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Primary Robins

Primary Robins end of term report

Like much of life, Primary Robins has had to be a little bit different this term, but we have continued to take music and singing into primary schools. At the schools in which we have been allowed to teach, children must stand on coloured dots on the floor of the hall to ensure they are 2 metres apart. At many of our schools, the children sing along to online lessons produced by our teachers, but there are still several schools that are not able to allow singing at all. The children in these schools have watched our series of Music Appreciation Videos and, each week, discovered a new opera from The Marriage of Figaro to Hansel & Gretel. Famous arias were brought to life with body percussion and many teachers tell me that the children really enjoy this. They have heard members of The Berkeley Ensemble talk about different orchestral instruments and listened to excerpts from Saint-Saëns Carnival of the Animals and Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf. There is a surprising amount of music written to represent animals and I have been told that many children sat in awe as they listened to Gemma play the beautiful music that Saint-Saëns composed to represent the swan.

Warm-ups this term have included a chicken doing front crawl, witches and villains laughing and cats meowing. Some important Italian musical terms have been learnt including staccato and legato and forte and piano. A staircase of notes has helped with pitch.

Songs have included The Lambeth Walk, which was likened to the Tik Tok of Victorian times.

Singing The Skye Boat Song resulted in an impromptu history lesson recalling the journey of Bonnie Prince Charlie to the Isle of Skye.

The Red Red Robin – always a favourite – got the children ready for Christmas songs. There was beautiful legato singing in Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, quiet dynamics in Silent Night and lots of “bouncy” staccato in Jingle Bell Rock.

When singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, a Year 4 boy said, “This song makes me happy.” I couldn’t agree more.

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas.

Annabel Larard, Project Leader