Music and Drama play a central role in the life of the life of St Michael’s. The emphasis is very much on enjoyment and participation for all and every child is encouraged to be involved at whatever level of development. The aim is for our children to leave St Michael’s with a love of the performing arts and a desire to continue to their nurture skills and appreciation of the same. Many achieve a high level of performance and some go on to gain scholarships or to represent the school in national performances.
From Nursery upwards, pupils are taught by specialist music teachers in small classes. In Pre Prep, children learn how to sing, play a wide range of percussion instruments and to read notation. The Junior and Senior departments continue to develop their singing and to play and perform on instruments as well as learning about the tools of composition.
The four school choirs participate locally in competitions and the more senior choirs sometimes travel away from school for national and international events. The school also has two orchestras and a number of ensemble groups. Events on the school calendar include the summer concert and carol service, year based musicals performed at our local Arts Centre, nativities, form based concerts and assemblies, informal recitals and arts assemblies. All children throughout the school sing in assemblies twice a week.
A large percentage of of children learn musical instruments and we cover all orchestral instruments, piano, guitar, percussion and singing on a one to one basis. We also have a Suzuki violin scheme which involves parental participation. Lessons are delivered in brightly coloured, custom built music huts by a visiting group of 10 specialist teachers weekly. Children are encouraged to take examinations through either the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music or Trinity College of Music.
There is a rich and varied drama programme, with the opportunity for all pupils to take part in productions throughout their time at St Michael’s. Drama is taught as a curriculum subject from Years 1-8 and there are after school drama clubs for Years 5-8, which are extremely popular.
Each year group has an annual series of performances, which include:
Nursery and Pre-Prep - Nativities and assemblies.
Years 3 and 4 – Annual musical production and assemblies.
Years 5 and 6 – Annual production at the Arts Centre (alternating between musicals and straight plays).
Years 7 and 8 - Annual production at the Arts Centre (alternating between musicals and straight plays) and participation in the Eisteddfod.
Recent performances include: ‘Wind in the Willows’, ‘Doctor Dolittle’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’.
Children are encouraged to take part in the Eisteddfod and many take Lamda exams.