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Music is a rich and integral part of our Parkgate House curriculum and all of our pupils benefit from music lessons and opportunities throughout the year. Music begins in the Nursery, where children have a weekly specialist music lesson in which they develop their core music skills, explore their singing voices and experience a variety of music and musical instruments. In Reception, pupils enjoy a weekly singing lesson as well as a weekly music lesson focused on instrumental work using tuned classroom percussion. At this stage they begin to apply their music skills to musical performance.  

In the Pre-Prep department, pupils continue to receive two music lessons each week. Singing remains an essential part of the curriculum and pupils learn to develop their composition, improvisation and performance skills, as well as some early notation comprehension. A highlight for Pre-Prep 2 pupils is learning to play the djembe drums! Music theory is taught in an integrated and practical way throughout the school, using instrumental playing, listening and appraising activities and interactive musical games to address and consolidate musical understanding.  

In the Prep department, pupils begin to learn the recorder using a jazz-based curriculum, and many pupils go on to take the ABRSM prep test and grades. Prep pupils enjoy a broad and diverse curriculum, including Film Music, Hip-Hop, Song Writing, Western Art Music, Indian music, Jazz and Music Technology. Pupils who show a particular interest or aptitude for music are encouraged to take up one-to-one instrumental lessons in piano, guitar, violin, harp, singing or chanter where they can work towards ABRSM graded exams, or join one of our many music clubs, which include Choir, Chamber Choir, Music Theory Club, Ukulele Club, Recorder Ensemble, Djembe Club and String Group. 

We are proud to offer our talented musicians ages 7, 8, 9 and 10 the opportunity to apply for The Hanora Music Scholarship, named in memory of Miss Shanley’s mother. Pupils applying for the Music Scholarship are required to play an instrument, sing and complete an oral theory examination.  Those awarded the Music Scholarship often go on to sit 11+ senior school music scholarship assessments.  Our gifted and talented programme offers support and guidance to our most talented musicians, ensuring they reach their potential at Parkgate and beyond. 

Music is a practical subject and a love of performing is fostered at the earliest opportunity, with nursery children taking part in Christmas concerts. From that point on, pupils are given a variety of different and regular opportunities to perform, from school assembly performances to prestigious events in the West End and the City of London. The musical highlights of the school year are most definitely the Christmas Carol Concert, the Summer Productions and our Grand Assembly at Cadogan Hall, where pupils and alumni are given the opportunity to demonstrate their remarkable musicianship and performing talents.  

“I just wanted to say an enormous thank you and congratulations for the most fantastic concert today.  I have been to a lot of Christmas concerts over the years at so many schools, and I can honestly say that was the absolute best I have seen.  The children were all absolutely brilliant, so engaged, incredibly articulate, and most importantly, they clearly had so much fun!  I cannot tell you how much we enjoyed the concert, it was completely magical from start to finish.  Thank you to all the staff, we are very lucky our little girls get to join in such a wonderful celebration of Christmas.”

Parkgate parent 

Listen to our original Parkgate single, written to mark Anti-Bullying week. 

A love for music

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