At St Mary’s, we believe that making music is a very powerful way of creating a sense of belonging and of building personal skills. Staff and pupils enjoy singing together and encourage each other in learning new instruments.
Every child in our school learns to sing and to play percussion instruments through weekly lessons with our music specialists. Seven visiting teachers work with individuals and small groups of children to help them learn a musical instrument. We offer a range of lessons including recorder, clarinet, flute, saxophone, guitar, cello, violin and piano (jazz and classical). All Year 3 pupils are given recorder lessons and a recorder. Our school orchestra brings pupils together to learn how to read musical scores and to improvise harmonies. We have a recorder ensemble, brass ensemble and string ensemble - all of which meet on a weekly basis and perform in concerts throughout the school year. In addition, we run after school clubs that aim to introduce children to musical instruments which they might not otherwise encounter. These clubs have included a ukulele club and a djembe drumming club.
We have three pupil choirs at St.Mary's: Infant Choir; Lower Junior Choir and Upper Junior Choir. Sharing our love of music with the local community is very important to us and our choirs often sing at venues and events in south London, including Collingwood Nursing Home, Trinity Hospice's 'Light Up A Life' Service and the Abbeville Fete in Clapham. Our junior choirs have also performed many times at the Royal Festival Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall as part of the Lambeth Music Festival and the Music For Youth Festival. As frequent participants in the Music for Youth Festival, the Upper Junior Choir have been presented with a number of Highly Commended and Outstanding Performance awards.
Music is for everyone. It is a wonderful way of celebrating our school and our family cultures and of expressing emotion. We hope that children leave St Mary’s feeling confident and excited by their musical skills, wanting to learn more and able to respect the diverse musical styles presented to them in the future.