While the bulk of our Music lessons and activities revolve around practical music-making, reinforcing this with a sound understanding of the theory of music is important too. This becomes particularly important as pupils head towards higher practical grades; the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music requires every musician to have passed their Grade 5 theory exam before they can take a Grade 6 instrumental or singing exam.
At King’s St Alban’s we are delighted to have the time and staff expertise to offer weekly theory classes to any of our young musicians who wish to develop their understanding in this area, and these classes are becoming increasingly popular in the Prep school. Taking place as an alternative to assembly on a Thursday, and staffed by Mrs Gunter, Mr Freestone and Mr Buckner, the sessions offer pupils the opportunity to work at their own pace in a supported environment. Plenty of help is on hand when tackling new concepts and the children enjoy lots of individual attention as they progress through their theory workbooks. The lessons are informal, with an atmosphere that is both relaxed and purposeful, and there are lots of smiles, even when the questions get complicated! Some of the children study theory with their instrumental teacher and use the sessions as an opportunity to progress further and get a little extra help, while for others this is their first taste of more formal music study. All the children share a common sense of purpose, and it is lovely to see them discuss concepts with each other, cementing their understanding while helping each other out.
A Year 4 pupil commented, “I find music theory can be tricky sometimes but Mrs Gunter and Mr Freestone make it so much fun it doesn’t seem that difficult after all.”
If you are interested in finding out a little more about these classes, or the many other musical opportunities on offer at King’s St Alban’s, then please contact Mrs Gunter.