Music

We place great importance on the value of enjoying and making music at Oliver House. Living in a very visual culture, our comprehensive curriculum aims to educate and fine tune the ear of every child.

Music contributes to our children’s all-round education, by developing listening and communication skills, as well as encouraging self-discipline and an increase of self-confidence. Our current focus is on practical involvement for all children whilst imparting the working knowledge of the elements of music – pitch, rhythm, dynamics, texture, timbre and, of course, silence which is necessary to frame music.

We have 10 excellent visiting peripatetic teachers who prepare children for concerts. Many children take grade examinations and it was reported by ISI that: ‘Pupils are successful in external music examinations, often gaining merit or distinction grades.’ We are well placed to support gifted musicians and children have received scholarships in this subject to schools such as Dulwich College.

Ensemble playing promotes respect and positive attitudes towards peers, and builds friendships across the year groups and deepening an awareness of sense of performance. Music being of a spiritual nature, has enormous power to change emotions, to unite people and to provide a medium for expressing one’s feelings, so we see it as a child’s right, in their developing path of holistic fulfilment.

We regularly invite musicians to perform and run workshops including African Drumming, Song Writing, Steelpan Drums, Gamelan and Samba. Our peripatetic musicians have performed in-house concerts for us so that all children can experience live music first hand and aspire to aim high in their playing.

The voice is seen as a child’s first instrument. All children are involved in choir performances such as the traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carol Service, where children sing as soloists, in parts and together with professionals performing also in Latin and Spanish – two of the languages taught at Oliver House. Our recent ISI Report identified: ‘Pupils achieve a high standard in their singing’.