The corridors of Newlands have certainly been alive with ‘the sound of music’ again this term as we continue to provide our wonderful children with a rich and broad curriculum in these unusual times. On the website currently, are the results of the teaching and learning in years 3, 5 and 6 and as music leader, I wanted to share the children’s learning journey with you all as the videos don’t tell you the complete story of this term’s hard work. The children in Year 3 and 5 have been receiving weekly ukulele lessons from the Hampshire Music Service (for free!) as part of the Winchfield Music Festival’s outreach work. The classes have had six lessons each and have learnt different ways to strum the ukulele, how to play single notes and then progressed onto playing chords. The children in Year 5 have also learnt how a 12-bar-blues is constructed and have worked on composition as well. The children’s Christmas videos show what an amazing journey the classes have been on from lesson 1, where most of the class had never played a ukulele or guitar before, to lesson 6 where they could play and sing at the same time and perform in an ensemble. The children in Year 6 had an equally tricky challenge to become a percussion ensemble that would follow a simple score and to perform a carol that used harmony rather than just melody. Playing in a large ensemble isn’t as easy as Year 6 made it look and the children also had a huge input to the structure of their performance. The video doesn’t do the sound quality justice – the corridors really did sound magical when the chords were resonating around the school and I hope we can share this experience with you for real when we are finally allowed to perform to you again in a live situation. Finally, I am delighted to announce that we have been successful in securing a grant from the Winchfield Music Festival that will enable us to buy a class-set of ukuleles and further develop our African drum set in the New Year. The grant, which has been generously matched by FONDS, will enable us to continue working towards our goal of having a musically literate school and enable us to offer whole-class music lessons on both tuned and untuned percussion as well as the ukulele as our children move through the school. I am incredibly excited about being able to offer our children these amazing experiences and I feel so thankful that we have such a rich and varied set of resources in our school to inspire our pupils. I’d like to thank the wonderful FONDS team, who work so hard for our school, and every parent and family who supports everything that FONDS do. Without you all, we wouldn’t be able to provide this level of musical resource in our school.
I am delighted to announce the children will be writing a whole-school song with the aim of recording it as a CD. The project is being funded by the Winchfield Music Festival and will be led by Sue Riggs from the Hampshire Music Service.
We had planned to launch the project with the children when we returned to school after the Easter break. Each class would then have had time to work with Mrs Riggs over a number of weeks to write lyrics for different verses and the chorus before pulling all the parts together to record the song as a CD, ready to launch by the end of term. Due to the current situation, we have had to adapt how the project will come together and Mr Gray has been working with Mrs Riggs to plan an alternative.
On this page of the website, you will find an introductory video from Mrs Riggs, a copy of the backing track for the song and a planning sheet for your ideas. Please follow the instructions on the planning sheet and ensure your ideas are emailed to Mrs Riggs before May 22nd. Mrs Riggs will then compile the ideas and produce the final version of the song. By then, we hope to know more about how and when schools will be reopening and Mr Gray and Mrs Riggs will then work out if we can still record the CD or if we will make the song into a video recording, like many of the collaborative videos of performances I am sure you’ve seen recently on social media. We will keep you informed!
I hope the children are excited about this project and I can’t wait to hear the final song which will be filled with all their wonderful ideas.