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Music

Music is a universal language that can engage and inspire children. Learning a musical instrument or simply appreciating a broader range of musical genres develops a unique mind and spirit, and provides a source of joy and satisfaction that can last a lifetime.

Music has a central place in the curriculum here at BSKL, allowing students to develop an appreciation and love for music whilst honing their musical skills. Throughout the year a busy schedule of concerts and musical workshops provide children with the opportunities to showcase their work and talent, both in the school and in the wider community. You can find out more about Music at BSKL below.

Mrs Kim Kelly

Director of Music

Overview

Whole class instrumental music lessons provide every child with the opportunity to discover and learn an instrument they enjoy. Individual lessons are also provided during the school day for children who wish to make faster progress on their chosen instrument. Children receive one hour of curriculum music and one hour of instrumental music lessons per week.

Early Years Music Programme

From Early Years, children are introduced to music and its various aspects through playing, singing and moving in two sessions a week lasting 30 minutes. Each child also has the opportunity to begin to play simple musical instruments and through a very practical approach begin to understand fundamental aspects of music such as rhythm and harmony.

Primary Instrumental Programme

All children from Year 2 to Year 6 follow the Primary Instrumental Programme, designed to develop each child’s understanding and appreciation of music. Each child’s musical experience is built up through learning to play an orchestral stringed instrument from Year 2 to Year 4 and a woodwind or brass instrument from Year 5 to Year 6.

Secondary Instrumental Programme

Students from Year 7 to Year 9 will receive one hour a week of instrumental tuition, in small groups covering the whole range of orchestral and brass band instruments. Students will be guided in their choice of instruments depending on their experience as part of the Primary Instrumental Programme and their particular area of interest. These lessons will be taught by specialist tutors and will further support the performance aspect of music at IGCSE and A Level.

Instrumental Scheme

Children with a greater interest in music are encouraged to take Individual Instrumental Lessons in which they receive individual music lessons once a week, on a rotational timetable, in their chosen instrument by a specialist teacher.

Primary and Secondary Instrumental Music Programmes (PIPS & SIPS)

BSKL offers the exposure and enjoyment of a specialist music programme committed to presenting all Primary Year 2 – Year 6 and Secondary Year 7 – Year 9 students with an opportunity to be coached in small groups, in the elementary and progressive foundations of musical exploration. These lessons are an integral part of the timetable and are in addition to curriculum music lessons. These principles include:

  • Choosing an instrument
  • Learning correct posture techniques
  • Understanding the language of notation
  • Listening to sound and recognising melodic structure, rhythmic patterns and values, contrasting dynamics and the importance of listening, interpreting and responding confidently when working together in an ensemble

Development of such skills encourages an enormous in-depth wealth of team playing and emotional and academic intelligence.

Year 2 – Year 4 have the choice of learning violins, violas and cellos.

Students from Year 2 will assemble together in the first term of the year. String PIPS staff will demonstrate the choice of stringed instruments to each child, taking into careful consideration preference, size and compatibility. Once this selection process is achieved, results will be discussed with the music team and the instruments appropriately allocated. Once a child has been given an instrument they will continue with this study through years two, three and four, sustaining a consistent and essentially fluent practise of instrumental music.

Year 5 – Year 6 have the choice of learning trumpets, trombones, french horns, tenor horns, euphoniums, baritones, flutes, clarinets and saxophones.

Continuing from Year 4, children will transfer their focus from their exposure to stringed instruments to woodwind and brass in Year 5. The same procedure of instrumental selection practised in Year 2 will be implemented; children will be allocated an instrument according to preference, size and compatibility. Once the choice is confirmed, study of the instrument will continue through Year 5 – Year 6.

Year 7 – Year 9 have a choice of learning a range of orchestral and band instruments.

Students from Year 7 – Year 9 will receive one hour a week of instrumental tuition, in small groups covering the whole range of orchestral and brass band instruments. Students will be guided in their choice of instruments depending on their experience as part of the primary instrumental programme and their particular area of interest. These lessons will be taught by specialist tutors and will further support the performance aspect of music at IGCSE and A Level.

PIPS & SIPS FAQS

How does the Individual Instrumental Programme differ from PIPS & SIPS?

BSKL offers individual instrumental tuition within the parameters of our daily school timetable. These lessons are charged as an additional expense to school fees and rotate through the week. Fully experienced and qualified tutors and interns are invited to teach classes to students seeking individual instrumental lessons. These lessons are independent of PIPS & SIPS.

Who teaches this programme?

