‘Whoever creates beauty by playing an instrument and generating musical harmony begins to understand from within what essential harmony is...human harmony’ Jose Antonio Abreu.
In 1974, Jose Antonio Abreu had a vision. That vision was El Systema and, over the last three decades, it has transformed the lives of thousands of young Venezuelan children by giving each of them an instrument and teaching them how to play it as part of an orchestra.
At William Perkin CofE High School, every student in Year 7 is also given an instrument and learns how to play it in a small group as part of their elective music curriculum. They join together with every other student in Year 7 to form the William Perkin Big Orchestra and learn the art of confident, collective, harmonic performance. Through learning to play their instrument, students also develop their ability to improvise, and to listen to and analyse the music they are playing so they can understand the wider context of how and why it was written. In Year 8, students draw on these skills to compose their own music using keyboards, music technology and their own chosen instrument as well as developing their instrumental performance skills.
In addition, every student learns to sing together through assemblies, communions, and the whole school choir and all perform once per term as either a singer or instrumentalist – or both.
Every student is able to access the wide range of optional extra-curricular activities and there is also a variety of individual and small group tuition available from our highly qualified instrumental and vocal tutors. Through our curriculum and optional instrumental programme, every student has the opportunity to take a nationally recognised exam and there is an extensive range of formal and informal performance opportunities throughout each year.
So, whatever your child’s aspirations, we can guarantee the start of their creative, critical engagement with the wider world.