New music centre at Sedbergh Junior School hits all the right notes

Sedbergh Junior School pupils in the new music room

Sedbergh Junior School pupils in the new music room

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

MUSIC classes at Sedbergh Junior School have been given a tuneful boost thanks to a new state-of-the-art centre.

The school’s extension, built following a £1million investment in a new performance hall in 2011, includes new classrooms and even an iMac suite.

Director of music Anastasia Micklethwaite, who has been at the school since September, said she and the pupils were raring to go when the new building was unveiled.

“The children love the new music room and its bright colours. A beanbag area offers a fun atmosphere and is perfect for rhythm and pitch games, relaxed learning and musical storytelling,” she said.

“There is a large space which is useful not only for ensemble practices but for classroom games and active learning, especially with the pre-prep children who love to dance, march, and skip when they sing.”

The centre and its new classrooms, including a designated art room and practice rooms, is a big change for the school, where two classes were previously taught in temporary accommodation.

And there is plenty for youngsters to get their teeth into, with keyboards, pianos, violins, violas, cellos and drum kits all on offer.

Miss Micklethwaite said: “Music is an integral part of SJS life and now truly is at the heart of the school.

“More than 80 music lessons take place each week, with 20 instrumental and vocal specialists, and children as young as four can start on strings and percussion.

“The latest composition and production software are also used in the new iMac suite.

“Last term we welcomed legendary flautist Dr Atarah Ben-Tovim to SJS, to meet parents and children. “She ran a workshop on choosing the right instrument for your child and it was a great success.”

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Head teacher Scott Carnochan said the renovations were a welcome addition to the school, and the way music was taught.

“There is now a greater opportunity for ensemble work, for children to compose their own music and increased opportunities for the pupils to be involved in music as a result of the new location, making it much more accessible.”

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