Our aim is to provide many opportunities for our children to discover the joys of playing music through high-quality classroom teaching and Specialist Instrumental and Vocal tuition.
We believe in giving every child early and continuing experience of playing in a band and singing in a choir. It is the sense of being part of a team, playing in an ensemble that inspires the practice that is so vital to develop ability. We believe, and seek to instil in our children that ‘Practice does NOT make Perfect’ but rather ‘Practice makes Progress’ and that wrong notes are not just ‘OK’ but inevitable and essential in learning new skills.
We have choirs in each year group and bands at Form and Year Group level as well as a range of other ensembles that cross the age ranges. For example, our Strings Orchestra has 16 players ranging from Year 1 right through to Year 6!
We have around 120 instrumental lessons taught each week by our team of 12 visiting Specialists. Instruments learned include piano, guitar, saxophone, trombone, trumpet, drums, flute, violin and voice. Lessons are timetabled in strict rotation so that pupils do not miss the same lesson repeatedly although children are not permitted to miss Maths or English from January of Year 5 to December of Year 6, during the process of Secondary School selection. Applications for Individual lessons should be made through “MySchoolPortal/Co-Curricular.”
In class lessons, children will learn recorder and keyboard skills, work with music technology as well as enjoying the thrill of African drumming and Boomwhackers. Every child will learn to use notation, unlocking some of the doors to playing other instruments and indeed singing.
We provide many informal Performance opportunities in the course of a year, from the Open mic-style Friday morning concerts (when children just show up and take their turn to play a piece they have been working on to an audience of friends and other performers) through Assemblies and School Concerts, right through to the annual Musician of the Year Competition. In 2023, 86 children entered the process, from Year 1 up to Year 6, auditioning at Form level, going through to the Year Group semi-final, (voted on by pupils) with the final contested in front of a packed audience of parents and pupils.
We regularly have pupils winning Music Scholarships to prestigious schools such as Berkhamsted and Merchant Taylors. We also know that a great many more leave Gayhurst with a love for music that will last a lifetime.