Music plays a very important part of life at SVPS. It is a subject which all children enjoy and take part in, and we strive for excellence in every aspect of music-making.
The music curriculum is based on the three core strands of performing, listening and composing, with the greatest emphasis on the first of these.
Children throughout the school receive two half-hour music lessons each week and at every stage we aim to engender enjoyment of music, whilst developing skills and building confidence. All children are encouraged to sing, play and perform, both by themselves and with others. The ability to listen is developed from the outset and is central to the subject. Singing is a major part of the curriculum, and good intonation, posture and breathing is encouraged from the beginning.
During the Pre-Prep stage the various elements of music are introduced and the foundations of music reading are laid, through musical games and activities. During Years 3 and 4 all children are taught to play the ocarina and gain experience of playing together and learning to read music from graphic and musical notation. In Years 5 and 6, the children build on these skills through learning simple tunes and chords on the ukulele. Composition features more prominently in the curriculum throughout, and children in all years listen to short extracts of a variety of different styles of music.
Regular performances are staged throughout the year and a proportion of curriculum time is spent rehearsing for these. Each term we hold formal and informal concerts and shows, and music plays a major part in our Christmas celebrations throughout the school.
Singing is a great strength of the school and we currently run four choirs. Three of these are open to all: Pre-Prep Choir, Junior Choir and Senior Choir. Members of the Senior Choir are invited to audition for the Chamber Choir, a small ensemble performing more challenging repertoire. We also have a wide range of instrumental groups, including a brass group, two guitar groups, a string orchestra, a full orchestra, SuperStrings (for those in the early stages of learning) and a flute choir.
Many children take individual music lessons in a wide range of instruments and we have fourteen visiting music teachers to deliver these lessons.