Denstone College Preparatory School | Providing Music in School

Denstone College Preparatory School has an excellent tradition of school music. Our teaching staff includes talented musicians who are able to pass on their love of music and instruments and our pupils’ consistently high standards of achievement are a testament to their passion and dedication.

We begin teaching instrumental lessons to children at the age of about seven. Every child begins to learn the violin in Year 3 and most pupils continue to learn at least one musical instrument throughout their time with us. (Some even manage three!) Many pupils are prepared for Associated Board Music Examinations and music scholarships are frequently won to senior schools by our 11 year olds.

Our pupils perform music regularly through a variety of means. In the lower years the children are gently introduced to performing in front of their peers in class and they soon develop the confidence to perform within Chapel and in the numerous shows and concerts within our school’s busy diary. Our wind band, flute, clarinet and string ensembles meet weekly during break times and the Chapel Choir leads worship each Friday. Our choir also travels further afield to sing in services, concerts, musical festivals and is regularly asked to support local events. They compete each year in the Derby Arts Festival and have had the pleasure of winning prizes on a regular basis. Our elite choristers often qualify to become members of the prestigious National Children’s Choir of Great Britain, which provides the opportunity to learn alongside top musicians as well as perform both nationally and internationally.

Whole class music lessons are timetabled into the working week, giving every pupil the opportunity to access the music curriculum during their time with us. We believe that all children are musical and encourage our pupils to fulfil their musical potential whether it be in the safety of their class lessons or individually. All pupils are taught basic notation and learn to develop their understanding of the technicalities of music theory.

In Pre-Prep, the children will develop their singing, rhythmic and listening skills. They begin to read notation, establish an understanding of different instruments and are introduced to the musical elements. The performance highlights of the year are when the children sing in the Christingle, Nativity and a variety of wonderful assemblies.

During their time in Main Prep, children will study the instruments of the orchestra, pentatonic music, graphic scores, improvisation, African music, Jazz music and the Blues scale. After studying Prokofiev’s Peter & the Wolf the children are encouraged to explore their creative side by composing their own scores for a story. We endeavour to develop their singing confidence, both in groups, parts and individually, accompanied as well as A Cappella, whilst studying music from other cultures with a specific focus on Ostinatos. Our pupils love exploring the elements within music, such as rhythm, and have opportunities to copy, improvise and write rhythmic patterns.

All children study a variety of musical genres and begin to fine tune their musical ear. They have the opportunity to perform, compose, appraise and appreciate a wide variety of musical styles, instruments and forms. We aim to instil an appreciation of the value of singing together and endeavour to enthuse our pupils with a lasting love of music.