Students in the Primary School sing and play recorder in class every day. From class 3 all students learn a stringed instrument (violin, viola or cello) and from class 4 participate in one of the various orchestras and ensembles. Choir happens from class 4. From class 6, students may choose to take up another instrument including woodwind, percussion, voice, or guitar.
Music is an essential element of the curriculum offered in Steiner Education. Music deeply nurtures the physical,emotional, mental and spiritual aspects of the growing child. It enriches the learning process of each individual, enlivens the family home, enhances the atmosphere of the classroom and draws together the whole school community. Acquiring the skills and tools for artistic expression offers an opportunity to explore and experience the highest qualities of what it is to be human.
Individual music lessons and orchestra/ensemble pieces are closely linked in with the songs, époques and cultural studiesof the main lessons, seasons and classroom activities. This opens a broad and rich array of music from various cultures around the world for music staff to bring to each lesson. The Classical Western music tradition forms the backbone of the repertoire taught and studied at Sophia Mundi. Students also explore Composition, Improvisation, Note reading,Expression, Rhythm, Theory, Technique, Genre and Playing from Ear. All these aspects of music are presented in an integrated way appropriate to each year level and to the specific developmental stages of each child.
Music in the Primary School
Throughout the Primary classes music is interwoven into the daily flow of each class through song, rhyme, musical games and recorder playing. In Class 3 all students take up the violin, viola or cello. Playing a stringed instrument at this time in a child’s life develops neural pathways connecting to fine and gross motor skills. Ear, hand, eye coordination is refined as they learn to sense, feel, hear and observe the correct pitch of each note on an unfretted instrument. The quality of sound production is a major focus as students learn to move the bow across the strings with grace and flow to produce a rich,warm and appealing tone. Students are essentially learning to fine tune and resonate themselves as much as the instruments they are playing. Students in classes 3-6 also take part in class orchestras, held on a weekly basis.
Music in the Secondary School
Students in Classes 7-12 may continue with their string instrument and/or learn guitar, bass guitar, piano, percussion, drumkit, voice or flute. Older students have the option to sit Music Exams that can provide great focus and impetus for extended learning. All students in classes 7-10 take part in one of several weekly ensembles (guitar, strings, senior strings, choir & contemporary band). By class 11 students can elect to study music as a part of their International Baccalaureate.
Homeplay Diary & Parental Support
Parental involvement is essential for optimal learning of a musical instrument. GentleStrings Tuition starts in grade 3 perseverance, guidance and parental support are key factors in ensuring a positive musical experience for your child. Each child is given a Music Homeplay Diary at the beginning of the year that will last the duration of the year. The Home-play Diary plays a key role in communication between teacher, student and parent. Showing an active interest in your child’s lessons, homeplay practice and general progress is vital and contributes greatly to a rich experience of music in the schooling years. It is important to establish a good connection with the music teacher and to really understand how best to support your child with their homeplay goals.
Music Tuition Agreement
The Music Tuition Agreement outlines what to do for missed lessons, family holidays, lesson credits, teacher absentee etc.
Concerts and Music Events
The school’s musical calendar is very rich and full with numerous festivals, events and concerts occurring throughout the entire school year. Some of the festivals students may play at are: Shrove Tuesday, Harvest Festival, Maypole Dance, Lantern Festival, Mid-Winter Festival and the Spring Fair. Other events are Open Days, Class Concerts, Senior Ensembles Concert and various busking opportunities throughout the year. To view all the events, festivals and concerts see the Calendar. Music excursions and guest musicians also form a strong part of the Music Programme. Some of these events are free to attend. Others may require a small fee to cover costs. Events chosen will be age and interest appropriate and will be made in consultation with Primary and Secondary School Faculties.
Sophia Mundi has an excellent Music Faculty consisting of teachers and performers who are all highly experienced and well qualified to teach in a contemporary inner city Steiner School. They are all active musicians involved in various classical or contemporary orchestras’, bands, ensembles, choirs and musical groups.
Instrument Purchase and Hire
Families often buy the instrument for their child. The school also has a register of second-hand instruments for sale. Please contact the office for more information.
For further information, please contact the Music Coordinator, Myfanwy Alderson.