Music plays a huge part in the life of a pupil at Lockers Park. The department is situated around the Centenary Hall in the Main School and so the sound of singing and performing pervades the school day. Not surprisingly therefore, more than nine out of ten pupils choose to learn a musical instrument, with many learning two or three. This is an extraordinary figure for a Prep school, more associated with specialist music schools, and shows that the subject and the way it is offered presents an enormous attraction to pupils and their parents. Much effort is put into finding the instrument most suited to each pupil. Thus, the drudgery of toiling at a musical instrument to which one is not suited is removed, and the pupils make positive choices about learning. The school is fortunate in having been able to secure the services of a team of highly-skilled professional musicians on the peripatetic staff.
Our ethos stresses strongly the sociable aspect of music-making, so many play in our orchestras and chamber groups or sing in one of our three choirs, including an excellent Chapel Choir, which has earned a notable reputation. Our musicians perform regularly, in our own beautiful chapel, in local concerts, and at prestigious venues such as St John’s Smith Square in London. There is also a rolling programme of informal concerts, in which pupils who have only just begun to learn an instrument show what they have learnt. In this way, confidence in performing is nurtured at an early age, with a consequent knock-on effect in many other areas. The summer concert, which takes place partly in the Headmaster’s garden, is a celebration of the school year in which every pupil of the school takes part.
The music curriculum, which runs from Reception to Year 8, lays stress on the musical foundations of creating and performing with opportunities to begin the study of Music Technology. A new, fully fitted Music Studio with high-quality audio and visual recording equipment, editing, and composing using both Garage Band and Pro-Tools, is integrated into the lesson plans. Along with a modern lighting and sound desk in the Centenary Hall this offers an early experience for pupils for whom technology is of great interest.
As part of its Scholarship Day, Lockers Park offers music awards to suitable candidates at 7+ and not surprisingly, given the wide diversity of music on offer, Lockers Park pupils frequently win music scholarships and awards to senior schools when they leave.