Music curriculum

St. Paul’s School has a full and balanced music curriculum, which ranges from age 3 to 18 and covers a range of disciplines and musical genres.

Pre-Prep

In the Pre-Prep the emphasis is on fun music making. There are two half-hour music sessions each week for all classes.  Singing is at the core of the music curriculum in Pre-Prep, with an emphasis on good posture, breath control and tone from the outset.

The school has a good stock of percussion instruments, which are used for rhythm games, improvisation and composition.  In PP3 pupils start to learn the recorder. The children listen to music in a variety of styles and from different cultures.

The various elements of music are introduced and the foundations of music reading are laid, through musical games and activities.  Pupils have the opportunity to learn instruments privately with a dedicated teacher through our carefully designed music tuition programme.

Music also plays an important part in other areas of the curriculum, with class teachers using song and percussion to enhance learning. Collaborative learning with the art department is a strong feature and reaches a climax during the annual Arts week.  All pupils take part in two sung productions per year.

Prep

In the Prep School pupils are taught theory and the foundations of music more formally.  The importance of singing is maintained and pupils continue to play the recorder in the first year. A wider range of tuned percussion is introduced and all pupils are introduced to the electric keyboard and to music notation software. They are encouraged to compose and to improvise.

Pupils are introduced to music from the great masters of Western Classical music and also study musical traditions from Brazil and other countries. Regular class concerts and more formal concerts give them an opportunity to perform as instrumentalists and singers and to appraise each other’s work. All pupils take part in two sung productions per year.

Senior

In Forms 1 to 3, all music lessons are practical and there is a focus on the development of performing and composing skills, alongside developing musical understanding and knowledge.

The formal tuition of theory underpins all learning in order to enhance skills and many pupils sit the LCM theory of music graded examinations. A wide range of topics are explored including music from the Western Classical tradition, popular music and jazz, film music and world music.

All pupils learn to play keyboards, sing, and to play Brazilian percussion instruments, working on their own and in groups. Pupils are also encouraged to perform on their own instruments. There is extensive use of music ICT and pupils use the latest editions of music notation and sequencing software to explore compositional techniques.

In Forms 4 and 5 pupils can either choose the IGCSE in music or the Music International BTEC.