Students in year I, II and III have two 50 minute music lessons per week. We study the history of music, practise singing, learn about theory and even try to do some of our own compositions. There is a vocal ensemble which performs at assemblies and has recently performed at a Music for Youth Festival in London. There is an instrumental ensemble which also performs at assemblies and special events within the school.
At St. John's we currently offer private lessons through visiting peripatetic staff in guitar, violin, woodwind instruments and drums. Many of these students perform in assemblies and are working towards an exam in their instrument.
We put on a school production every year and in doing so aim to involve as many students as much as possible. They have been involved in choreography, lights, building scenery, collecting props, and of course, being on the stage.
This teamwork is important for students as it can create a helpful and supportive atmosphere and in doing so I have had the satisfaction of seeing students build friendships across the age groups.
My philosophy of music is that its aim is to communicate 'feeling'; everything from everyday emotion to that which can transport one's mind to a different place and create a picture, mood or new depth of understanding. In order to do this, one must constantly strive to perfect; whether the music is learned or original. All music is meant to be shared or communicated in some way, whether it is for two people or one hundred. Our aim at St. John's is to encourage more people to share their skills and communicate to and with us. Students who do not study an instrument can participate fully in lessons by exercising their creative side during composition sessions.
Music brings people together. It is our common language. It is my aim that at St. John's we can tap into as much potential as possible.