Learning to play an instrument is a valuable skill, but we firmly believe it can improve all students as learners and people.
That is why this year we have introduced a programme whereby all 76 junior school students are learning one of the following: Violin; Viola; Cello; Double Bass; Trumpet; French Horn; Trombone; Flute; Clarinet; Orchestral Percussion; and one harpist!
The programme so far has been a success with the vast majority of students seeming to enjoy the challenge of learning an orchestral instrument. Each student has a 25-minute session once a week, an evening practice session of half an hour and has been lent a starter instrument by the school. Many of the students are already playing in small ensembles and after Christmas, we will be looking to split the juniors into two orchestras which will run weekly for a 45-minute rehearsal in the evenings.
This experience of playing in a large ensemble will be transformative. Tom Dobney, the Head of the Creative Arts outlines, “There is no shortcut to learning an orchestral instrument; it’s a long and challenging educational journey and I think of the great benefit to the juniors in a world in which instant gratification is increasingly a norm.”