The Music Department has its own building which has 7 practice/teaching rooms equipped with pianos and an electronic drum kit, a large teaching room with 10 electronic keyboards and a dedicated recording studio. We use the Hargreaves Hall for the informal & the more formal end of term concerts. All main orchestral instruments are taught by a dedicated team of visiting music teachers many of whom also direct the school ensembles. The children have the opportunity to visit local orchestral concerts such as the Halle and Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra to develop a wider understanding and knowledge of music.
Our Director of Performance, Mark Percival, is in school 3 days each week to rehearse the choirs and wind ensembles. He also gives 1 to 1 coaching to all the children learning an instrument in addition to their private lesson each week to develop 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. We also have wide range of visiting artists giving workshops, master classes and concerts to the pupils.
The department has many ensembles and four 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 or at All Saint’s Church in Bakewell. The children also have the opportunity to perform in the school assemblies every Monday and Friday.
The annual House Music Competition is adjudicated by a Guest Director of Music. The children learn a set song and an own choice song from a set theme.
The department takes part in the local Buxton & Chesterfield Music Festivals as well as the prestigious annual Stowe Prep School Choral Day.
In class we have a scheme where all the Junior pupils learn an instrument as part of their weekly music lesson:
Year 3 pupils learn the recorder; this is a good grounding in reading music and playing together as an ensemble.
Year 4 pupils move on to the keyboard, a vital skill for every child.
Year 5 pupils all learn the violin led by the violin teacher, Mrs Dobbin and the Director of Music Mrs Dinnigan.
In the classroom the children follow a scheme of work which encourages composition, improvisation & performance. 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.
All the children from reception to year 7 have a Kodaly session each week as part of their class music lesson. Zoltan Kodaly was an inspirational Hungarian composer and educator who developed a method where the voice is used to teach children.