Qualified and committed tutors with flair and experience have been invited to share their expertise to enhance this provision. Our tutors have worked alongside other privately funded local children’s orchestras, supporting and directing end of term productions, concerts and a variety of other platforms.

Are the children able to take the PIPS & SIPS instruments home?

The purchasing and maintenance of school instruments is proportionately budgeted by Nord Anglia Education. These instruments remain on our campus at all times, unless a performance requiring our ensembles to travel is scheduled to an alternative venue. Parents of children wishing to pursue the purchase of an instrument should approach the music department, who will be able to assist with your enquiries. For those students that excel in PIPS and SIPS lessons they can be nominated for the Allegro Award by their tutors which allows them to take a school instrument home to practice on weekends.

Can PIPS & SIPS prepare our children for the ABRSM or other Music examinations?

These programmes are not, by any means, a preparation platform for children wishing to prepare themselves for a music examination outside of BSKL but the school is a centre for ABRSM examinations. The experiences learnt from attending these classes and the application of focus and concentration practised will certainly benefit any individual wishing to challenge a music examination, however, preparing for such an event is individual and specific, according to the programme of the syllabus and the strategic lesson plans offered by a private teacher. PIPS & SIPS are weekly school group classes, with particular and selective goals, insight of our own repertoire and lesson plans, with different trends and levels of achievement.

How does the BSKL Music Department decide which instruments to implement in this programme?

Apart from the educational learning curve detailed in this menu of information, the general direction and intention of PIPS & SIPS  is to build the solid foundation of a primary orchestra, incorporating traditional instruments such as strings (violin and cello), woodwind (flute, clarinet and saxophone) and brass (trumpet, tenor horn, baritone, euphonium, trombone). Year classes are allocated certain instruments according to their potential ability, age and physique, recommended by experienced and qualified staff. The repertoire devised for this programme is designed for this specific combination of instruments.

Can my child change instruments later in the term or academic year?

Once the choice of instrument has been allocated and confirmed, students must follow the syllabus through until the end of the school academic year. This commitment ensures an achievement of thorough consistency, exposure, focus and practice.

Is there anything I should purchase to prepare and support my child for these lessons?

PIPS & SIPS is a BSKL programme budgeted by Nord Anglia Education. Instruments and any additional needs will all be provided by the school.

What if my child does not read music?

All students will be introduced to the reading of the stave during these lessons. Reading clef, key and time signatures, note values, rhythmic notation, dynamics and ‘language’ is essential to an all-round appreciation of music, taught in these lessons.

Individual Instrumental Scheme

BSKL supports a diverse individual instrumental programme focused on encouraging students who have a particular enjoyment of playing music, to develop their interests and studies further. Individual instrumental lessons are rotated around the school timetable and offered once a week for the duration of forty five minutes, at a cost of RM80 per lesson**. There are normally ten confirmed lessons during term time. Lessons begin in the second week of each term and follow through, in most cases, to the penultimate week. In order for your child to maximise this opportunity and make progress, it is required that they have their own instrument. If you need advice on purchasing an instrument, please contact charlotte.leng@britishschool.edu.my. Students may also be required to buy music books or a theory book to support their lessons, which the instrumental teacher will advise on where appropriate.

Wind Instrument Information

Instruments currently on offer:

  • Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello, Acoustic Guitar (Year 2 and above)
  • Singing (Year 3 and above)
  • Acoustic / Electric Guitar, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Tenor Horn, French Horn, Baritone, Euphonium, Trombone (Year 5 and above) 

Application

Please click on Online Application - Individual Instrumental Programme​

Confirmation and Timetables

Term 1 timetables

Once your application has been received, confirmation of your request is immediately effective. Timetables of your child’s lessons will be emailed to you. These timetables are also displayed on the music and class notice boards, the website and made available to your child’s class teacher. Please note, as these timetables are rotational, your child’s lesson may alternate around different days of the week and occasionally cross over into part of break or lunch time.

Payment

The total number of instrumental lessons per child are calculated and invoiced to parents in the first week of term once timetables are finalised; payment should be settled with the Finance Office on the Upper Hill Campus by the date indicated on the invoice.

Confirmed instrumental lessons, cancellations fees and confirmation of timetables

The timetabled rotation of many children taking instrumental lessons throughout the school term is a carefully calculated task which requires considerable planning and negotiating. This is achieved within the first few days of the first week of a school term, finalised and emailed to parents, class teachers and instrumental teachers by the end of the first week so that lessons may begin promptly in the second week of term. Due to the hours incorporated in the administration of the timetable of these lessons, a cancellation fee of RM375 will be imposed on parents who confirm a commitment to this programme, who subsequently decide to cancel, after they have submitted their application form.

