At The Belvedere Preparatory School, Music is taught as an academic subject in much the same way as other core curriculum subjects and ample time is devoted to this in the weekly school timetable. We pride ourselves in delivering the very best music education to our pupils. All children in the school learn how to read and write music in addition to choral training and exploring topic work on different periods from musical history and music from different parts of the world.
Each class has a 50 minute music lesson every week as part of their academic studies, in addition to the First School choir and Prep School choirs, which are compulsory elements of the school timetable.
The music curriculum is based on sound foundations in aural training, music theory and practical music making. Cross curricular links between music, mathematics, geography, history, art and literature are key elements in the topics which are studied.
In the First School, the focus is on fostering a love of music through singing, music and movement activities and developing coordination and aural awareness. Children in Nursery and Reception develop dexterity and fine motor skills through learning how to sing songs, adding instrumental parts with percussion instruments and enhancing their sense of ‘inner rhythm’ through kinaesthetic and multi-sensory activities. In Year 1, children will also develop aural awareness through vocal training and work with percussion instruments. They will also learn how to read rhythms and form rhythmic structures which they will then be able to play back and sing. This lays the foundations for composition, notation reading and writing, which will follow when they join the Prep School.
All children in First School are members of the First School choir, who have a 45 minute rehearsal each week. During this time children learn songs which are often sung in Friday morning assembly. Each session begins with a warm up which encourages good vocal technique and works on projecting the voice tunefully, with good breathing and posture.
In Year 2, children build on the foundations they have formed in the First School and begin to learn the basics of musical notation, timbre, texture, dynamics and colour. They learn how to sing using solfège and apply this to written notation.
This work continues into Years 3-6. Children in Years 3-6 will take ownership over their learning and they will each have a music folder where they will keep a record of their work. The foundations of music theory and musicianship are taught in a practical, non-compartmentalised fashion, so that children always connect theoretical work to practical activities.
In Years 4-6, children benefit from having 2 lessons per week. One lesson will be topic based, for instance ‘The music of S.E Asia’, a period of historical interest such as Baroque , Classical or Romantic periods or World Music.
The second lesson each week focuses on musicianship, aural and reading/notation writing skills.
We do aim to invite outreach groups into school to give practical workshops related to the topic area and in the Spring term, all children participate in a scheme of work devised by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra which culminates in the pupils attending a concert based on the scheme of work they have studied.
Every half term, each year group will rehearse and perform a musical or play. This is a super opportunity for children to refine their singing skills combined with dramatic enjoyment!