- Tuesdays, 6.15–8.15pm
- For players of grade 6 and above
- This orchestra plays to a high standard and has regular full and sectional rehearsals in which a variety of orchestral repertoire is studied.
- Performances take place at prestigious venues across Hertfordshire and beyond.
- An informal audition process takes place for young people wishing to join this group, to ensure they get the most out of the orchestral playing experience.
For more information including how to join, check our our Philomusica page!
We aim to build one large jazz student community covering all instruments, with opportunities to perform solo, in small groups, in larger ensembles and as an entire collective.
New methods of online learning are combined with real live, face-to-face playing so you can learn all about jazz, wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be.
Membership of the jazz collective:
- entitles you to access all online materials
- invites you to attend county wide jazz projects (online and face to face)
- gives you the opportunity to perform at SAMS Jazz Collective gigs as a soloist, with our ensembles or in your own band
- entitles you to a free trial at one of our jazz ensembles, should you wish to do so.
Birdland Band (grades 1-4) – for those who play woodwind, brass and rhythm section instruments (guitar, piano, bass & drums) who are just starting out on their jazz education journey. This group is for young musicians who would like to learn to improvise! Young players will explore a contemporary and jazz repertoire. Developing their creativity and improvisation skills as well as their general musicianship and ensemble playing. BB2 is for students playing Saxophone, Trombone, Trumpet and Rhythm section (Drum Kit, Chordal Guitar, Piano and Bass) of around Grade 1 (or equivalent) and above.
Register for a trial with the Birdland Band
Vanguard Band (grades 5+) – for those who play sax, brass, and rhythm section who want to explore some more advanced music and play in more intricate and potentially challenging ensembles. Vocalists are also warmly welcomed.
Register for a trial with the Vanguard Band
Join the jazz collective
To join us for free, email at email@example.com.
Self-isolating? Not able to attend in person? Members can tune into the sessions online each week for a fully interactive ensemble experience.
Here's an example of the videos you can access in the collection of online learning materials:
We use a special method of music teaching, called 'Dalcroze Eurhythmics', where music is experienced through movement. The teaching and learning process engages body, mind and emotion.
Research shows that whole-body movement enhances musicianship, improves coordination and confidence and develops the skills needed to become a good performer.
Young children in particular find music and movement beneficial. It helps them to develop both musically and holistically. Children who have particpated in music and movement activities often find learning a musical instrument easier – they make quicker progress and develop a deeper understanding of the music they play.
The Music Deep Dive Inspection
Here's the bespoke training video for St Albans music practitioners, schools and school leaders on the Music Deep Dive inspection.
This is a detailed and thorough resource and part of a 5-part series. The total content spans over 3 hours and will enable you to gain a deep and full understanding of requirements.
Charanga support materials
All Hertfordshire schools with an SLA have access to Charanga for free this academic year. Charanga can be used as a full Scheme of Work for Reception to Key Stage 2, or as a bank of resources to supplement your own scheme of work. The resources are designed to be accessible for both specialist and non-specialist class teachers.
We have teamed up with Charanga to produce some training materials helping you to get the most out of this resource. These can be found here:
Music curriculum resources for the 'new normal'
- Facilitate singing without breaking bubbles - create some recorded singing resources that can be played through the interactive whiteboard to each class.
- Sing up (free to all Herts schools with an SLA) through HMS do a 'Song of the Week' with support materials for non-specialists delivering singing to pupils.
- Singing 'quietly' can work well and give pupils a different experience, incorporating different techniques. Distanced singing takes a little time to get used to, but pupils quickly adapt.
- BBC Bitesize home learning resources have some good interactive activities suitable for specialist and non-specialist class teachers.
- A greater focus on listening to music may be inevitable given that practical activities can be trickier to facilitate.
- Choose a daily / weekly piece of music for all pupils to listen to at the end of the school day and discuss. Again, can be done without breaking bubbles and create some musical unity across the school. BBC 10 pieces works well.
