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PIPS and 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 brand 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?

Our 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. 

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 ready themselves for a music examination outside of BSKL. 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 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 The British Schools Foundation. 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.