Children at a local independent school in Wolverley are introduced to music from a very young age.
Heathfield Knoll School and Nursery are exposed to music on a daily basis and involved in weekly focused musical activities. The children are given the opportunity to explore an array of instruments such as ukulele, recorder, violin and drums.
Studies have shown that introducing children to music can accelerate brain development, including language and reading skills. Dancing and moving to music helps children strengthen and build motor and memory skills by embodiment of the music. Children expressing themselves musically through movement is a principle method in Dalcroze and Kodaly methods of early music-making and are key pedagogies that the EYFS and KS1 curriculum at HKS draws upon.
Miss Shelby Knowles, acting manager of HKS Nursery said “The children have been given the opportunity to listen to a range of different types of music such as, classical, theatre, film, pop, orchestral and classical nursery rhymes. whilst listening to the music the children have talked about how it makes them feel. We have been combining art and movement into our music opportunities, so children paint and colour listening to the music and they love to dance.”
Children at Heathfield Knoll School start to enjoy these group music sessions from as young as 3 months and continue all the way through the school up to GCSE. All pupils at HKS are taught to read music from KS1, with keyboard skills forming a backbone to the musical learning throughout. Individual peripatetic instrumental lessons are available from Year 2 on any instrument.
Involving children in their early years in group music sessions also starts the development of social skills such as taking turns and teamwork. Self-esteem is enhanced through children’s ability to express themselves.
At HKS we believe music helps children of all ages tune in and activate all parts of their brain and can enhance their learning in all lessons, not just music. This is why HKS has recently invested in a new high tech building for music and technologies. The building will house a recording studio, Mac suite and rehearsal spaces as well as a new performance space. Pupils from Preschool up to Year 11 will have access to the building from September 2021. Mrs Emma Hayward, Director of Music, says “We are really excited to have such a significant investment in the Music facilities at HKS. The possibilities that this creates are wide-ranging, from offering music scholarships and a music technology course for KS4 pupils to being able to host concerts and masterclasses from top performers on our new Steinway pianos and all sorts in between. The pupils at HKS will be able to benefit from this dedicated space to learn how to be musicians in today’s modern world, right from the start of their education here.”
The new Sebright building is due for completion in May 2021 and a grand opening is planned for September 2021 when the school will receive a Steinway Grand Piano and become an All- Steinway School.