Music is fully embedded into school life at St James Hatcham as we aim to provide a platform for all our musicians to shine and develop their musical talents and potential.
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
It is proven that children who engage in high quality, regular musical learning from an early age gain musical, intellectual, emotional and social advantages. However, many children miss out on these benefits without access to high quality music education. Staff at St James Hatcham value singing, musical techniques, instrumental learning and the importance of a strong musicianship foundation.
We are extrmely proud to have our Music curriculum developed and led by our Music and Creativity specialist teacher Kemi Omonyi. Ms Omonyi plays piano and guitar, and uses the violin to perform mixing classical and contemporary styles. As well as delivering an outstanding music curriculum here at St James Hatcham, she has performed at a wide range of events from the Black Magic Awards to the BBC with Judi Love. Ms Omonyi has also worked in the studio with artists such as Misha B, Lady Leshur and Bluey Robinson and recently performed in Clean Bandit's new release 'Drive' ft. Wes Nelson. She has also performed on stage with Jamaican artists Govona and Skeng, and with the rapper Clavish at the 02 Islington.
She also performs alongside some of the greatest future talent of music - the pupils of St James Hatcham!
Many of our pupils are actively involved in music and there is a wide range of opportunities to play, sing, perform or simply enjoy listening to music through:
Specialist teaching and training
In 2023 we were the only school in Lewisham to have partnered with The Voices Foundation, a national charity which aims to make sure that no child is left out when it comes to learning singing and musicianship. The Voices Foundation has provided training for all our school staff, developing their knowledge, skills and confidence in teaching music effectively. This has transformed the quality of music teaching in our school.
Singing and The Choir
Run by Ms Omonyi, our pupils audition to be part of our highly successful choir who regularly perform for our school and wider community, sing at local events such as the legendary Lewisham Showcase and Turning of the Year.
We regularly incorporate various singing styles during our singing assemblies such as acapella, rounds and explore all aspects of musicianship. The qualities of musicianship work alongside our whole school vision of developing oracy and becoming confident, articulate in performance.
Singing has become an everyday norm here at St James Hatcham and our children’s talents shine through all aspects of the school day.
Lessons are offered in a range of instruments, including piano, drumming and guitar, of which the majority take place during the school day. There is a charge for instrumental tuition, but the cost is much lower than private lessons outside school and are subsidised for pupils in receipt of pupil premium funding or for SEND pupils with an Education, Health and Care Plan.
Following enthusiastic participation in instrumental tuition here at St James Hatcham, Kason was nominated by his tutor and subsequently awarded a full scholarship with Lewisham Music Fund, funding further 1:1 lessons and access to the the Saturday Music Centre. This month Kason was also awarded their 'Scholar of the month' who aspires to play the guitar like Jimi Hendrix one day!
We see, nurture and develop musical talent in all pupils.
The Piatti Quartet
Through the Cavatina Music Trust, the Piatti Quartet have performed regularly at St James Hatcham. They are one of the most distinguished string quartets of their generation and have performed in all the major venues and festivals around the country and abroad. Their recitals give our children an opportunity to hear world-class classical music performed live in their own school. We are very fortunate that quartet member, Michael Trainor has been one of our regular violin tutors.
The Gentlemen of St John's
The Gentlemen of St John's are a vocal ensemble made up of Choral and Organ Scholars from the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge. We are extremely lucky to receive visits from The ‘Gents’ who perform and provide workshops for our pupils.