Music is part of everyday life at Spring Grove School. The Bill Jones Music Room incorporates a large teaching and orchestral space as well as two smaller teaching/practice rooms. Music at Spring Grove is taught by Mr Dray, a multi-instrumentalist with wide expertise and experience in both performance and music education.
Mr Dray leads a team of Visiting Music Teachers who go out of their way to nurture the talents of the children at Spring Grove. A large number of children from Years 1 to 6 have individual music lessons on a wide variety of instruments, and voice. Our visiting LAMDA teacher also offers lessons in the dramatic arts. We have a choir, ensembles, a folk band, a guitar group and an orchestra which all rehearse regularly.
Many SG pupils have been awarded music scholarships to local independent schools. The aim is that by the time they leave Spring Grove, all of our children will have gained the knowledge necessary to approach all types of music with a mature ear, combined with the positive experience to motivate them to do so.
Opportunities to perform
Spring Grove musicians are fortunate to have a wide range of opportunities to perform in concerts, assemblies, inside and outside the classroom. Our Informal Concerts are regular termly events that give all children, whatever their level of playing, an opportunity to perform. All children in the school are encouraged to sing and we consider that everyone – including the staff – is part of the school choir!
The school has a tradition of performing high-quality musicals. For the past 10 years we have staged some brilliant annual performances and we produce two musicals a year for Years 3 and 4 (end of the Spring term) and for Years 5 and 6 (end of the Summer term). Our School Prom concert in 2021 was one of the first opportunities to invite parents back into school after lockdown, and was a fantastic showcase for our talented pupils. You can watch some of the highlights here.
Spring Grove is often asked to provide musicians for local events such as the Service of Remembrance at Wye Church, music for the residents at a local Care Home and a Good Friday Procession through the village. At Christmas our school choir is honoured to perform in Canterbury Cathedral at the Princess of Wales’s Regiment Carol Service.
Music in the Curriculum
School music plays an important role in the intellectual development of a child, and many studies have shown its positive impact. It has the unique ability to excite or relax, stimulate or calm, invigorate or soothe, or simply to entertain. It has the power to directly and positively impact the wellbeing of a child, both instantaneously and over a period of time. It is a very important part of each child’s experience at Spring Grove.
Children begin their musical journey when they start at SG, beginning with Nursery music sessions. From Reception class onwards, all children have an hour long weekly lesson. In addition, they can join in with choirs, orchestras and small ensembles to complement the work of the classroom and further enrich their musical world.
Lessons are taught by Mr Dray, a music specialist whose instrumental skills include the keyboards, Celtic harp, mandolin, guitar, accordion and electric bass. The music curriculum is broad based with a strong practical approach, allowing children to sing and to play many different types of instruments. As they discover the language of music, theoretical knowledge and notation is introduced, the relevance of which is considerably enhanced by the child’s practical musicianship skills. To fit everything into context, the history of music and musical cultures is taught with a focus on listening to music from all eras.
The ultimate aim is to promote a well rounded, exciting musical world with the tactile satisfaction of playing instruments combined with enough theoretical knowledge to be able to fully appreciate and create music. Of the many stated benefits of a musical education, above all, we believe that it should be fun!
Come and visit our vibrant music department and see and hear for yourself!