22nd October 2020 — The sound of music has returned to St Peter’s School, York, this autumn following several months of making music from home.
Almost 200 children continued to practice their music skills during lockdown, with over 1,900 music lessons delivered virtually over the summer term. Singalongs were hosted on Zoom for younger pupils and the school hosted 20 virtual concerts involving over 160 performers aged 5-18.
This commitment from staff and pupils ensured that the children were in the best possible position to contribute towards the musical life of the school when they returned in September. Since returning to school, pupils of all ages have enjoyed reconnecting with friends and teachers through music.
Class music lessons have resumed for children at St Peter’s 2-8 along with individual music lessons and bubble choirs for Years 2 and 3. Year 2 welcomed their parents via Zoom for their first concert of the year earlier this week. The children enjoyed singing in the choir and some were brave enough to perform a solo on their instrument for the first time. Year 3 will perform in a special concert on Friday 16 October and are looking forward to welcoming their parents virtually via Zoom. The children will be celebrating their musical talents with solo performances and choir singing.
Pupils at St Peter’s 8-13 have participated in weekly Virtualosity concerts which are streamed live on YouTube every Friday, continuing their weekly online concert series which was launched during lockdown. Special music pods have been designed for peripatetic music lessons, of which there are over 270 a week, with a large music staff offering a wide range of instrumental and vocal lessons. Ensembles are also up and running with a wind ensemble, brass ensemble, string ensemble and theory session for every year group bubble, as well as the Chapel Choir which is rehearsing in bubbles. Class lessons have returned ’as normal’ and the department is alive with the sound of enthusiastic composition work
The York Minster Choristers, who are now educated at St Peter’s following the closure of The Minster School, have resumed their rehearsals and sing Evensong at York Minster every day except Monday, and services throughout the day on Sunday. It has been wonderful to welcome them into an already exciting and thriving Music Department.
At St Peter’s 13-18, pupils have also returned to a full programme of individual music lessons. Rehearsals have resumed for ensembles, which are divided into year group bubbles. Ensemble groups include the Upper Sixth Chapel Choir, Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth String Ensembles, Lower Sixth Wind Band, Fifth Form Piano Trio and Fourth Form Trumpet and Cello groups. The Upper Sixth pupils have also recorded solo and ensemble performances for a special concert which will be streamed via the School’s YouTube channel on Thursday 15 October.
Mr Jeremy Walker, Head Master of St Peter’s School, said: “Music gives a heartbeat to life at St Peter’s and I am so proud of all our pupils and their teachers. Playing and listening to music is an elemental part of being fully human and the skills developed go beyond the musical to those needed for life such as creativity, problem-solving, leadership and collaboration. ”
Music is an important part of life at St Peter’s School, which has one of the largest and most diverse Music Departments in the North of England.