To view our long terms plans for the tuition of music to all children in the school please click on the link below
Year 1-6 have weekly class Music lessons with our music specialist Mrs Natasha Baker and work on a series of topics developing performing, composing and listening skills. Reception children are taught Music by their class teacher as part of the Foundation curriculum. The whole school participates in a weekly half-hour singing assembly and there are sometimes additional KS1 and KS2 singing sessions in preparation for specific events. There is singing in every assembly in the hall, as well as in the Lady Chapel assembly at the Cathedral every Thursday.
Year 2 learn to play the recorder as part of their class Music lesson and pupils continue to have their own school recorder that gets used throughout KS2 during class Music lessons. All children also learn to play the glockenspiel at a basic level and untuned percussion. Older children are encouraged to use their own instruments in class Music lessons where possible.
The infants perform a song at the Harvest festival and put on a Christmas production each year. They join with the whole school to participate in the carol service at the Abbey. All the juniors perform in a summer musical production each year with some of Year 6 having solo singing roles. There is a summer concert at which groups such as choir and orchestra perform, as well as soloists invited from the most advanced players in Year 6.
We offer tuition in school, paid for by parents, on the following instruments: Flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, recorder, saxophone, trumpet, cornet, horn, trombone, violin, cello, double bass, guitar. We cannot offer drumkit or piano. Lessons are individual or occasionally in pairs or small groups.
It is very important that parents understand that regular practice (most days) is necessary for progress, and that younger children almost always need help with this.
TBC – Violin
Miss Elisheba Stevens – Cello
Mr Nigel Woodhouse – Guitar
Mr Ashley Horton – Brass, including trumpet, cornet, tenor horn, French horn, euphonium.
Mrs Jacky Dwyer – Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Saxophone, Bassoon
Mrs Rachel Curson – Flute
Miss Alex Lyon– Clarinet and Saxophone
Please click Musical Instrument Policy 2019-2020 to read the policy for Instrumental Lessons in School.
The school has some instruments available to hire at a very competitive rate; the hire policy is also included in the Music Instrument Policy.
If you think your child would like to play an instrument in the future, it is important to ask the office to put their name on the waiting list. Places usually only come up each September and there may be a wait of several years. KS2 children will be selected from the list first and those who have been on the list for longer will take priority. Children can only have lessons on ONE instrument in school, to make sure they don’t miss too much class curriculum time. Instrumental lessons are also available at the St Albans Music School – telephone 01727 860941 or see HERE.
The Abbey School has been awarded the prestigious Platinum Singing School status by Sing Up – there is a plaque in the entrance hall. Singing is a very important part of school life and is nurtured throughout Reception – Year 6. There is a KS2 choir, Chamber Choir for pupils in Year 5 and 6 and an infant singing club for part of the year. Every year our large KS2 choir performs at the St Albans Primary School Music Association’s Gala Performance at the Alban Arena (along with many pupils performing in the recorders and orchestra ensemble too). The KS2 has also been invited to perform at the Diocesan Harvest Festival at the Abbey.
In 2019 we were thrilled that our pupils formed the majority of the Hertfordshire Commonwealth Choir which performed at Westminster Abbey for the Commonwealth Day Service with members of the Royal Family in attendance. We were also invited to take pupils to sing ‘Three Seaside Postcards’ in the St Cecilia Festival Concert at St Albans Abbey.
Since it began in 2012 we have had numerous entries in the St Albans Young Musicians competition every year and several of our soloists and ensembles have been finalists and winners. We have also taken groups to the Regional Festival of Music for Youth – our Choir, Orchestra and Recorder Ensemble. In 2013 the Orchestra was selected to perform at Birmingham Symphony Hall in the National Festival of Music for Youth.
In 2007, 8 and 9 the Maltings Shopping Centre held a carol writing competition. The Abbey School were the winners on all three occasions – you can see our professionally recorded CDs and presentation frames in the school entrance hall!
Orchestra, Recorders and Choir members are given colourful badges which help to give music activities status in the school. We also have Music Captains and a Music Council who take on various responsibilities assisting with the organisation of activities and helping lead activities with younger pupils.
We have a number of Cathedral Choristers in both the Abbey Girls Choir and the Cathedral Choir. Those interested in joining should contact firstname.lastname@example.org