Music is a wonderful part of life at Aldwickbury, with opportunities in our private school music curriculum for any boy to become involved at a level appropriate to his age and level of ability.
All classes from Reception to Year 8 have classroom music lessons with a specialist teacher. Singing is used extensively, as it is the most fundamental and accessible means of making music in class groups, and all classes from Reception to Year 6 are guaranteed at least one performance opportunity each year through year group productions and celebrations of learning.
In the Pre-Prep department, heavy emphasis is put on learning the fundamental musical concepts of pitch, dynamics, rhythm and tempo, focusing on enjoyment of, and participation in, music as a group activity.
• Year 3 spend the first two terms learning the violin as a class, to give all boys the opportunity to experience the physicality of creating sound with an instrument. Year 4 study a wide range of world music, from African drumming to European folk music, from Indonesian gamelan to early Blues music. A wide variety of percussion instruments including a class set of xylophones and djembe drums are introduced for class ensemble work, composition and basic improvisation skills, with a particular focus on structure, timbre and texture.
• Year 5 focus heavily on the opportunities for using technology to create music, working extensively on the suite of computers to gain a good level of understanding of music production software. These skills are used heavily during the following three years. Projects designed to gain competence on the software are assessed from a variety of musical standpoints, relating everything back to the fundamental musical concepts studied in previous years.
• Years 6 to 8 participate in a three-year Music History programme including the study of musical works spanning the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th Century period, finishing with a study of the origins of modern ‘pop’ music and a chance to compose music to accompany a modern-day film trailer. The course includes class performing, individual and small group composition and improvisation skills, as well as a focus on how the music of the time fitted in with the cultural and social changes occurring at the time.