Welcome to the St James Hatcham Music Blog! This is where you will find all the latest information regarding musical events throughout the school year and also where you can see what our children have been up to in their music lessons and clubs.
We are proud to again be members of Music Mark 2020. Music Mark schools ensure that all children are able to access a high-quality music education.
Rocksteady during school closure
Rocksteady Music have made online music lessons available for their students whilst schools are closed due to Covid-19. Karvarli (Y6) has enjoyed continuing his music lessons from home and has written this report for us, and even included a beautiful prayer:
When you go on the Rocksteady website it will say Get started. If you press it, it will take you to Rocksteady at Home. I find it easy to navigate around the website (I play the keyboard). When you click on a video, there is a woman called Anna. There are loads of fun games and songs. Most bands consist of five people: a pianist, two guitar players that sing and a main singer – and don’t forget the drummer! I was taught that sometimes the time is sped up but the beat doesn’t change and this is called double time. I also learnt that half time means playing notes at half the speed.
In our lessons at school, when I was playing my instruments, my instructor – Mutumba – would help Jo. When we needed to learn how to play something new or when me or Jo found something hard and wanted to quit, Mutumbu would give us encouragement to keep going! We learnt a song called ‘Happier’. In my opinion, Jo is one of the best KS2 drummers in New Cross!
I hope people around the world have the same opportunities as me and people with problems get to pursue their dreams, whether it’s playing football, doing gymnastics or being a musician. In Jesus’ name. Amen. (May 2020)
Daily Virtual Singing Assembly
During the school closure, Voices Foundation has been streaming a Virtual Singing Assembly every weekday during term time and will continue to do so until schools are able to reopen. We know there is nothing that can replicate the impact of direct delivery with pupils, but we hope this daily content will support keeping music at the forefront of pupil, teacher and even parent learning. You can access the Virtual Singing Assembly every day at 1.00pm on Voices Foundation’s YouTube channel. (April 2020)
Please read on for information about all the musical activities at St James…
For the last two years we have been fortunate enough to work with Voices Foundation, a national charity which aims to make sure that no child is left out when it comes to learning singing and musicianship. Voices Foundation has provided training for all our school staff, both Teachers and Teaching Assistants, developing our knowledge, skills and confidence in teaching music effectively. This has transformed the quality of music teaching in our school. Those of you who have heard our children sing will know how wonderful they sound and how much joy singing gives our students and staff.
Under the inspirational leadership of Miss Zeina and Miss Dowdye, our choir continues to go from strength to strength. Over the last year they have been invited to perform at a Lewisham Council meeting and at Goldsmiths’ Annual Carol Concert. They regularly perform at the Lewisham Live concerts, where their fabulous performances have everyone cheering.
We are also very proud of their charity fund raising performances. This year they raised £447 for Poverty Action and £392.86 for St Christopher’s Hospice.
The school choir has been an avenue where we all improve our singing because it teaches us more singing techniques. We have gone to many performances and performed exceptionally well. In my opinion, I think the school choir club should be every child’s dream club. We have gone to many places and each time I feel the music vibe hit me as soon as we begin singing. Chioma Y5
We offer instrumental tuition for Piano and Violin. The lessons are half-an-hour in length and the children are taught in pairs. The majority of lessons take place during the school day. There is a charge for instrumental tuition but the cost is usually lower than if you organised private lessons outside school. The lessons are very popular and there is often a waiting list. For more information, current prices or to join a waiting list please speak to Mrs Hever or the School Office.
I like that there is a maximum of two people per session as this gives me a chance to concentrate. I am also happy that the music is evenly spread out so that you don’t learn a hard note before an easier note. Ms Benjamin constantly encourages me, especially when I find the notes challenging. Ifijen Y3.
When I started piano I thought it was hard to learn the notes but I decided to keep going. I kept on practising and I learned the notes. Now I know it’s good not to give up! Ainara Y5.
We are very proud of our former student Tosin (who is now in Y7 at Bromley High School) last summer she passed her Grade 1 Violin Exam, a wonderful achievement! We hope that Tosin will be the first of many to pass music exams.
Lessons from the Rocksteady Primary Programme are also available at St James. Your child can choose from electric guitar, keyboard, drums or vocals. The Rocksteady Band Leaders are extensively trained musicians who aim to inspire a life-long love of playing music. The children are taught in small groups and enjoying playing in a band in a happy, supportive environment.
Rocksteady currently charge £31.25 per month (May 2020) for weekly, 30 minute lessons which take place during the school day.
Thanks to generous funding from the Cavatina Music Trust, the Piatti Quartet have performed regularly at St James over the last two years. 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 is also our violin tutor.