Special curriculum at ARK Kings Academy teaches band musicianship

A pioneering band musicianship project has launched at ARK Kings Academy in Birmingham. From today, every student in Years 7 and 8 will receive small group tuition to learn singing, guitar or drums as part of a special curriculum designed to develop band musicianship skills.

The programme is being incorporated into ARK Kings’ existing music curriculum. The instruments will be completely new to the students and they will also have the option to take up additional instrumental tuition in the future, as other year groups currently do.

Three specialist teachers have been appointed to work with the pupils to develop key skills on their chosen instrument before they form a number of bands. They will play music drawn from a range of styles and genres and explore their own creative ideas as they journey to discover their unique musical identities.

Paul Bull, Head of Music at ARK Kings, said: “I'm delighted that we are introducing the band musicianship programme at ARK Kings Academy. This is a unique programme which will give our students a wonderful opportunity to learn several new instruments, develop their music skills and build their confidence. At ARK Kings we are committed to providing the best possible musical education. Music is a life skill that can open new doors and expand the horizons of our most talented young people.”

Nathan Portlock is the specialist teacher appointed to lead on guitar skills. He said: “It’s great to be involved in such a ground-breaking initiative. I've worked in music education for over seven years and I've never come across a school programme like this. It's exciting because it will provide every pupil aged 11 to 13 with a place where they can learn to compose, collaborate, play and even record new original music. Too often musical interventions in learning are short term affairs that target a small number of pupils. This approach is going to create healthy competition across the entire year group. It is said that talent is universal but opportunity isn't – not at ARK Kings!”

All students will take part in a band slam in the summer which will showcase their work to parents, friends, teachers and other students.

In addition, students at ARK Kings will be taking part in the annual ARK Schools Music Gala in the summer which brings together students from all ARK schools to play at a special concert at the world-renowned Barbican Centre in London.

You can follow on Twitter for updates on the programme.