Music

Music Scholarship Programme

St Paul's Way Trust School's Music Scholarship Programme is now in its 6th successful year. In each year group up to 14 scholarship places can be awarded to Year 6 students based on their natural music aptitude.

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Curricular offer

The music curriculum at SPWT is centred on practical musicianship at all Key Stages. At Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 we study the EdExcel course and our Key Stage 3 curriculum builds the key skills in order for all students to access this successfully.

Throughout Key Stage 3 students study a wide variety of musical genres from across the world inclusive of Samba, Desi and West African Drumming. Students become adept at using music ICT, an integral part of any successful musician’s toolkit. Students have access to both Sibelius and Logic X, professional software packages for music composition and orchestration.

All students perform and experience playing on a variety of instruments; keyboard, tuned percussion, samba drums, djembe, voice and ukulele as a minimum. Students develop their aural and analytical skills through exposure to a diverse spectrum of music across many genres, historical periods and contexts.

This exciting curriculum is further extended by the instrumental tuition, enrichment programme and partnership projects provided by the music department. These are open to all students who wish to further immerse themselves in the exciting musical culture of SPWT.

Extra-curricular offer

The co-curricular music enrichment at SPWT is second to none, there are opportunities for all students in a wide variety of musical styles and experiences. All ensembles and clubs are available to every student whether a beginner or an accomplished instrumentalist. One choir, ‘Vox Anima’ is audition only.

The music department is open to students for independent work or clubs and activities before school, at break time, at lunchtime and after school so there is plenty of opportunity for students to be creative every day.

Students can make their own rock bands from scratch at 'Rock School' or learn how to record and produce music in the 'Music Tech Club' in addition to being part of an annual musical, a symphony orchestra, a choir, and attend performances and workshops across the capital.

The music department is very inclusive and would encourage all students to come and try whatever takes their fancy.

Trips

Within our enrichment offer we try to immerse our young musicians in various performance and audience experiences as frequently as possible. Most recently students have attended a performance of Orpheé with music composed by Philip Glass and performed at Kings Cross Station to raise money for Songbound a charity which raises money to run choirs in underprivileged areas of India. The annual trips differ year to year but are varied and exciting. We hope to begin international music tours from Summer 2020 onwards.

See below our annual trips to which many more are added as and when they become available.

Trip When Description
Spitalfield’s Big Sing January - July The annual choral performance alongside our partners the Spitalfield’s music service
Brightsparks February An educational journey through the GCSE set works with the Philharmonic Orchestra
LCO Music junction December - July A learning journey for starter musicians with the London Chamber Orchestra, ending in a final concert alongside professional musicians
Common & Kind March - July A celebration of singing around the world, performed at the Union Chapel
Walthamstow Garden Party July A drumming extravaganza at the outdoor Walthamstow festival
Reward trips Various A celebration of the work students put in to large events such as open week and the annual musical.
Apollo 5 Spring term Students learn to run a workshop with primary school children using body percussion and voices, this is then performed at various feeder primary schools.

Instrumental lessons

At SPWT the instrumental tuition offer is second to none. All orchestral instruments are catered for and there is breadth in other genres as required. These include jazz, folk, popular styles and world music. Tower Hamlets Arts and Music Education Service (you can also follow them on Twitter) provide most of our instrumental teachers and we are proud to have a great relationship with the borough service. THAMES also host their Saturday Music Centre at SPWT and many of our students attend this on Saturday mornings.

Instrumental tuition is free for all students and no prior experience of playing an instrument is required. Music scholars and GCSE/A-Level music students are prioritised but there is space for hundreds of students to learn or continue learning an instrument, therefore students are encouraged to sign up with the lesson application form and attend enrichment activities to supplement their instrumental learning.

All instrumental lessons are provided during the school day and run on a rotating timetable of 30 minute lessons once a week apart from Tuned Percussion which is small ensemble and runs for 50 minute sessions. For students studying above Grade 4, lesson time is likely to be increased at the teacher’s discretion.

Students are able to obtain ABRSM examination grades and these can eventually count as UCAS points from Grade 6.

Instrumental Lesson Sign Up Sheet

Performances

The SPWT performance calendar is diverse and full! Every year students have the opportunity to perform in a number of settings both within school and externally. We are fortunate to have the Willougby Theatre which has a fully equipped sound and lighting rig with control room and also wing areas for cast. The performance calendar is impressive and varies year on year depending on which opportunities or projects are running, but below are the annual ones which students enjoy and which are exemplary in quality.

The annual musical is something which began back in 2017 with SPWT's debut musical theatre production, Oliver! Since then performances have included Annie, Guys and Dolls and most recently Beauty and the Beast. Students perform every element of the production including sound, lighting, props and backdrop creation in addition to the essential back stage crew and of course the performing cast on stage. The musical takes place every March and is a highlight of the whole school calendar.

Photos of our recent performances can be found here, please enjoy:

Partnerships

The SPWT Music department have strong links with a number of partners which result in a lot of collaborative work with professional ensembles and also other schools across the borough and the capital.

Access to these projects and partnerships evolves every year, but some of the most regular and memorable are listed on our website.

One of our longest partnerships is with DrumWorks who use drumming as a tool to inspire creativity, build social cohesion and empower young people to direct their own futures: much more than just a drumming ensemble!

Our other most consistent partnership is with THAMES, the borough music service, please see the instrumental tuition section for more details on this great organisation.

The music department and our young musicians are proud to be outward facing and are always looking for performance, charity and collaborative opportunities!