At Lingfield College Prep we aim to foster and encourage a lifelong enjoyment of music through singing, composing, performing and observing. There is clear and compelling evidence for the links between playing an instrument and improved performance in Maths and English, particularly reading. Children gain a real sense of achievement and enhance their social and team skills as well as developing an appreciation for the pleasure that music can bring to themselves and others.
The Music Curriculum
Children begin to learn to read and write musical notation from Reception onwards, following the internationally renowned principles of Kodaly and Dalcroze. We use singing games and movement to create a secure grounding for a child to begin instrumental tuition. The national curriculum strands of listening, appraising, performing and composing are linked to class topics wherever possible and appropriate.
Every child from Year 2 until the end of Year 5 learns to play the recorder, through which the musical concepts being studied during class lessons are reinforced. The children are encouraged to practise regularly which eases their transition to other instrumental playing. They are grouped by ability after the first term and benefit from ongoing assessments. Once their hands are big enough children can move on to the larger treble and tenor recorders. We offer extra support to children who join our School with no playing experience.
Every child should have the opportunity to shine, and for many, this happens in Music. There are early morning instrumental concerts for each Key Stage 2 class annually, during which all children perform to their parents and plenty of other opportunities to perform to peers in assemblies. Older children are given the opportunity to play with our Senior School ensembles if their level of competence and commitment allows it. Our termly after-school concerts, Celebration Day, Carol Service and Open Morning enable all music groups to work towards regular performances. We love to share our music-making with others; we have performing links with our neighbouring schools and care homes, and we participate enthusiastically in local music festivals.
There is a weekly Music session for Nursery children. In Reception and Key Stage 1, the children have two Music sessions of 30 minutes per week; Year 2 start to learn the recorder in one of these sessions. In Key Stage 2 the children have a class lesson of 35 minutes and a recorder lesson of 30 minutes per week. Both Key Stages also meet separately once a week for singing practice.
Digital learning is part of the musical experience for all Lingfield pupils, using a range of programmes from Key Stage 1 onwards. From Year 4 pupils use Sibelius software to notate songs they know and, as they become more familiar with the software, they may use it to create their own compositions. IPads are used for research and composition, and children regularly record and assess their own work and each others.
Regular Music Groups
Music groups run all year and include the instrumental groups and year group choirs from Key Stage 2 (KS2) onwards. Players of all orchestral instruments may join the relevant group as soon as their teacher feels they are ready, providing them with a nurturing environment in which to gain confidence playing with others. Children do not have to learn their instruments in school to play in these groups.
Children are selected for the Lingfield Prep Orchestra when they reach a Grade 2 or 3 standard of playing. Membership of the orchestra and our Chamber Choir is a real honour, reflecting the hard work that the children have put into developing their musical talent and ability. These children represent the School at festivals and other prestigious occasions. However, although high standards are celebrated and rewarded, the main purpose of these groups is to have fun making music together.
Our music groups are free of charge and run by experienced music and peripatetic teachers. The caring ethos of our school is particularly evident in these activities as the older, more experienced children delight in supporting the younger ones.
Music clubs run in line with the school co-curricular timetable and children sign up each term. The clubs vary but typically may include Key Stage 1 percussion as well as ukulele, recorders, band workshops and our ever-popular Samba Band and Sing-A-Ling Chorus.
Supporting the children who learn instruments in school through music exams is of the utmost importance to us. We offer aural training classes and extra sight-reading tuition in the run-up to the Grade exam sessions that are held here.