Every child is a musician at The Hawthorns. Curriculum music is taught by a specialist teacher, Mrs Hopkin, from EYFS through to year 6. The children are taught musical skills in a playful way, primarily using their voice as the main instrument in the early years and Key Stage 1. By Key Stage 2 the children have the necessary prerequisite skills to learn an instrument, so in year 3 all children learn the ocarina, and then in year 5 they learn an orchestral instrument, through Berkshire Maestros In2Music provision. The children learn about music from different cultures and traditions and build their awareness of music history. They improvise and compose in the style of music they have heard.
The school has a rich musical culture. Children are given regular opportunities to share their musical talent through performing in assemblies and lunchtime concerts. The annual outdoor summer concert is a celebration of music at The Hawthorns, with all children having the opportunity to take part.
Many children receive tuition in instruments by visiting teachers from Berkshire Maestros – currently piano, violin, guitar and drum kit lessons are available. Children also have the opportunity to receive tuition in popular music from Rocksteady.
The school has two choirs open to all, and an ocarina club for children who wish to continue the instrument after year 3. Junior Choir is a training choir, teaching children the skills needed to sing as part of a group. The children perform in assemblies at least once a term. The Senior Choir is for the older children, and tackles more advanced repertoire. These children have the opportunity to attend large choir events with other Wokingham schools – a carol concert at Christmas, and the annual WASMA massed choir performance at the Hexagon, Reading. We also seek other opportunities for the choirs to perform in the community – past events include a guest spot at Launchpad’s fundraising Christmas concert at Reading Minster (with coaching by X-Factor star Daniel Johnson), performing at the Mayor’s Inauguration ceremony at Wokingham Town Hall, and performing at Addington School as part of their Proms event.