Punctuality

Year 2 – Year 5 students engaging in these lessons will be supported by their class teacher, assuring punctuality is adhered to throughout the term. Support will also be offered by the instrumental teacher who will endeavour to pick your child up from their class lesson should a late arrival become imminent. All children are signed into an instrumental register as confirmation of the lesson taking place.

Year 6 – Year 9 students have diary planners that need to be signed by the teacher of the class they are excusing themselves from (e.g. Humanities, Chinese or Art) and the instrumental teacher receiving them. Dates of lessons should be pre-written into their diary planner so they can be responsible for ensuring their own punctuality.

Making it easier for your child

Many parents of Year 2 – Year 5 choose to have a colour tag reminder sticker detailing the time of the instrumental lesson, placed on their child’s shirt, tie or instrumental case. Such parental support of the instrumental timetable infrastructure provides a further and more practical means of management for these year groups.

Teacher Feedback

Instrumental teachers are requested to complete feedback forms for each lesson. Should you wish to read this feedback, you are welcome to make an appointment with a member of the Music Department.

Instrumental Teacher Contact Details

Parents are encouraged to meet with and take the contact details of their child’s instrumental teacher.

Individual Instrumental Programme FAQs

How to confirm the term's instrumental lessons?

The online application form for individual instrumental lessons should be completed before the last week of the previous term to confirm your child's place on the programme.

Are replacement lessons scheduled should my child miss a lesson?

All instrumental tuition fees paid to BSKL must be fully received as salary by the tutor, regardless of termination, casual or sick days off, or any other absence that may occur during the term by a student. No replacement lessons are timetabled due to the teaching load of the instrumental tutors, however, should an instrumental tutor cancel due to sickness, cover will be provided during the absence.

Can my child have a set lesson time every week?

It is the school’s policy that instrumental lessons rotate around the weekly curriculum timetable in order to ensure a child does not miss the same curriculum lesson each week. This policy is observed and practised by all children studying individual instrumental lessons in our school.

Can my child have a lesson after school?

No instrumental lessons are offered after 3.30pm, the end of the school day in order that students can access the extra curricular activities.

Who are the tutors?

Our instrumental tutors are fully qualified practicing and experienced local and UK-trained musicians who come highly recommended to BSKL’s music department. They are recruited for their expertise in their performance fields and their continuous commitment to education in Malaysia. Woodwind and Brass lessons are taught by our own Music Interns recruited from the UK.

How long should my child practise per week?

Our recommended practice timetable for all students participating with one on one instrumental music lessons should be timetabled to a minimum twenty minutes, three times a week. If this is not consistently attainable please be mindful that any development and general progression will be extremely minimal, if any at all.

Where do I purchase an instrument?

Should you require assistance with purchasing instruments, please contact charlotte.leng@britishschool.edu.my.

Can my child play in orchestra ASA?

There are certain benchmark requirements for children wishing to participate in the Training, Intermediate and Senior Orchestras. Recommendations from tutors are also a necessary consideration.

Training Orchestra Strings

  • Correct Posture
  • Open Strings Bowing
  • Play the first note on every string

Training Orchestra Woodwind

  • Saxophones – ability to read and play one octave scales and arpeggios of C Major, F Major and G Major plus a simple ABRSM Grade 1 study.
  • Clarinet – ability to read and play one octave scales and arpeggios of F Major and G Major plus a simple ABRSM Grade 1 study.
  • Flutes – ability to read and play the notes Bb, Eb, Ab, G, F and play one octave scales and arpeggios of F Major and G Major.
  • Brass – ability to play the notes C – G plus F# and a C#.

Senior Orchestra

  • ABRSM Grade 5 or equivalent for all woodwind, strings, brass and percussion instruments.

If I wish to terminate my child’s lessons, how much notice should I give?

Should you wish to terminate your instrumental lessons, please be advised, once you have made the term’s payment, no refunds will be reimbursed. One month’s notice at the end of a term will be sufficient enough for us to cancel your scheduled lessons for the following term.

How may I contact the instrumental teacher – can I take their contact details?

All instrumental teachers are given your contact details. The music department is happy to provide you with your instrumental teacher’s contact details.

What is PIPS & SIPS?

PIPS & SIPS is a compulsory one hour instrumental programme exposing children to the learning of stringed instruments (Year 2 – Year 4), brass and woodwind instruments (Year 5 – Year 6) and the whole range of orchestral and band instruments (Year 7 – Year 9). This programme is an additional hour to the music curriculum timetable.