Music curriculum lessons are taught by Lucy Harrower, our music teacher and choir leader, with ten years’ experience of teaching in Southwark schools, mainly through the Southwark Music Service.
Music lessons are inspired by the Kodaly Method. Zoltan Kodaly was a Hungarian composer whose ideas about teaching have caught on around the world – they are inclusive to everyone regardless of achievement outside the classroom, and use fun and games to allow the children to understand potentially complex ideas.
Year 1 through to Year 6 enjoy weekly curriculum lessons. Children learn through their bodies, feeling the music, with an emphasis on singing, actions, dancing and understanding the structure of the music from within - for example, learning about pulse and meter through walking around the room, clapping the rhythms, conducting, playing musical games, and using 'tonic sol fa' to understand pitch and the relationships between the notes of different scales. Singing is imperative alongside developing the inner ear, or “thinking voice”. If you can hear it before you sing it, you are well on your way to becoming a musician! Once all these are understood we move onto more complex notation. They play percussion instruments using dynamics, watching the conductor, and learning to play as a group.
Throughout their years in school, Heber children can expect to listen to and analyse a vast variety of recorded music from the West, the East, Africa America; folk music, classical, choral, plus rock and pop. They will compose songs and write their own raps. Lucy enjoys teaching the children songs from around the world, from Japanese action songs to rowing songs, using sticks, from the Republic of Congo.
As well as playing several instruments Lucy is also a classically trained singer, and loves to pass on her knowledge of vocal technique, running a choir after school, and supporting concert performances. Year 6 have already performed on the Djembes for Black History Month, and Lucy looks forward to teaching group lessons in other instruments soon.