Music is ubiquitous in 21st Century society, and at Dame Allan’s we are no different. Every pupil has the opportunity and potential to engage with and enjoy music making, inspiring a love of music for life. There are many significant benefits to studying, performing and creating music including:
accelerated cognitive development and improved metacognition
improved personal mental health, including reduced levels of stress and anxiety
fostering of teamwork, creative and social skills
developing self-discipline, time management and critical thinking ability.
“My favourite thing about music at Dame Allan's is the wide variety of opportunities you can involve yourself in, for example; you can practice at break or lunch in the practice rooms, you can take music lessons, you can join music clubs for every slice of music - and so much more! Music has helped me keep calm, stay concentrated and focus on the better things of life instead of the bad, it could, and still will, help me stay a functioning person and lessen the effects of Autism stopping parts of my development. I would not still be in school if not for Music.Savile, Year 8
We are proud to offer a wide range of opportunities for pupils to learn, practise and perform music. This includes peripatetic lessons on a host of instruments, delivered by one of the self employed visiting music teachers. Peripatetic lessons on offer include orchestral brass and band instruments; drum kit and orchestral percussion; classical, electric, acoustic, and bass guitars; orchestral strings; orchestral woodwind, and saxophone; piano and harpsichord, plus singing lessons in all styles. Pupils learning instruments are expected to make the most of opportunities on offer to enhance their development.
Furthermore pupils are offered an array of performance opportunities with regular concerts as a solo performer, or as part of one of our many ensembles. These include multiple choirs, orchestras, jazz ensembles, wind, brass, string and percussion groups, a Ceilidh band, rock and pop groups, and various chamber ensembles. There is also the opportunity to be involved in our bi-annual musical production and music tours. We also have a choral scholarship link with Newcastle Cathedral for accomplished or aspirational choral singers.
“I find singing such an amazing way to express emotion and being part of the scholarship programme has presented so many opportunities, from singing at services and weddings to improving my techniques and helping me gain confidence in my performance. The cathedral is a place where work is forgotten, and I get lost in the music in front of me."Fiona, Year 10
To support the Schools' strong focus on developing musicians, music scholarships are available. These provide valuable support (financial and otherwise) to help pupils continue their progress, and are awarded at a number of points.
Music at the Junior School is taught as a subject in its own right from Nursery to Year 6. The progressive curriculum encourages our children to listen, sing, create, play, perform and evaluate. Children are provided with a number of fantastic performance opportunities from large scale productions and concerts to more intimate class recitals.
One of the most important aspects of being a musician is having the opportunity to play or sing alongside others as part of a group and so, co-curricularly, we offer a wide variety of clubs, such as ceilidh band, string and woodwind group, brass group, Junior Choir, Chamber Choir, ukulele group and theory classes. The peripatetic teachers teach across both Junior and Senior School sites which provides good continuity for the many children learning to play an instrument.
We aim to develop a curiosity for and appreciation of the subject and send the children up to the Senior School with solid building blocks to continue their musical journey, whether this be as performers, creators, or simply listeners.
In addition to the co-curricular opportunities available, all pupils, from the recreational to the specialist musician, study music in Years 7 and 8, and pupils can choose to continue to study it into Year 9. Music is also a popular option at GCSE and A Level, with students continuing to study music at tertiary level, or using it to demonstrate a point of difference when applying for other subjects. Many pupils, be it through the curriculum or the vast co-curricular opportunities available have gone on to study and perform music after their time at the Schools.