- The Lost Thing is a lovely video with musical sound effects in the background - pupils could watch and make notes on the different sounds they hear.
- The BBC home learning resources have some good information on musical elements and other aspects of music.
Performing and composing
- Make your own instruments! Pupils make their own instrument out of different materials and keep it for only them to use during the term. Lots of activities around composing, performing and developing ensemble skills using own instrument.
- Body Percussion - Inspireworks have been given funding to provide a free Body Percussion Recovery Curriculum – brand new, free resources for Covid-safe music learning
- The Cup Song - pupils just need their own plastic cup! Learn how to do the song, then create your own compositions! Non-specialists could do this easily following the instructional video.
- Hands Free - a body percussion piece by Anna Meredith (composer of 'Connect It' from BBC 10 pieces a few years back). Connect It is also great - If you have a big space, pupils can learn it and perform together in a safely distanced way. Compose your own version too?
- Perform Hall of the Mountain King using body percussion. Create own versions to the same piece or different pieces of Classical music.
- Boomwhackers - If you can manage to get these in use, there are some great resources from MusicAction's YouTube channel.
- This is a dedicated resource for all aspects of music making with all pupils from 0-18. In contains full schemes of work for all year groups, support for First Access, activities for pupils with special educational needs and more.
- All schools with an SLA have access to this for free this year. There is a full adapted scheme of work for Covid-19 safe delivery for the ENTIRE YEAR, for all year groups. Please get in touch if you haven't received your log in information.
Peripatetic music for the 'new normal'
Some of the questions that came up for St Albans New Direct-Billed Schools:
What is the relationship between the teacher, school and the service?
Pupils apply directly to the Music Service for lessons here . Once they have applied, the service will get in touch with the HMS teacher, to ask if there is capacity for new pupils to be taken on. The teacher liaises with the school, then replies to the service, confirming whether or not a new pupil can be taken.
What aspects do we have to get involved with as a school?
School provides the venue and agrees with the teacher as to how much time can be allocated to peripatetic teaching in the school.
You may wish to get more involved than this - the more support there is for music in school, the more pupils will get out of it.
Billing is all done by HMS - school don't need to worry about this!
How does blended learning work?
Pupils can automatically switch between online and face-to-face lessons. They receive a log in for our online platform (please bear with us while we get everyone up and running!) and this can be used any time a lesson is not possible.
If it is at all possible to faciliate lessons in school, either face-to-face or via an internet connection in school time, this will ensure continuity for pupils. Lessons after school are subject to peripatetic teachers' availability - we are accomodating all requests as best we can but are currently finding that the number of requests for out-of-school-hours learning sometimes exceeds the amount of time our teachers have within their waking hours! We recognise that this is not ideal and are working through solutions as best we can, in line with current guidance.
Should I provide contact details for pupils to peripatetic teachers?
No - we will do this ourselves where pupils have signed up.
I've received a waiting list and not all the pupils are on it. Why not?
There could be a few reasons for this:
- The pupil has either not realised they had to register, or they haven't completed registration with us. Therefore, we haven't got them on our list. You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to double check individual names.
- The pupil had online lessons during the summer term - this means that they don't appear on the 'new pupils' list you have been sent (as they have already signed up directly in the summer term). Teachers will be contacting these pupils directly - liaise with your peripatetic teacher.
I've received a list with the same pupil on there twice! Why is this?
- Some parents registered their children with us more than once - this generates an automated duplicate on the list. They will only have one lesson! We are currently going through and deleting duplicates.
- If pupils have different lesson lengths registered on multiple applications, we are using the most recent one they applied for. If you would like to check the lesson duration, you can contact email@example.com.
How do we make changes to peripatetic lessons?
Our musical theatre groups are for young people interested in singing, dancing and acting.
The group works with 3 specialist teachers in dance, drama and music. They meet for a series of weekly workshops which culminates in a production in a local theatre at the end of the easter term.
Participating in music theatre is great for building self-expression and confidence as well as being lots of fun.