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Music and Dance

As an integral part of the school, the children's music and dance lessons provide them with the opportunity to enrich themselves.  Hidden talents are often revealed and developed through both observation and performance.

 

St Alfege 16 
Through the school's close links with St Alfege Church, a choir has been set up that draws together children from our school and also from the congregation of St Alfege Church.  The choir is an opportunity for children to experience what it is like to be in a real choir with a professional conductor and the hope is that eventually some children may graduate from this choir into the prestigious St Alfege Church choir. 
 
Choir Concert
Our school choir was invited to take part in a concert with other schools from the local area. The concert took place at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel on Monday, 8 December and all that took part were amazing representing the school and ensuring that we were the happiest looking choir at the concert! Please follow this link to watch the performance the children did.  It is a private link so please don't share it on any social media websites. 
 

Music 

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During their music lessons, children are encouraged to listen, with an open mind, to a wide range of different genres of music.  After listening intently, they learn to comment in an intellectual way on the different parts of the music.  In the early years we focus on how the music makes us feel, and later on we begin to use technical language to discuss the music at a level more commonly found at secondary school.

Performance

Performance is also an integral part to our lessons; children in years 3, 4 and 5 have the opportunity to learn the recorder in a class situation.  Lower down the school, children learn songs and perform them within assemblies to encourage a performance culture.  The highlight of the music performance calendar is when all the Arts Enrichment teams come together and put on a show with the year 6 class.  Past performances have included; The Lion King, Cats, Hairspray and Annie.

 

Composing

As well as performing pieces of music that have been written by other composers, the children also have the opportunity to perform their own compositions to each other.   We tend to base our compositions upon a specific theme that usually relates to the topics the children are studying with their class teacher.  Past examples include: using photos to compose a piece about war, using river poems to write music about water, and song writing with year 6.

 

Other Music

Outside of class music lessons children have access to a scholarship scheme whereby they can learn to play either the trumpet or trombone.  These lessons were generously set up with a grant from members of the St Alfege Church congregation and are given to pupils who show exceptional talent in music.  Currently we have 10 pupils learning the trumpet and 4 the trombone. All pupils are taught by a professional musician, Chris Augustine, who can regularly be found playing with some of the top orchestras in London and conducting brass bands across London.  Excitingly, we had our first student, Judith Mailei taking her Grade 1 trumpet exam having only been learning for a year.  She did exceptionally well!

There are also a range of singing ensembles that the children can join in.  Safari Beats is a highly regarded singing ensemble run by Joanne Newton, that is regularly requested to perform at many events across the Royal Borough of Greenwich.  Recently they have performed for the Mayor's Inauguration in the Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College, and for a festival at the Quaggy Centre in Deptford.  New this year is a singing group for years 1 - 3 run by Emma McKinnon and Becky Teagle.  They will be helping to give the younger children performance opportunities to help them become more confident singers and also help them to enjoy singing more.  There is also a school choir that does many concerts throughout the year.  This academic year they will be performing in a cluster choir with other schools from Greenwich and also at a Lessons and Carols Service with Downe Primary School at St Alfege Church Greenwich.

Concerts

At St Alfege we try to offer the opportunity to see as much live music as possible.  Through our links with St Alfege Church we take children to watch their recital series.  We have also been to the Festival Hall at Southbank to watch the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform and a few families went to watch a special childrens concert at the Royal Albert Hall called Prom Praise 4 Schools performed by the All Souls Orchestra.

Home Learning

These are a few ideas below of some activities you can do with your children at home to help them improve their musical abilities.  There is also a list of apps and websites that you can access for the children to do some self directed learning.  Please note, none of this learning is compulsory, just suggested.

Listening

When listening to any music,  consider asking your child the following questions:

  • How does the music make you feel?
  • What do you think might be happening in the music and why?
  • When do you think this music may have been written and why? (You could research this together afterwards)
  • What instruments can you hear playing in the music?
  • (Year 1 upwards) Can you tell me anything about the pulse/tempo/melody/texture/dynamics?

Apps and Websites

These are applications and websites that other people have found useful for music. Please be careful as some apps may have in application purchases.

  • Beatwave - An app for making beats with a flick of your finger.
  • Mibblio - A musical story app
  • Tap A Tune - A musical app for younger 
  • GarageBand - An app that is a good composition tool for older children.
  • Graphic Composer - An Easy way to create music using drawings on a screen.
  • BlobChorus - A game for training your musical ear.
  • Interactive Piano - Your children may find this Virtual Keyboard fun to mess about with.
  • Musical Mysteries - A website where you can learn about different musical instruments.

Performances

Last year children at St Alfege School had lots of performance opportunities.  We had children performing at the Old Royal Naval college, at St Alfege Church and also many times to other children and parents within the school.