Music at Our Lady of Lourdes
Music is a very important part of everyday life at Our Lady of Lourdes. Our main objective is to instil and foster a lifelong love and understanding of music and enable them with the skills and the confidence to take up music at a higher level and fulfil their highest potential. We are committed to providing an enjoyable and enriching music education for all our pupils.
This means that every child at Lourdes, whatever their individual ability or need, engages in quality music education from their very first days at school until the end of Year 6. They participate in weekly music assemblies and a 30-minute curriculum music lesson with a Music Specialist. We encourage the children to participate in a variety of music experiences and to take part in a range of extended learning and extra curriculum opportunities.
Singing lies at the heart of our music curriculum and through it our pupils learn how to communicate with others and about the structure and organisation of music. We teach the children how to listen with increasing concentration and appreciate different types (genres) of music. Through our weekly sessions, children at Lourdes learn to develop their descriptive skills and explore how music can represent feelings and emotions. We teach children how to make music together and becoming confident performers, how to understand musical notation, and how to compose pieces. In Key Stage 2 all children learn to play the recorder.
Opportunities for performance and enriched music learning
We believe that music enriches the lives of people and it is our aim at Lourdes to involve as many children as possible in musical activities. We have a large and enthusiastic Key Stage 2 choir which takes in over 100 children from Years 3 – 6. The choir meets weekly and we perform in and out of school as well providing music for Masses and liturgical events within our parish community. The choir performs at the Royal Albert Hall annually as well as at the O2 (Young Voices), Cliffs Pavilion (Junior Music Festival), Palace Theatre (Southend Makes Music) and at other venues and events around the area and beyond (guest choir at Southend Choral Society Christmas Concerts, at local Care Homes, Brentwood Cathedral etc).
All of our Key Stage 2 children sing in our Christmas Carol Service at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, in their Stay and Pray sessions termly as well as being given the chance to perform in our more informal Talent Shows from time to time. Our Year 6 traditionally culminate their time at the school with a large-scale, all singing-dancing production! Past productions have included The Greatest Showman, Aladdin, Joseph and Mary Poppins amongst others.
From time to time, during the year we will take part in different events organised by Music on Sea, our local music hub. For example, last term some of our Key Stage 2 boys were given the opportunity to sing with the BBC Singers and Southend Boys Choir in a series of workshops alongside primary aged boys from other local schools.
Our younger children take part in the Infant Music Festival as well as perform in Nativities and assemblies throughout the year.We are always looking for opportunities to invite musicians to perform and work with the children. Last year some of our Key Stage 1 children explored making sounds with every day objects during a “Junk Music” workshop.
From Year 3 on our pupils are given the opportunity to learn an instrument and have individual tuition during the school day. At present we have seven peripatetic teachers teaching instruments such as the flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, guitar, cello, harp, piano, drums and French horn. We are the only school in South East Essex to have our own Harp Ensemble who perform in local music festivals and at the annual Southend Makes Music concert at the Palace Theatre.
Each term we organise a Music Showcase event for any child learning an instrument to take part in. These informal concerts give the performers a chance to play to an audience of invited family members and selected year groups from the school.
We strive to encourage our musicians to take advantage of the various ensembles that are organised by the local music hub “Music-on-Sea” after school and during holidays, these give the children to meet other
like-minded children form other schools and start to learn how to play as part of a group! A fantastic and fun learning experience!
Looking to the future, we will be starting a new Recorder Ensemble in January 2019 and will be piloting Musical Communication sessions for our youngest children with additional needs.