Musician of the Month: Elton John

He was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on March 25, 1947, in Middlesex, England. He showed his musical talent from an early age and was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music at 11!

He has written so many hit songs including, Your song, Goodbye yellow brick road, Rocketman, I’m still standing, Tiny dancer and Don’t let the sun go down on me, however he is no lyricist. The majority of lyrics that you can hear in his songs have been written by long term collaborative partner, Bernie Taupin, but he has also worked with other famous lyricists like Tim Rice, most notably on The Lion King soundtrack, for which he won an Oscar! 

Big Samba

On Friday, our brilliant samba band went to the John Charles Centre to play alongside several other schools. It was a pleasure to see the children taking part in a large scale musical event after so long away. The day saw the children play the pieces they had been learning with Mr Mercer and collecting the Music Champion Award on the school’s behalf. Special thanks must go to Mrs Linsley and Miss Nwaesi who took centre stage following Mr Ash’s isolation.

Musician of the Month: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda is an American actor, singer, songwriter, rapper, director, producer, and playwright (he keeps himself pretty busy!). Children may know him from the 2018 film Mary Poppins Returns, where he played Jack, a lamplighter (the new Dick Van Dyke character) Here he is – Adults may know him from Hamilton (which he starred in and wrote) or His Dark Materials on BBC which he was in before Christmas. 

We are the Champions!

This week, we were awarded LMEP Music Champion School status which recognises schools’ outstanding commitment to music education. Music Champion School status is awarded to any schools in Leeds who have made a significant impact on their pupils’ lives through their music offer. The panel commented that it was ‘great to hear from a school that offers such a full musical experience for their children.’

Year 4 Body Percussion

Mrs Turney’s class have been working on body percussion with Mr Mercer to perform and compose pieces of music. The process has allowed them to work on many different musical aspects such as being able to count in. Here is an example of the children playing along to Believer by Imagine Dragons.

Year 6 Ambient Music

Last half term, Year 6 have been learning about ambient music which is a type of music that uses held chords to create atmosphere. The children used Bandlab Education, which is a music making platform, to create their own compositions. The process allowed to work like real music producers by looping sections, recording and editing sounds and utilising different effects to create high level compositions. Here are some examples from across the year group.

Musician of the Month: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

This month we are listening to the music of composer, conductor and political activist, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. 

Born in Holborn in 1875 to an English mother and a father originally from Sierra Leone. He died in 1912 from pneumonia at the age of 37. 

His family were very musical and he was taught the violin by his father, at which he excelled. He went to study at the Royal College of Music in London and studied there for 15 years. He began composing at this time and learnt alongside Holst (The Planets) and Vaughan Williams (The Lark Ascending).  

He was inspired by his African heritage which inspired his music through his musical ideas and links to African poetry. 

He became so popular, despite prominent racism targeting the black community at the time, that he went  on three separate tours of America as a conductor and composer. In fact, his work across music and politics was so well received that in 1904, he was even invited by President Theodore Roosevelt to visit the White House!

Musician of the Month: Amadou & Mariam

Amadou & Mariam are a musical duo from Mali, composed of the Bamako-born couple Amadou Bagayoko (guitar and vocals) and Mariam Doumbia (vocals).

They have had an amazing career so far, including being nominated for a Grammy in 2008. Their music is an incredible fusion of cultures and they have established a wide appeal. Their music combines many different elements such as traditional Mali sounds with rock guitars, Syrian violins and Cuban  percussion. Perhaps even more incredible is the fact that they have both been blind from a young age!

Live Performance

On Friday morning, we were extremely lucky to have Mr and Mrs Amblin’s band come into school and perform to our class. We listened to a range of music from the period we have been studying and were able to watch some traditional dance from the era such as the charleston.