Larmenier & Sacred Heart School has a flourishing music department which involves pupils in a wide variety of activities from classroom music lessons to individual tuition. Pupils are encouraged to perform and will take part in concerts, performances in the community, music examinations and festivals. Music is also used to provide enhancement to assemblies and Masses within the school.
Music in the Classroom
Each week all pupils take part in at least one music class (two lessons at KS1) with Miss Hayes, the music subject leader. Younger pupils will learn about pulse, rhythm, pitch and duration through practical and imaginative music-making, whilst older pupils have the opportunity to design and produce their own video and backing tracks using ‘Garage Band’ software. For example, Upper Key Stage 2 pupils compose music in the style of favourite composers, explore ways of recording musical compositions, produce accompaniments for a performance and learn how to make improvements to their own work.
Extra-Curricular Music Activities
There is a wide range of lunch time and after school musical activities available to the pupils at Larmenier & Sacred Heart. These include; Orchestra, Choir, Dawn Chorus for Year 3 pupils, The Brass Group (brass ensemble) and The Recorder Rebels (recorder ensemble). All groups are encouraged to perform on a variety of occasions. The Orchestra has performed for audiences as varied as the Cardinal and Boris Johnson and the Choir regularly performs both in school and at venues including Westfield Shopping Centre and the South Bank Centre. The Choir has also performed in the Finals of the National Festival of ‘Music for Youth’ at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham.
Peripatetic Music Service
Larmenier & Sacred Heart runs a peripatetic music service on site during the school day. The specialist music department has three small teaching rooms, in addition to the main music classroom, which are used for individual and small group music lessons. There are eight specialist music teachers who visit the school on a weekly basis who teach piano, woodwind, brass, percussion and string instruments. Pupils in the school can choose to learn any of the following instruments:
violin, viola, recorder, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, French horn, euphonium, piano or percussion.
As well as being given many opportunities to perform in ensembles and larger groups, pupils who learn an instrument in school are encouraged to perform to their parents in ‘Tea-time Concerts’ organised at the end of the school day. Pupils are encouraged to take external Practical Music Examinations, which they do with a great deal of success. Pupils have taken examinations ranging from the Initial Grade to Grade 5. In the last academic year 59 pupils took and passed examinations, many achieving a Merit or Distinction. Exam success is rewarded in assembly where children are presented their certificates and applauded by their fellow pupils.