Music is a way of life at Warlingham Park School. Singing is something that seems to come naturally to every child and this is encouraged from the minute they begin their musical studies at the school. Singing is so strong at the school that we have been awarded the Platinum Sing-up Award – one of only two Surrey schools to have received such an accolade.
Children learn the Kodaly method, helping to train their inner ear and develop the musical ear. This approach gives every child confidence and the ability musically to enhance the rest of their lives.
In Nursery the children enjoy singing a variety of songs traditional and new, sub-consciously introducing all the musical concepts. They experience lots of instruments and enjoy listening and experiencing live and recorded music using bubbles, scarves, ribbons and the parachute.
This is developed in Pre-School where they begin to learn to work as a group, singing, taking turns, listening and responding and, most importantly, enjoying music. The children also learn songs and actions for a Summer Concert and our Nativity Play.
Children learn many songs for performance in the Infants, alongside listening to and performing music to confirm the musical elements, consciously. They enjoy experiencing many different styles of music and instruments and learn in a very active and fun way to help confirm the learning. By this age the children are growing in musical confidence, knowledge and understanding. Every week the children learn hymns that are sung with much enthusiasm in assembly.
In Year 3, the whole class learns the violin and fife for a term. This is a wonderful opportunity for the children to experience another instrument. They also spend one term each year preparing for a performance which entails learning and exploring the songs. They learn techniques to overcome timing, tuning and any other problems they may encounter. They also learn songs in the same way for Festivals, Concerts and Events.
The children learn many other songs and rounds where they have to work together, gain confidence in their individual ability and a huge sense of achievement. Through the songs, they are learning about rounds, ostinatos, different music and styles. They play singing games which are fun and teach them about rhythm, hearing the tune and pulse in our heads, solo singing, using their imaginations, working as a team and achieving.
The older children learn about syncopation, tone set, ostinatos, time signatures, notes, rests, form, dynamics, instruments of the orchestra and recognising instruments from their sound and by sight. The children learn how music portrays different moods and then create these concepts individually. They experience different kinds of music from all over the world, for example: Saint Saens – The Carnival of the Animals, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, Mozart and Mahler. They learn how to write music down in solfa, notation and score just from hearing the music. They compose and perform music regularly including a Christmas carol competition.
A wide range of musical activity is available to every child including Infant Choir, Junior Choir, Recorders, Fife and Sight Singing. A number of peripatetic teachers come to the school offering private and group tuition in: piano, drums, woodwind, strings, brass and singing. The children have the opportunity to take graded exams.
The school choir perform many times throughout the year, including the O2 Arena, local events, local homes for the elderly, church, festivals, fairs, Fairfield Halls, and to help raise money for charity. Every year there are also music trips including the School’s Prom at the Royal Albert Hall.