“Music is the greatest communication in the world. Even if people don’t understand the language that you’re singing in, they still know good music when they hear it.” Lou Rawls
Music is an integral part of the curriculum at Bishop Henderson School. Children have many opportunities to enjoy music and music making as they progress through the school.
At Key Stage 1, music is taught to the whole class by the class teacher. Children are encouraged to find and develop their singing their voice. They will use percussion instruments to explore sound and be asked to respond to music through dance and art. Children begin first with simple rhymes and songs in reception and learn songs with more complexity as they progress to the end of the key stage. The ‘Music Express’ programme and resources are used to support teaching.
At Key Stage 2, children are taught by the music coordinator, Mrs Sally Newberry. Each class has one lesson each week and, throughout the year, every class has the opportunity to develop their singing, listening and appraising skills as well as opportunities to compose and perform. Where possible and relevant, music is linked to topics and themes being studied in class.
“Beautiful music… is one of most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.” Martin Luther
As a Church of England school, music also plays a key part in our collective worship each day, both in terms of the music that is listened to as a focus to begin the worship and also the hymns and songs of praise that are shared with the whole school.
“Children who study a musical instrument are more likely to excel in all of their studies, work better in teams, have enhanced critical thinking skills, stay in school and pursue further education. Music is to the brain as physical exercise is to the human body.”
In Year 4 all children have the opportunity to learn a brass instrument free of charge as part of the wider opportunities project led by Somerset Music.
There are visiting peripatetic music teachers who cater for a wide range of instruments that children may wish to learn. Lessons are arranged directly with the visiting teachers and costs vary depending on the instrument learned and whether the lesson is an individual one or a group lesson. Instruments currently being learned at Bishop Henderson are drums, guitars, woodwind, piano and brass.
As well as the extra-curricular music lessons, children in Years 5 and 6 may sing in the school choir which practises on a Monday afternoon and currently has over 70 members.
There is also an afterschool club for music and movement called the M and Ms, led by Mrs White and Mrs Newberry.
At Bishop Henderson we like to be involved in music in the wider community too. We regularly take part in the Taunton Music Festival and last year we also entered the National Music for Youth Festival and were invited to perform at the Birmingham Symphony Hall.
Groups of children from Year 6 entertain the members of St Michael’s Church dinner club each term and the choir have performed at many venues and functions in and around Taunton.
We have strong links with The Castle School’s Music department: Mr Nic Adams is sharing his expertise with Year 6 students in music technology and Miss Lisset (Head of Department) teaches brass to Years 4 and 5. Last year, children from Key Stage 2 took part in concerts at The Castle School in the Easter and summer terms. Many children who learn a brass instrument go on to take part in the junior band run by Miss Lisset at The Castle School.