Music lessons at Brompton Hall are planned with the intention of helping boys in Keystages 2 and 3 to enjoy and understand music from a wide variety of historical periods, styles, traditions, and genres. They will do this by composing their own music, learning to perform the music of others and asking and answering questions about the recorded and live music they listen to during lessons and workshops.
Pupils in Keystages 2 and 3 participate in one music lesson per week. These lessons encourage them to admire the work of musicians, past and present, and to respect the achievements of each other and themselves.
They are taught and enabled to:
- Perform music on a range of instruments including percussion, ukuleles and keyboards
- Use their voices to sing songs and improvise or compose their own music.
- Perform individually and as part of a group.
- Improvise and compose their own music, using devices and structures to develop and extend their ideas.
- Listen to high quality performances, live and recorded, of music from a wide range of styles, eras, cultures and traditions.
- Deepen their understanding of this music by responding to different types of question about what they have listened to.
- Form, express and explain their opinions about the music they listen to.
Every year we host workshops given by professional musicians. Over the last four years we have been visited by groups as diverse as a folk band, jazz ensemble, guitarist, recorder player and opera singers, harp and flute duo and brass quintet. These performances are organised and subsidised by Live Music Now and give all boys in Keystages 2 and 3 the opportunity to listen to live music and work with musicians from different backgrounds and styles. The school has also hosted a Musician in Residence scheme that gave some pupils opportunities to develop their skills and experiences further and, as part of this, has trained a Teaching Assistant to continue this programme.
Music lessons and additional experiences offered through the school have improved the confidence and social skills of many pupils. In lessons we see many examples of one student helping another; this can be by demonstrating or explaining a task or by playing alongside that pupil to provide them with a richer experience as they make music. Many pupils have initiated ways of extending what they experience in lessons such as by buying instruments to learn at home and by participating in music activities as part of the 24-hour curriculum provided at Brompton Hall School.
Listening to a range of music improves pupils’ tolerance of and exposure to aspects of cultures that are different from their own and they are encouraged to appreciate quality even of a style they do not like.
Some units of the Scheme of Work are planned to support learning in other parts of the curriculum such as Asian music when they study Asia in Geography or music of the Shang dynasty or of World War II when they learn about these in the Juniors classroom.
Photos of the students in action