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Yerbury has long been known for it’s Music making. Children compose and perform collaborative pieces regularly…

Yerbury has long been known for its music-making. Children regularly compose and perform collaborative pieces.

There are many times each week when the walls literally reverberate to the sound of music. We have a singing assembly for each Key Stage every week and an additional half an hour of singing for Key Stage 1 and Early Years, all led by our specialist music teacher Ben Glasstone. Ben teaches music to every class in the school from Nursery through to Year 6. In Key stage 1, children get a music lesson every week for half a term at a time and in Key stage 2 that is extended to a 45 minute lesson every week throughout the term.

In addition to building core skills in singing, rhythm, understanding and composing music, Ben works with each class to develop a special performance inspired by their topic of the term, which is then featured at each class’s termly class assembly. Ben is an award-winning professional composer and songwriter and he uses these skills to create songs and compositions with the children, including the ever-popular “Yerbury Song.”

In addition to these weekly lessons, Ben runs an inclusive choir comprising a whole year group – Year 4 in the Autumn term, Year 6 in the Spring and Year 5 in the Summer (when these children get the opportunity to perform at the Union Chapel as part of Pure Voices). These choirs often perform for the Senior Citizens lunch club round the corner at Whittington Park Community Centre.

Ben also teaches ukulele to all Year 4 students on Friday afternoons throughout Year 4.

When the children reach Years 5 and 6 they all have the opportunity to play in the school band, if they wish, for at least one term. This is a mixed band of about twenty players, comprising string and woodwind players as well as xylophones and percussion (and ukuleles!) – it is open to all and those who do not receive instrumental lessons outside school are well able to take part with the skills they have acquired over their time learning music at Yerbury.

Yerbury also has a strong tradition of brass teaching. Our brass teacher, Alan Tomlinson, teaches pupils from Year 3 onwards at Yerbury after school on two days of the week. The school continues to support the brass band, made up of Alan’s pupils, which performs every term at a special school assembly. In addition, there is an after-school recorder club, run by teaching assistants Judy and Andrea, and we actively encourage and support musically inclined students who do not have another opportunity to learn an instrument to join this club.

Children who have been learning an instrument for over a year are encouraged to take up the opportunity to take part in Music Education Islington’s Young Artists programme, run by the Guildhall, which takes place on Wednesdays after school at Highbury Grove school.

There is also a popular Yerbury Adult Community Choir, led by Tom Scratchly, which meets on Monday evenings, and a staff choir run by Ben which meets on Wednesday mornings. Both of these choirs sing for occasional school events and assemblies.