On Tuesday, 24 of our Year 7s were joined by a group of students from Sacred Heart Language School in Harrow for our annual Partnership Day on the subject of Classical Music. Building upon the two ‘in-person’ Middle School Partnership Days held last term with Sacred Heart and Queen Elizabeth’s School (Boys), NLCS is delighted to have firmly re-established its academic enrichment programme with partner schools.
The aim of the Year 7 day was for the students to develop their critical listening skills, and to gain confidence in talking about music in an advanced, technical way. First, the pupils learned to distinguish between the feelings and moods that can be evoked through music, and how musical elements – such as rhythm and instrumentation –, and musical period and style – such as the Renaissance or 21st Century –, might inform their understanding of what they are hearing. The second part of the workshop focused on story-telling through music by means of a series of extracts from Prokoviev’s Peter and the Wolf. Both activities provided foundational work for a more detailed study of the overture to Romeo and Juliet by Tchaikovsky. Working collaboratively in groups of six, the students prepared presentations on particular extracts from the work. Here, they used inventive and particularly engaging ways to fuse a discussion of musical style, use of the orchestra and the effects of Tchaikovsky’s story-telling.
The Year 7s from both schools responded really positively to the challenges of the day. It proved a golden opportunity for them to make new friends, to work more independently from teachers, and to acquire new skills of listening, synthesising and presenting. Many congratulations to all students involved.
Dr McLoughlin, Partnership Co-ordinator