Welcome to our Music!

It does not matter which part of the school you are part of, music has been alive every day in the past few weeks. There have been so many concerts, events, exams and other musical successes that I have lost count! It could be early morning practice, after school rehearsals, an extra band practice, completing coursework, celebrating someone’s achievements. Music continues every day, all day!

In the past couple of weeks, we have had an amazing Larch concert with over 100 musicians performing. We have had so many exams, from individual music exams to the long awaited A level recitals. Visitors always comment on how professional our musicians are and how well prepared they are. Support at home is part of that - the practice, the celebration, the support. Your support at home is crucial to the success of the musician you nurture. Never underestimate the power of taking an interest and celebrating the work, creating a positive atmosphere! Every performance is an individual achievement and we have had so many of these recently. 49 amazing exam results in the past two weeks, including so many distinctions. Our team is so proud of each result.

Something else I am so proud of is that Team Music is a team. Coming back after the pandemic, we are working so hard to remind each other that we are a team and everyone in that team is vital. We have published our concert dates, including Saffron Hall and I do now ask that everyone required is at the concerts and rehearsals when we ask. Older students with jobs will need to plan ahead as well. If just one musician says ‘I can’t be at that rehearsal or concert’, they sometimes forget that a whole team is affected. The balance of sound in a section can change. Someone else will miss that person not there. Please check and double check dates via the link below. Rehearsals are also so important. If a musician misses some, they have not learnt the music enough and could let the performance down with wrong notes! Our team ethos stretches to everyone!

Thank you to everyone in our team - the staff, the students, the families who support and those who come and celebrate our musicians. We have so much to celebrate every day and that is truly unique and wonderful.

Mark Taylor, Director of Music

Curriculum - All-Through


As well as all our performance work, students have been working hard in their curriculum music lessons. GCSE and A level students are finishing compositions and preparing them for marking and submission. We had the amazing A Level Music recitals last week and Jack in Year 13 is preparing for his diploma that is being performed this week. Otherwise, exam students in Years 13 and 11 are busy revising for the listening and written papers.

If you take a snapshot of the different units currently being learnt in KS2-3 you can see how varied the curriculum is with everything from Reggae (Y6) to Classical Theme and Variations (Y5), and 20th C Minimalism (Y8) to Musical Theatre (Y4). 

In Reception and Year 1, we have been learning lots of songs with actions and developing our sense of pulse. We have also started to learn about rhythm and copying rhythms that we hear. We listen to music every week, and are starting to talk about how music makes us feel.

In Year 2, we have been learning to interpret graphic scores and learning to read actual notation. We have learnt to play several songs from notation on the glockenspiel including Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Hot Cross Buns. Again, we listen to music each week and are starting to recognise the instruments and playing techniques we can hear. With so many of the Year 2 children in the Choir or taking part in the String Training Programme, it has been a very busy term, full of music!


Exam Results

Over the last couple of weeks, we have had a variety of Instrumental Exams take place, including, Classical/Jazz Trinity, Trinity Rock & Pop, ABRSM, and even a digital!

We are so proud of what the students have achieved, please do click on the images/links below to see the results!

Our Secondary Phase...

Mr Lovell's Piano Evening

On Tuesday, we had an evening of piano! It was a great opportunity for students of all ages to come together and see others perform - it's always inspiring.

Mr Lovell is very impressed, and we are all so proud of what they have achieved! Well done to all!

Big Band Interviews...

We sat down with a couple of members of Big Band, to see what their take on the last couple of weeks was. Please read what they had to say below...

Aimee B, Year 13, Singer 

I love performing, it’s such an adrenaline rush. Singing in front of a crowd - there is no feeling like it, it’s brilliant. Big Band evening was amazing, it had a brilliant atmosphere, it really helps having a supportive audience full of familiar faces. Performing has massively helped me with my confidence. I did a gig in August which showed me I could do it, and I felt like I really proved that to myself at Big Band evening. I love how the band comes together, Mr Taylor makes it work very well, and what we achieve is amazing. 

Once you’re up there, in front of a live audience, you just have to get on with it, it’s like fight or flight kicks in, you just enjoy it. Even if you mess up, you carry on smiling, you can’t run away, it’s not like the audience will know. You feel so proud of yourself afterwards, like you watch someone else do it, and you think ‘I did that’. 

I think Big Band itself is fantastic, even the rehearsals are fun, it doesn’t matter if you’re going over the same thing over and over, the group of people make it fun. We hear the pieces over and over again, but I still think they are magical, and I’m sure others would agree. Big Band Evening for me, and I’m sure for other people, was like the light of the end of the tunnel after the last couple of years.

Gabriel D, Year 12, Trumpet 1

I loved Big Band evenings, this was my 5th one overall. I was really pleased to see so many ex-students coming back to support us. Big Band is such an encouraging community, everyone performs together, you all support each other, and you become friends with people you may not have met otherwise. 

