THE NEW BEACON, SEVENOAKS
There is a strong and well-established tradition of music making at The New Beacon. Classroom music, which is singing-based, aims to encourage and inspire a boy’s enjoyment of music right from Reception. During their time at the school, most boys learn a musical instrument with one of the peripatetic music teachers, and there are many opportunities to play in a large variety of ensembles and orchestras. The highlights of a New Beacon boy’s musical experiences may be found by playing in the Big Band, a string quartet, singing as a member of the Chapel Choir or playing in the band for the Leavers’ Play. The opportunity to sing in Venice or Rome is an experience to be enjoyed by a Chapel Choir member on one of the fantastic tours organised bi-annually.
Classroom music at The New Beacon is based on the Kodály approach to music education. Boys from Reception to Year 6 have two class music lessons per week which last for 35 minutes. Years 7 and 8 have one 35 minute lesson per week. In the Junior School, the boys also sing every day in Assembly apart from Monday. From Years 5 to 8, they sing twice a week either in the Chapel or in the Theatre. The opportunity to hear live music is developed through links with the older boys in the school who regularly perform to the younger boys. In the Junior School and Pre-Prep, boys also listen to music by a “Composer of the Week” at the start of Assembly. Further information about the Music curriculum can be found in the PARENTS / Downloads / Curriculum / Music Resources area.
Many boys start to learn a musical instrument during Year 2. All boys learn to play the recorder during Years 3 and 4. Boys having individual instrumental lessons may join one of the instrumental groups:- in the Junior School: Year 4 Orchestra, Beginner Strings, Junior Strings, Clarinet ensemble and Brass group; in the Middle School: Second Orchestra, Middle School Strings, Middle School Brass Group, Jazz Combo, and Concert Band; in the Senior School: First Orchestra, Senior Strings, Big Band, Senior Brass Group, String Quartets, Woodwind Ensemble and Concert Band. All boys in Year 4 are encouraged to be members of the Year 4 Choir. All Years 5 and 6 boys are encouraged to audition to be members of the Middle School Chapel Choir. Auditions are held in the Summer Term for Year 6 boys who wish to join the Chapel Choir. Theory classes are held for boys wishing to take Associated Board Grade 5 Theory. Associated music exams are held for instrumentalists and singers in a one, two or three day session at school each term.
Approximately 190 Associated Board music exams are taken by boys annually, with impressive results. Some 285 individual music lessons take place each week.
Above all, the philosophy of music education at The New Beacon, is to develop a love and joy of music and a confidence to explore and develop each individual musical talent.