At Eliot Bank, we have numerous opportunities for children to be involved in music. Our music curriculum runs for all pupils throughout the year, introducing them to concepts such as pitch, tone, rhythm, composition, performing and listening. We have a wide range of instruments which are displayed in our new Music room and shared across the school for these lessons.
Due to the current Covid situation our opportunities for music have needed to be risk assessed and as such some areas such as singing and wind instrument playing have had to be stopped for the time being. This is a necessary precaution but we hope to resume all our musical opportunities as soon as possible.
Last year, we were joined by a new, fantastic Music teacher, Mr Prescott, who visits our school every week. Under normal circumstances Mr Prescott leads singing assemblies, teaches Reception, Years 1 – 2 and Year 6 and leads our amazing school choir. Our choir, for years 4, 5 and 6, normally has many chances to perform both in and out of school as part of Lewisham Music concerts and events. In the autumn term, for example, they take part in the Turning of the Year concerts at Blackheath Halls and visit Castlebar Nursing Home to sing carols. In the spring term, they perform at Lewisham Live at Broadway Theatre, Catford. The choir also leads some of the songs in our weekly assemblies and the carols at our own annual Carol Service. All of this singing has contributed to our Sing Up Award which recognises the wide range of opportunities for singing at Eliot Bank, in class, as a whole school and beyond the school in concerts.
In Year 4, all pupils take part in weekly Djembe Drumming lessons throughout the year. We have a full set of school drums for children to use and they get to show off their skills in the drumming concert at the end of the year. Some Year 3 children, who have attended Drumming Club, also get to perform with Pablo, our fantastic tutor from Lewisham Music.
In Year 5, all pupils take weekly guitar lessons throughout the year, using the school guitars, and they perform in a guitar assembly. In Year 6, especially keen guitarists are able to work on their skills in small tuition groups which take place after school then perform in the concert at the end of the year. Goff and Charlie, our fantastic tutors from Lewisham Music, perform too. It is a real treat to hear them play.
In Year 3, all pupils normally take part in weekly Recorder lessons taught by our Recorder and Flute tutor, Miss Black. Year 4, 5 and 6 children have the opportunity to take small group flute lessons after school with Miss Black, and the recorder and flute students perform in a concert at the end of the year.
We try to provide as many opportunities as possible for the children to experience quality live music. In the past, we have had a variety of performances, including one from "The Junk Orchestra" funded by EBSA and we are currently in the process of planning more live music to bring inspiration to the children when the current restrictions are lifted.
As a whole school, we introduced the Musical Term of the Week which has enabled the children to be able to talk about their musical learning and relate it to the song they have sung each week. Ask them on a Friday if they can explain the musical term for that week. Maybe they could demonstrate it by singing for you.
Rose Grosvenor, Arts Team Leader and Lucy Parker, Music Coordinator