Music at the heart of the School
Loretto is well known for its musical excellence and music plays a significant part in the life of the Junior School. There is a wealth of opportunities available for every child.
In the Junior School, the music curriculum is wide and varied, teaching the children the key elements of music through performing, composing and listening activities and drawing on music from a range of different genres and cultures.
The musical journey begins right from Pre-School and Early Years where our specialist music teacher lays the foundations in structured weekly class music lessons. A musical vocabulary regarding pitch, tempo and dynamics is developed through listening, song and playing percussion instruments. This is often done through stories and work related to the class topics. All pupils have opportunity to perform in the Christmas Nativity play and experience the excitement of a large audience when performing in the theatre.
In Year 4 to 7 every child receives two music lessons a week developing their listening, performing and composing skills. As the children progress from Year 4 to Year 7 they will experience performance work on the recorder, piano keyboard and the ukulele as well as a range of classroom percussion instruments. The approach to learning is very practical and children experience different styles and genres through a variety of group and individual projects from Classical Ternary Form to the 12-Bar Blues and from Song Writing to Film Music. Our children acquire skills which will enable them to appreciate the music of others, as well as to create music which expresses their own experiences and ideas.
Groups and Ensembles
The Junior School Choir: a vibrant vocal group open to Years 4 to 7 children who perform regularly throughout the year in a variety of concerts, events and Chapel services.
The String Group: an ensemble open to children of all years group and all levels who play the violin, viola or cello.
The Wind Ensemble: an ensemble open to children of all years group and all levels who play woodwind and brass.
The School Orchestra: the String Group and Wind Ensemble regularly join forces to perform orchestral pieces at events and concerts.
The Junior Pipe Band: a strong tradition at the school. Loretto Pipers & Drummers perform regularly at the school as well as in the community.
One to one music lessons are available to all children at Loretto. The lessons, which are provided by a team of specialist visiting music teachers, greatly enhance and support the work of the music department and the musical life of the school. Early Years have the option of learning the piano, violin, recorder, singing, ukulele or percussion (including the drum kit). These lessons take place after school or on a Saturday morning. Years 4 to 7 can receive lessons on piano, singing, strings (violin, viola, cello, double bass), brass (trumpet, trombone, horn), woodwind (flute, clarinet, saxophone, recorder), percussion (including the drum kit), guitar (acoustic, electric, bass, ukulele), bagpipes and corps drums. Lessons are during class time and work on rotation. Children are invited to join weekly lunchtime groups to support what they learn in lessons.
Concerts and events
All of our children are encouraged to perform regularly in a variety of events, assemblies and concerts. Events include the Pre-School & Early Years Nativity, the Years 4 to 7 Songfest competition, the Christmas Carol Service and chamber concerts. A much anticipated event is the Years 6 and 7 musical in the summer term. Recent performances include High School Musical, Grease, The Sound of Music, Oliver, Annie, Little Shop of Horrors, and Mary Poppins.