Courses & Programme of Study
The following courses are offered at the Saturday Centre:
Students participate in a choir, a supporting studies class, and where appropriate, at least one instrumental ensemble. They have a 30 minute one to one individual lesson on their chosen instrument (lessons can be extended to 45 or 60 minutes when appropriate, but at extra cost).
NB: Students on Full Curriculum must not usually have additional instrumental lessons outside of CYM.
As Full Curriculum but without an individual lesson.
Students participate in one or more ensembles only – particularly appropriate for more advanced players.
An afternoon ensemble (2.00pm – 3.30pm) for young string players at Grade 1 to 2 level. The focus is on ensemble skills, the development of reading notation, practical musicianship and consolidation of good technique.
Primary Years Programme (PYP):
In September 2016 CYM launched PYP!, a starter music course, initially for children in School Years 1 and 2.
Saturday classes encourage children to explore the joy of making music. In the first year they acquire the simple skills and fine muscle control necessary to develop technical proficiency on an instrument. Singing, rhythm and movement activities will teach an instinctive connection between what these young musicians do with their hands, their voices, their eyes, their ears and their intellect. This sense of connection is the crucial foundation for a rich life-long experience of music.
PYP! takes place on Saturday afternoons during school term time at CYM’s annexe Notre Dame RC Secondary School
PYP! is a positive response to the urgent need for more continuous, progressive musical training for young children in London. Beyond the scientifically proven benefits of the study of music to early childhood development, this need has been identified as a significant area of concern by leading arts organisations including the ABRSM, Arts Council Great Britain and UK conservatoires. This is a Saturday music programme for young people at the very beginning of their exploration of music.
The following instruments are taught at CYM
Strings: Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Classical Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Lute, Harp.
Woodwind: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon.
Brass: French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Cornet, Tenor Horn, Baritone, Euphonium.
Others: Piano, Harpsichord, Organ, Recorder, Percussion, and Singing.
Performance is at the heart of the Centre’s work and there are over ninety ensemble activities each week. These include Choirs, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Band, Chamber Orchestra, Intermediate Orchestra, Tango Band, Dance Band, Jazz Ensembles, Folk Ensembles, Stagecraft, chamber music groups and smaller ensembles within each department.
Ensembles are progressive and work across departments, covering a range of musical styles and working toward informal performances at the end of each term. At the end of the Spring Term the CYM Chamber Concert and Annual Showcase Concert take place and CYM receives frequent invitations for ensembles to take part in external performances.
All CYM students up to the end of Year 9 sing in one of the choirs. Singing “is the basis of all music” (Alfred Brendel) and significantly contributes to musical development. A wide range of musical styles is included and there are often opportunities for external performances.
These progressive classes are mostly based around year groups and cover essential elements of musical training that compliment instrumental and vocal tuition. They include ear training, theory, history, composition and analysis. Also included are more specific classes such as gamelan orchestra, music technology and singer songwriting.
In years 10-13 students are permitted to opt out of choir and supporting studies if they so choose but the majority continue to take advantage of these valuable opportunities.