Preparatory School Music
Bromsgrove Prep School has a thriving Music department, with high standards of both academic work and extra-curricular opportunities. We seek to create happy, moral and creative citizens and this is achieved through our School mission of flair, rigour and discipline.
There's an extensive Ensembles list ranging from Orchestra, Flute Group, Brass Band to Jazz Group, Rock School, Samba with much in-between. Rehearsals run throughout the year with a large variety of concerts on offer for pupils to perform in – whatever age or standard they are. Informal Lunchtime Concerts are arranged throughout the academic year to showcase and encourage emerging talent.
Perhaps the most significant and public ensemble is the Prep School Choir. The choir meets three times a week, singing regularly for pupils in Chapel. They also sing in concerts throughout the year and other special occasions. Recent events include singing at Birmingham Cathedral, St John’s Church, Bromsgrove and the Normal Power Centre in Ladywood. The choir enjoys a music tour, with recent visits to cities such as Paris, Rome and Edinburgh. The Prep School Choir also recently won their category at the Worcestershire Competitive Arts Festival, the first time that the group had entered the competition. In addition, the Choir recorded a number of carols on the School's Advent to Christmas CD
which can be purchased from the Music School.
In the classroom, music is taught in a number of ways using a variety of instruments and through singing, as well as academic theory which encourages every pupil to gain an appreciation of different musical styles. Visits to the nearby Symphony Hall in Birmingham enrich classroom teaching and encourage participation and learning. Visiting musicians and performers enhance the curriculum further providing opportunities for pupils to hear professional musicians at work.
Academic Music Syllabus
In their academic Music lessons, pupils receive a broad-balanced and differentiated curriculum. Year 3 pupils all receive a String instrument when arriving at the Prep School and receive instrumental lessons from specialist teachers throughout the year (free of charge).
Key Stage 2 and 3 lessons are topic based and pupils are assessed in three main areas: performing, composing, and listening and appraising.
Prep School Ensembles
A large number of Prep School pupils are members of at least one of our many ensembles, and children are encouraged to attend regular rehearsals so they can experience the many benefits of making music in a ‘team’. There are also a large number of performance opportunities for soloists, such as in our weekly assemblies and in informal concerts.
Brass Group: The brass group rehearse on a Tuesday Lunchtime from 12.50pm - 1.30pm. This is a group for all brass instrumental players, and all standards of playing can be accommodated. A complete variety of music is played throughout the year - depending on the group and its abilities. Everyone welcome.
Flute Group: The Prep School Flute Group is for any flute players in the Prep School who are grade one or above. The group meets on Fridays at 12.30pm and they play a selection of fun repertoire specially arranged for the group. We aim to perform at all Prep School concerts and, on occasion, in School assemblies.
Rock Band: An opportunity for rock / pop musicians in Years 7 and 8 to learn how to practise and perform in a band, using amplification. Bands have several opportunities to perform throughout the year, including at the Christmas and Summer concerts.
Ukulele Group: This is a fun group open to any student in the Prep School. They perform in many concerts and play a wide range of music. The group meets every Thursday lunchtime and no previous musical experience is required. Just come along, use one of our School ukuleles and have a go!
Prep School Concerts and Performances
There are many performance opportunities for our pupils throughout the year, including:
Lunchtime concerts, Junior and Senior Christmas concerts, Junior and Senior Summer concerts, Words and Music, Year 3 String Concerts, Piano recitals, Year 6 Production, Year 8 Production, Scholars' Concert.
Our Chapel Choir also performs at the major services throughout the academic year: Harvest, Remembrance, Advent, Christmas, Easter and the Leavers’ Service.
Our groups are entered for competitions, and our choirs and jazz band have won many awards at Upton Jazz and the Worcestershire Competitive Arts Festival.
Year 3 Strings Initiative
All pupils in Year 3 are part of an exciting new venture for music at Bromsgrove Preparatory School, which forms part of Bromsgrove School’s commitment to and development of the Performing Arts: as part of their class music lessons, each pupil will learn a string instrument in a group: violin, viola, cello or double bass. There is no additional cost to parents for this scheme.
There are huge gains to be found in learning an instrument including the development of many lifelong skills: concentration, patience, motor skills and memory, con?dence and sense of public performance, creativity and sensitivity, independence, team work and interaction with peers and adults, experimentation, understanding of our own culture and heritage as well as others, leadership, tolerance and respect. In future years and at higher levels, learning a musical instrument also counts towards university applications.
Our team of specialist string teachers, led by Miss Fiona Swadling (Head of Strings), will work with Mrs Jessica Russell (Prep School Music Teacher) to deliver an exciting new curriculum for Year 3. We are aware that, in addition to those who begin playing an instrument in September for the very first time, some pupils may already have begun tuition, and their needs will be catered to as part of the programme. Their class music lessons will be a valuable extra group learning experience in addition to an individual or shared lesson option, if they choose to take up separate instrumental lessons.
All string instruments will be loaned free of charge for the duration of Year 3, and we ask that parents encourage weekly regular practice at home so that progress can be made in between the group lessons. The culmination of the lessons will be a concert near the end of the Michaelmas Term which all of our Year 3 pupils will participate in.
The scheme will run throughout the academic year, and future events will be published online and in the white book. We anticipate that a start such as this would enable your child to continue with playing an instrument in Year 4 and beyond to reap the many rewards that music can bring and to give lifelong enjoyment and fulfilment.
This is a fantastic opportunity and one which the music department as a whole is hugely excited by.