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Opinion25th January 2023

“Music is not just an ‘add on’… it is a wonderful and essential part of life”

Music plays a vibrant role in the life of Ark’s schools. Designed to build confidence, ability and harness a life-long love of a variety of music, the Ark Music Programme offers a wealth of experience for all students at all levels. Thanks to the hard work of our dedicated team of music teachers, we’ve seen creative and talented musical communities develop across our network. The subject has grown in popularity, so much so that approximately eleven percent of Ark students take music at GCSE, compared to just five percent nationally.

Last term, nearly 300 GCSE Music students travelled to London’s Conway Hall for the annual Year 10 Music conference. We love bringing students together from across the Ark network. For this event, we had fifteen schools participating in activities, including workshop performances of ‘Africa’ by Toto. Students played the drums, guitars, wind, brass and strings alongside 200 vocalists. They also learned different vocal parts of Bach’s ‘Badinerie’ and performed arrangements following a vocal-based workshop.

One of the day’s highlights was Segun Akinola, director and composer of the music for Doctor Who. He presented examples of his compositions, shared his process and took part in a Q&A. He also led a session for BTEC students exploring his life in the music industry.

Students were treated to a concert from the House Band and the National Youth Choir of Great Britain featuring several Ark students.

One student said: “It was a really valuable day, forming connections with people we don’t know and learning how to compose a piece of music from scratch. It was an eventful day with plenty to do and so much to get stuck into!”

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