The Music Department has its own building which has 7 practice/teaching rooms equipped with pianos, and an electronic drum kit plus a large teaching room with 10 electronic keyboards harpsichord, harp and a dedicated professional recording studio.
The Hargreaves Hall is host to school assemblies, Chapel and Junior Choir rehearsals plus informal and the more formal end of term concerts. All main orchestral instruments are taught by a dedicated team of visiting music teachers, some of whom also direct school ensembles. Pupils have various opportunities to visit local choral, orchestral and chamber concerts during the year such as the Halle, Derby Concert Orchestra and Chethams School of Music developing a wider understanding and knowledge of music. Visiting workshops are varied ranging from Jazz pianists to the prestigious Chethams School of Music.
The Music Department is led by Head of Music, Mark Percival and Head of Junior Music, Nichola Dinnigan. In addition to private pupil lessons each week, one on one coaching is undertaken developing music theory, performance and aural skills. This bespoke education is a vital element to ensure the quality and standard of performance in the S. Anselm’s music department remains incredibly high.
The department has many ensembles including Swing Band, Brass Band, Guitar Ensemble, Wind Band, Sax Group, Flute Ensemble, Djembe Group Boys A Capella Group and Recorder Group plus three choirs which rehearse during the week. Informal concerts take place at every exeat weekend and the larger end of term concerts are held in the Hargreaves Hall and All Saint’s Church in Bakewell. Additional concerts also take place in the wider community including Chatsworth, Matlock and Darley Dale. The children also have the opportunity to perform in the school assemblies every Monday and Friday.
In-house competitions provide an exciting edge to music and S. Anselm’s School hosts a Piano competition with adjudication from Peter Lawson, Chethams School of Music and RNCM.
Pupils participate in the Buxton & Chesterfield Music Festivals and go on tour to the prestigious Stowe Prep School Choral Days.
Class recorder and class violin lessons rotate within the year and music in the classroom follows a scheme of work which encourages composition, improvisation & performance incorporating the ingenious Kodaly Method. The children also learn about the history of music & how it relates to other world events of that particular period. The pupils also enjoy using a diverse range of percussion in their lessons from djembe drums to boomwhackers.