Music is seen as an integral part of the curriculum at Milbourne Lodge. Learning to play and appreciate music can encourage participation, teamwork, and a sense of group identity as well as increasing creativity.
Music develops the children’s ability to understand themselves and relate to others, thus promoting self-confidence and social skills. It can also support learning in other subject areas. The ability to listen and concentrate and the facility for self-expression are useful life skills.
The teaching of music in class is primarily aimed at developing the children’s understanding and appreciation of the subject. Pupils’ natural musicianship skills are developed and honed through singing and aural work (to develop musical memory, the inner ear and a true sense of pitch), use of classroom percussion (to develop a sense of rhythm and pulse) and through exploring the four main pillars of the music curriculum: performing, composing, listening and appraising.
All pupils are taught to sing and to play tuned and untuned percussion and are introduced to the basics of music theory in class. Pupils in our Prep School (Year 3) learn how to play the recorder and read treble clef notation as part of their weekly curriculum lessons. They also undertake a comprehensive project on ‘The Orchestra’ in class. Many of them then go on to take up an orchestral instrument as a result.
We have a team of peripatetic music staff who offer tuition on a range of instruments including: flute, saxophone, clarinet, guitar, oboe, violin, cello, trumpet, piano, percussion and recorder. Individual theory of music and singing lessons are also available. Lessons are mostly during the lunch-hour, games time or after school. All pupils learning an instrument have the chance to perform in various school music ensembles such as the Concert Band and String Ensemble. There are musical events each term, including the Carol Concert in the Autumn Term, the Spring Term Showcase Concert and the annual House Music Competition in the Summer term. The musical ensembles and individual instrumentalists also perform at the Dickensian Evening and the Summer Show.
The school also has a thriving choral department and pupils are encouraged to join either the Junior or Senior choir. These choirs participate in various concerts and events, to which all parents are welcome.
Children with outstanding musical talent have the opportunity to try for Music Scholarships and numerous music awards have been won to many of the major independent senior schools.