Larch Blog

Dear everyone.

It has been a hectic start to the term. Setting everything up for lessons in both phases is a mammoth job, with over 370 lessons in secondary alone. I did not want to start Larch music lessons until the children were settled, but most importantly until we had got our preparation right. I will not 'sign off' a project until it is good to go. We now have it right!

At the top of this page - a link called 'In the Larch'. All information should be there. This website also works very well on a mobile phone or ipad - ideal for playing the backing tracks.

Now, the important information.

Times of lessons.

Wednesday for Year 3 woodwind.

Year 3 Woodwind. Called Wacky Woodwinds and taught by Mrs Taylor. The link to the page for resources is in the Larch tab above. Mrs Taylor has written a bespoke programme for the children and it is fab. Backing tracks are on the page, as are videos to help you. Lessons are on a Wednesday. Mrs Taylor will collect the children, on rotation. They will have an instrument this week, and must take home and practice. Then, the next Wednesday, children should bring in the instrument and put in the music room. They will have a booklet of music and work as well. Tracks on this website.

Year 3 strings. Mrs Kirkwood and Mrs Eldred will collect children. Tuesday for Cello, Friday for Violin. Instruments should be taken in the morning to the music room, and collected in the afternoon. Put violins on the shelves. Children should bring the music purchased as well.

Year 2 Strings Training Programme. Tuesday and Friday. Instruments will be allocated this week. Instruments on a Friday for practice, back on Tuesday. Use the link on this website (Larch tab) for music and advice. Children will be collected for lessons. Year 2 will start taking instruments home in a few weeks, when they are familiar with them.

Tuesday and Friday for Strings Training Programme

Tuesday for Year 3 cello, Friday for Year 3 violin.

At all times, instruments must go to the music room at the top of the stairs on the shelves (floor space for cellos) as labelled.

All musicians should practice using a music stand for the music. Get one here.

Information about expectations for learning are on the main larch tab above.

Our ethos.

In music at Simon Balle, we are a team, we work together. We are team music, you are team music, the children are team music. One team together.

We expect the children to go the extra mile, for we will go the extra mile. We are a musical school. Practice, with you, 3 times a week. Use the backing tracks, create the right environment to work. When family come to visit, create a 'living room' concert and celebrate the performance. Email me a copy to also listen to! You, as the people at home, are crucial to the success of the children. You will have to 'go the extra mile' as well. You, the children, us. Together, we are Team Music.

We will arrange concerts and more performances, when we see how things work out. We will invite you to assemblies, after school concerts and more. It will take time, but we will get there.

Our ethos is of a musical school. We have a unique situation in the Larch Centre where children in Years 2 and 3 are achieving in music such amazing things, so young. This does not happen by chance, and is due to the drive of my team in music, that of Alison Saunders our Head, the Larch team and the Governors. We are all passionate about music. I hope you are as well.

We continue to develop our Larch music and are excited about the future. Miss Iles, my colleague, is achieving amazing things in the class music lessons. I am with Year 3 this year for their lessons, and we are getting to know each other. We have a music assembly on a Monday. Miss Norbury, a Year 3 teaching assistant is also helping to support music in the Larch. She is so brilliant and full of energy.

Choir is on a Monday from 3.15pm until 4pm. It would be fab if all children came along. Singing is so important to being a musician!

Getting in touch.

Email is best. Mrs Pearson will usually respond, although I see all the emails. 01992 410408 to ring.

Stay in touch. Support us, work with us, celebrate what your children achieve. There will be ups and downs. However, the amazing music created will overshadow everything!

Follow us on Twitter for information and stories. @simonballemusic

When you're part of it, you put your heart in it.

I and all our music team are here to help. Use this site for initial information, ask if you need to, be polite when we are wrong, celebrate when amazing music is created.


Mark Taylor, Director of Music.