At Saint Christina’s music is an integral part of School life – pupils throughout the school participate in a wide range of performances, musical activities and events, all of which have firmly established music as one of the strongest and most creative pillars of our school community.
The benefits that music brings to children are well-reported: improved brain development, an increase in human connection and even stress relief.
MUSIC IN THE SCHOOL AND CURRICULUM
The music curriculum is primarily underpinned by the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum programmes of study, whilst also drawing on a wealth of other music education practices and approaches including the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme and aspects of methods established by music specialists such as Kodály, Orff-Schulwerk and Suzuki. Using these developmental frameworks, the music department has created a Cumulative Curriculum Plan for Music which enables teachers, parents and pupils to track musical progress at different ages and developmental stages in the areas of performance, composition, listening and analysis.
Pupils are encouraged to participate musically in a range of contexts including assemblies, weekly Mass and liturgies, the Carol Service and Christmas Nativities, informal solo and ensemble concerts, the Easter play and the annual summer production.
Pupils are also able to make use of the school’s fantastic location through attending field trips, concerts and workshops given by renowned musicians including interactive performances by the London Symphony Orchestra, workshops by Gamelan music specialists at LSO St Luke’s and educational concerts presented by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
PERIPATETIC INSTRUMENTAL AND VOCAL TUITION
At Saint Christina’s we are fortunate to have a strong team of peripatetic teachers providing individual tuition in piano, violin, cello, guitar, and singing. Lessons take place throughout the school day on a rotating weekly timetable to ensure pupils do not miss the same lessons each week.
Saint Christina’s offers 3 choirs – the Senior Choir is open to pupils in Years 5 and 6, rehearsing on Monday mornings at 8.00am; the Junior Choir is open to pupils in Years 3 and 4, rehearsing on Tuesday mornings at 8.00am; and Little Voices is open to pupils in Years 1 and 2, rehearsing on Thursday lunchtimes at 12.30pm.
The choirs perform at various school functions including Masses, Open Mornings and informal concerts, as well as performing actively in the local community at events such as St John’s Wood Christmas Fayre and visiting local elderly resident homes. These choirs are non-selective and encourage all pupils to develop their vocal ability through exploring a wide variety of contemporary and choral repertoire in a fun and enjoyable environment.
The school orchestra is a non-selective ensemble open to pupils in Key Stage 2 (Years 3-6); the group rehearses on Thursday mornings at 8.00am. Every effort is made to cater for the pupils’ wide range of musical abilities and as such, the orchestra explores a variety of classical and contemporary repertoire which is often arranged specifically for the pupils involved.