“Music is a therapy. It is a communication far more powerful than words, far more immediate, far more efficient.”
— Sir Yehudi Menhuin, 1916–1999
Here at Newark Academy, we believe that Music is the ultimate team sport. As professional and dedicated music experts, we aspire to instil a lifelong love of music and a passion for participation in all our pupils. Pupils are provided with every opportunity to strengthen and develop their mental, physical and spiritual stamina, through an ambitious curriculum and the music that they make. This in turn, creates a significant and positive contribution to the mental health and well-being of all our pupils. Our enriching curriculum design is driven from unashamedly high expectations and ensures that pupils are provided with the cultural experiences and opportunities to build their self-esteem, develop aptitude for teamwork whilst affording endless opportunity for the broadening of horizons and aspirations within the context of a warm and safe musical environment, where sharing through performance will become commonplace.
Our music department’s mission is to deliver infinite, in-depth high order study, engulfing students so they themselves feel empowered and completely consumed by vast amounts of musical knowledge shared with them. We actively encourage and develop instrumental and theoretical skills allowing every child to contribute to representing our musical culture and ethos. Our bespoke and personal music training is underpinned and reinforced by our ‘GREAT’ school values. Uniquely, music making at Newark Academy is characterised by common gestures of responsibility, excellence and extreme levels of tenacity in all that we do and commit; prospective musicians within our Academy really do have the absolute world at their feet. As music leaders, we promise that every child has the opportunity to enjoy a diet of highly cultural and fully enriching practical musical experiences, such as wind band, orchestra, class instrumental tuition and vocal masterclasses. We celebrate our musical affluence in countless ways. Children ably demonstrate their virtuosity through school performances, informally amongst peers in the day and more formally through concerts, soirees and numerous personalised performance opportunities, all of which actively reach out to our parents and our wider community to illustrate and confirm our music manifesto. Opportunities for outreach abound and we hope that the skills and aptitudes developed in the Academy will enrich the life of the wider community of Nottinghamshire and wherever our pupils travel. Every planned musical experience is quite simply a further stitch which contributes to a deep and textural fabric interwoven with countless valuable experiences and reflections. Our learning experiences are specifically designed to be able to move to ‘unstructured’ moments, very much allowing the lesson to follow the learning, wherever that may lead musically. We place great significance on aspirational visits to leading Universities and Conservatoires, such as the Royal Northern College of Music. These opportunities drive forward our intention for children to be musically aware and equipped whilst driving imagination, the ability to story tell and an overall sense of creativity. Operating outside of the classroom is enhanced and deepened by trips to concerts, masterclasses and theatres. Most importantly, we ensure our students have a very clear and specific vision for their future.
Entry into school music begins with a structured introduction to the history of western music, the orchestra and musical forms. This historical context immediately activates inquisitive minds, encouraging learners to pursue a greater understanding of styles and traditions through practical performance opportunities, designed specifically to ensure nobody is unable to make music through lack of knowledge or encouragement. Music, as a Performing Art, has close links with much of the curriculum. Connections with Maths, English, Drama, and Art & Design are well-recognised and frequently deliberated. Students, for example, may fastidiously calculate note values, consider symmetry as a phrasing device as used by Mozart in the Classical period, along with exploring links between contemporary French composers and Impressionism. Students frequently connect their learning and discussion from PSHE with a growing awareness of personal emotion and feeling, characteristic of the Romantic period. Our classroom learning is consolidated and enhanced by trips to concerts, masterclasses and theatres. Every child has the opportunity to enjoy a music career beginning in year 7 which paves the way to success in year 13.
As the ultimate team sport, music at Newark Academy is inclusive and enjoyed by all.