of England School that believes that supporting children’s development of character and values, including the core British values of democracy, mutual respect, liberty and the rule of law, is an essential part of equipping young people to thrive as citizens in the world of the future. Music actively supports this by:
Encouraging teamwork and respect for different ideas
Respecting a broad range of cultures and their music including African drumming, African-American Blues, Reggae and great classical composers from around the world;
Having extremely high behavioural expectations allowing for independent group work – this is often where the most progress is made – child-led learning
Promoting an ‘I Can’ attitude by showing the children that they are capable of doing things they never thought they could (playing bass, drums or guitar in a band
Allowing children’s talents to shine, through regular performance opportunities
Building the confidence of all children to perform in class-based work
Where it all fits in
If you are working well in this subject these are the skills you are learning:
- good physical dexterity, memory and concentration - developed in practice and performance;
- communication skills - developed through performing and engaging listeners;
- teamwork - through working in bands or orchestras as a player or leader;
- self-management - physical and mental self-discipline achieved through regular practice;
- performing under pressure - overcoming nervousness in order to perform well during exams, concerts and auditions;
- planning - organising and working towards a project/performance;
- technical skills and expertise - using technology to create and record music and combine music with film;
- critical reflection - giving and receiving criticism, learning from mistakes and striving for improved performance.
If you like this subject then these are some of the jobs you can go on to:
- Music therapist
- Musician – Orchestra, Band, Theatre pit
- Private music teacher
- Secondary school teacher
- Sound technician, broadcasting/film/video
- Arts administrator
- Broadcast engineer
- Community arts worker
- Event organiser
- Radio broadcast assistant
- Radio producer
- Theatre stage manager
- Music retailers;
- Composing music for TV, Film and Theatre
- Army band
- Piano tuner
- Instrument maker