Music has the unique power of being able to communicate feelings and thoughts, and fulfils an important need for personal expression. We firmly believe that musical training has a most positive impact upon brain development and achievement. At St Urban’s, we recognise and value the importance of Music as a means to develop creativity and listening skills, in a way that transcends cultures
Through our curriculum and wider Music experiences, we provide all children with opportunities to create, play, perform and enjoy music, whilst building an appreciation of a wide variety of musical forms and time periods.
At St Urban's, we simply love to sing! Our children are taught by two in-house music specialists (a guitarist and a pianist) - we cover a wide repertoire of hymns and songs, including pop songs, and wherever possible, the children are taught to sing in 2-part, even 3-part harmony; the sound they can - and do - produce is wonderful.
Curriculum music is delivered by each classteacher. Children from Year 2 upwards are given the opportunity to take up instrument lessons delivered by Artforms during the school day in flute, clarinet, violin or viola, with school part-subsidising the cost of these. One of our members of staff, as a music specialist, offers guitar lessons for KS2 children. Some of our woodwind and string musicians in school proudly perform in the annual Leeds' Schools Music Association Concert at Pudsey Civic Hall.
Years 3 and 5 participate in weekly choral singing lessons as part of the Diocesan Schools Singing Programme.
Year 4 receive weekly whole-class melodica sessions as part of the Diocese of Leeds Keyboard Studies Programme. These are delivered by an expert Instrumental Tutor from the Diocese, focusing on positive engagement with playing, and supporting the Catholic life of the school through strong musical teamwork and respectful values. The sessions offer practical and graded coverage of areas of the music curriculum – particularly notation – within a two-year curriculum framework specially developed by the Diocese with reference to the Model Music Curriculum. At the end of this period of tuition, pupils will have a working understanding of staff notation, recognising pitch, rhythm and dynamics with confidence. Furthermore, they will be able to develop their aural skills, improvisation, memorisation and composition.
Each child in school performs (singing and acting) in a play or production - YR and KS1 at Christmas; Y3 & 4 at Easter and Y5 & 6 at the end of the year. These are celebrations of great talent and excellence but also a most valued opportunity for our children to build performance confidence and confidence in general.
Music enhancements and enrichment activities are frequently built into the school week/term, e.g. piano accordion demonstration by students from the Royal Academy of music; drumming workshops; Irish Arts Foundation workshops with traditional Irish music and ceilidh dancing; visits to the town hall for the Leeds Youth Orchestra concert. We are proud of our Glee Club who sing a wide variety of contemporary songs to an excellent level and regularly perform for parents and our whole school.
On the last afternoon, of every year, we hold our 'Musical Extravaganza!' This is a celebration of music in the widest sense and all children, no matter what their stage of learning to play an instrument or sing, are encouraged to take part and demonstrate their love of music! It is a high of the school year and every fitting way to end each academic year - namely on a high note!