Music at St. John's is considered to be a very important part of the curriculum and life of the school - Ofsted March 2010 reported that 'The quality of singing and the orchestra are superb.'
Nearly 200 children across the school are currently learning a musical instrument.
The instruments available to learn, at present are: flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, violin, cello, drums and guitar. These lessons are led by peripatetic teachers supplied by Harrow Music Service. The cost of lessons is subsidised by the school and currently stands at £60 per term. There is an option to hire an instrument from us, dependant on availability, for £15 per term. At the discretion of the instrumental teacher, the pupils have the opportunity to be entered for Trinity/Guildhall graded exams. Many of our pupils have gained distinction and merits in these exams. Further financial help can be obtained if your child is entitled to free School meals or other forms of funding.
All of our year 3 children are given free tuition on the violin or cello. This takes place during the school day and is run by teachers from Harrow Music Service.
For children interested in learning an instrument, a short taster sessions is held in April/May each year. Successful pupils are asked to practice regularly, and attend lessons punctually. A tutor book may be required to purchase for use in lessons. Importantly, we need to stress that any instrument hired or owned, must be insured. Neither the school nor the borough can be held responsible for any change to, or loss of, property brought onto the school premises.
During the school year there are many opportunities for all our musicians, depending on ability, to attend concerts and festivals.
Harrow Music Service host some amazing opportunities. St. John's School take part in the Band Festival, String Festival, Guitar Festival, World Music Festival and Percussion Days. After a day's rehearsal at Elliot Hall, Harrow Art Centre, the children perform to family, friends and often representatives from the Harrow Mayoral Council. It's when all these musicians come together, the magic happens!
We hold a weekly morning music practise to prepare the orchestra to accompany worship.
There is also a weekly After School Orchestra Club, run by Mrs Ogunniyi. The children learn some of the popular classical pieces and some modern pieces. Children of Orchestra Club have been involved in the World Music Festival and have played at the Annual Christmas Tree Festival held at All Saints Church, Harrow Weald. They also accompany the worship at special Church Services.
The children learn a mixture of traditional hymns and songs, as well as contemporary songs. They have the opportunity to sing at the Schools Choir Showcase, held at Harrow Arts Centre, and help with fundraising for St Luke's Hospice charity shop and take part in Songfest at Harrow Arts Centre. The children regularly sing at School Church Services, Christmas Tree Festival and entertain the folk at St. John's Tea and Chat throughout the school year. They also sing at the Voluntary Aided Schools Christmas Service held the Speech Room, Harrow School.
The school awards two musical trophies each year. The 'Evans Cup' for outstanding musical contribution to the school, (usually given to a leaver) and the 'Grier Cup' for outstanding achievement on a particular musical instrument. The Grier award might be awarded to any child of the school who has made outstanding progress on a particular instrument during the school year. Both trophies have been kindly donated by parents of pupils who have attended St John's.