Music is Back!

by Mrs Gleeson, Music Department

After a year of silence from our music classrooms, STM Catholic High School is thrilled to have sounds ringing through the music corridors once again. The music department has started its instrumental taster session in year 7. All year 7 students participate in learning a new instrument for the first term. These students will have the opportunity to show off their new skills in our Christmas Concert in December.

Mrs. Gleeson’s students are beginning on violin, viola, and cello. The students learn how to be responsible with the instruments and proper playing posture. Students start with “pizzicato” only (plucking the string) and learn how to identify the notes on the music stave. Once this concept is mastered, they move onto placing fingers down on the string to produce different notes. Ask the students about their SpongeBob SquarePants fingers! After the students can move the fingers on the string and a lecture about how bows are not swords, we move to playing “arco” or “with the bow.” When bows are on the string it is concert preparation time. All students will learn two pieces, one pizzicato and one arco, for the concert.

Mr. Jones’ students are learning trumpet and ukulele. Both instruments require the students to develop their hand eye coordination and playing technique for each instruments. The skills learned to play the ukulele such as reading chord shapes and tablature, fretboard technique and strumming patterns are transferable to the guitar and serve as an excellent introduction to other instruments our students will learn throughout Key Stage 3.  The trumpet is taught using the pocket trumpets and gives students an excellent insight into the skills and techniques needed to play the full size versions. Students learn to develop good tone with a buzz of the lips (it’s harder than you think!) and then learn the notes of the scale. Class performances happen every lesson in a variety of styles which also give students the opportunity to play as part of an ensemble and develop their timing.

Ms. Hodgson’s students are learning to play the clarinet. The students have had to spend a lot of time just learning how to get a note out the instrument which can be tricky if you don’t understand the technique. However, perseverance has paid off and they are able to make a pleasant sound! This week we achieved two new notes, some basic note reading and a short melody. The behavior has been exceptional and the students understand the need to be sensible with the instrument and take good care of it. We are looking forward to learning more notes and preparing some music for the concert at Christmas.

Our extra curricular timetable has resumed and has been rebranded as ‘The Music Academy’. We are delighted at the number of students who have committed themselves to a group. However, there is always room for more!  The music department aims to promote and maintain high standards in the field of music. The students in these ensembles are constantly perfecting skills and techniques to achieve a standard of excellence in music performance.

Details of our extra curricular programme has been shared in school and more information can be found in the music department.