When I first joined Big Band, I was on Trumpet 3, then I moved up to Trumpet 2, and this year is the first time I’ve played Trumpet 1, which is a milestone for me! I finally got to experience what I looked up to in Year 7, it was a full-circle moment!

My favourite piece is YMCA, it’s a crowd pleaser, everyone gets to dance, even the instrumentalists get to move - it’s so entertaining. I think as I’ve grown older, I’ve come to enjoy and appreciate the music more, all of the pieces are fantastic. 

The Big Band community is such a special aspect. Everyone is friendly, you all have something in common, and you realise you are all quite similar people, so age doesn't make a difference.

You never really miss something until it’s gone. In the last couple of years, we’ve all missed Big Band. I think if anything, it’s to enjoy it while it lasts, and live in the moment. You can appreciate the 105 minute long rehearsals, when you see the results at a Gig. I look back at younger years now, and I’m jealous that they still have so much time left! I want to make the most of it.

Poppy N, Year 13, Singer

It was so nice to be performing again after COVID, it feels like we’ve waited forever! Getting to sing with a live band again is just amazing. Big Band gives such a supportive atmosphere, it’s a good vibe. I think everyone knows in the moment that it is important to support each other, even if you are nervous yourself. 

My favourite instrumental piece has got to be ‘In the Stone’, it’s a great intro to the evening, really setting the tone. My favourite trio song is ‘Blame it on the Boogie’, it’s so feel good, everyone knows it and can join in with the dancing! My favourite solo is ‘I Will Survive’, it’s so funky, there’s such a good build up, from the piano introduction to the whole band by the end. The audience always joins in, you’re all performing together!

I enjoy being in Big Band, you are creating the music that everyone enjoys - it’s a rewarding feeling. The rehearsals are something to look forward to in the week, everyone is in a good mood for it - you can bounce off of everyone’s energy. Big Band also creates a supportive community; you become friends with people across many different year groups, people you wouldn't have known before. There can sometimes be hierarchies in musical productions, but in Big Band, everyone is equal - I really like that. 

Performing is what I want to do, Big Band is a great opportunity to practise this. Having this responsibility is good preparation for my career. 

Our Primary Phase...

Larch Stars

Our Larch Stars are musicians who have been nominated by their instrumental teachers for something really good that week. Their certificate is presented in assembly. Well done to..

  • Rachel L (Year 4) for showing real perseverance and working so hard towards her music medal.
  • Daniel W (Year 4) for great work in lessons and for memorising all his scales
  • Isaac B (Year 4) for working hard on his Grade 1 pieces and note reading
  • Loris U (Year 3) for going above and beyond with excellent work at home
  • Francis B (Year 3) for really trying hard with his sound on his flute this week
  • Heidi N (Year 6) for excellent work in preparation for sitting her Grade 2 cello exam
  • William H (Year 3) for your determination and perseverance in preparation for sitting your copper music medal
  • Sam W (Year 6) for some fantastic piano practice and playing over the last few weeks
  • Sophie L (Year 5) for great progress being made in your Grade 1 pieces
  • Hayden B (Year 6) for a great start to Tuba playing and determination to 'get it right' with practice
  • Ava P (Year 2) for making excellent progress with the bow
  • Cara M (Year 4) for showing such motivation and dedication to practising for her Bronze medal


Assembly Performances

In the Larch Celebration Assemblies, we have had wonderful performances from:

Gabriel D in Year 13 performed 'Feodora by Carl Czerny' on the Trumpet, it was a great opportunity for the Larch students to see an older student perform. Gabriel supports lots of the primary students, through homework and chess club.

Orla I in Year 6 performed 'A Ballad for Frank' on the Bass Clarinet


Larch Celebration Concert

On Wednesday, over 100 students came together to perform, in ensembles and choirs, including; Strings, Woodwind & Brass, Junior and Senior Choir. It was a brilliant evening, where audience members were able to see what they had been working so hard on.

Holly W, Year 6, Music Ambassador: 

The ensembles that played were: The Larch Wind Band, The Larch Strings Orchestra, The Senior Choir, and The Junior Choir. I really enjoyed playing in three out of four of the ensembles, especially with the Larch Wind Band. My favourite piece that I played was probably Ghostbusters in the Larch Wind Band. I think this was a concert as good as all of the previous ones, so we are all proud of what we achieved. The highlight was probably the finale - Ghostbusters. We all got really involved in it, like shouting GHOSTBUSTERS! I also really liked the Junior Choir because the songs they sang were brilliant, and their voices were really cute!

Henry C, Year 6, Music Ambassador

In the concert, the brass and wind played together and the strings played. I enjoyed listening to the brass and woodwind songs that had people playing at different times. My favourite piece I played was 'Spy Movie'. Everyone cheered when Mr Taylor said spy movie but said 'awww' when it was 'Sad Movie'. My highlight was when a group of us had a solo in 'Something Inside So Strong'.

Please click on the image/link below of everyone who performed to listen to the audio!

Coming Up...

Enjoy your well-deserved Easter break, and be ready for more Musical events when we return!

Please take a look at our upcoming events, click on the links/images for more information!