Music is considered a major part of a St James education because of its great power to broaden the horizons of a boy’s outlook. There are many factors here – emotional maturity, cooperation, appreciation of cultural heritage and physical coordination. These areas are significantly enhanced through the power of music.
Music also has the power to transform a boys understanding of himself. He can experience the greatness of inspiring works and have his vision expanded.
The content of music studied is also thought to be highly significant. We endeavour to nurture an interest and understanding of music with lasting value. This is music that raises spirits and works in the area of fine emotion. So for example works recently performed include Purcell’s My Heart is Inditing, Mozart’s Requiem and Vivaldi’s Gloria. Hymns are considered an important part of the diet as they sing of the glory of God and the spirit of unity. Indeed according to Longfellow, “Music is the universal language of Mankind.”
Boys attend singing lessons once per week, and sing together in assemblies. In addition music lessons are part of the curriculum and it can be taken to GCSE and A-Level. There are numerous extra-curricular activities involving music, from lessons in specific instruments to choirs and orchestras. Boys have plenty of opportunity to perform throughout the year, be it in a musical or operatic production or a smaller concert.