Classroom Music and the JSK 'Bubble'

Term 4
After what has been a very trying year with ever increasing restrictions, Music has resumed for some of our ensembles in the Junior School. It has been nothing short of sheer joy to hear students playing and working together once more in our orchestral strings groups, percussion ensemble and fretted strings group. Whilst we are all a bit 'rusty' after such a long time of working alone, the skills of working together in ensemble are coming back quickly. With such a short time before the year's end, whilst each group is rejoicing to be back together, there are musical aims we are working toward. Our first Music Assembly will include these ensembles and soloists performing a selection of works. This will be videorecorded and then streamed to our community as many of our assemblies have been to date. Following that, our ensembles will be preparing for a Christmas service with a difference this year, as it will be professionally recorded.

Classroom and JSK 'Bubble'
Although being 'COVID-safe' has meant a lack of singing in Music classes, our teachers have been particularly creative and inventive in order to find alternative ways of making music together. Whether it be playing percussion, moving in response to music or demonstrating solfa with stepping-stones, our students in Junior School have returned to the joy of making music together – albeit through different avenues.

Most pleasingly of all, our Year 2 string students have developed as instrumentalists in their time of remote learning. Returning back onsite has, once again, been a joy for all in Year 2, as they share their learning with their peers – and meet their teachers 'in the flesh'!

Our instrumental students have continued to learn their instruments and an instrumental teaching 'bubble' was created onsite. With students meeting their teachers face-to-face in the Junior School precinct, Eric Stevens House is now alive and abuzz with piano, violin, cello, guitar lessons and more.

Interviewing the prospective Music Captains for 2021 revealed that the most important, essential ingredient of their ensemble experience is togetherness. Although this has been a slow and measured reintroduction of music, I am very keen to see how our students continue to develop and grow for the remainder of the year, in readiness for a fresh new start in 2021.

Timothy Barker
Head of Junior School Music