At the end of Summer term, the Music department announced the first ever Music Summer School at Downe House. The Summer School would cater to girls’ locations and time zones and fit into family life… as all of it would happen online! The Virtual Summer School offers girls the opportunity to continue their Music lessons after individual lessons were not possible in the Summer term. Girls can improve their skills in one-to-one lessons and learn to build a long-lasting passion for music.
Sophie, who will be moving into the Sixth Form, said:
I am really enjoying my Virtual Music Summer School lessons and I have found it so useful to have teaching in the holidays before going back to school in September. I have been able to learn new pieces with my teachers which has been fantastic.
The Virtual Music Summer School is open to all current students as well as girls joining in September. It is the perfect opportunity for new girls to feel involved in life at Downe House before they start officially in September. The girls involved receive music tuition delivered by 20 instrumental/vocal specialists across all disciplines.
The Summer School has been met with great enthusiasm, particularly for its flexibility and accessibility. Lessons take place via Microsoft Teams all over the world – as far as China and Nigeria! The Summer School is designed to suit the needs of families; lessons are structured however girls would like – weekly, twice a week, fortnightly or a single ‘top up’ lesson.
Dr Charlotte Exon, Director of Music, said:
It’s wonderful to have music taking place across the world in our Virtual Music Summer School, encouraging our girls to be the best musicians possible as well as knowing they are having a lot of fun along the way! We have a fantastic team of specialist music staff who are committed to moving our girls forward in mastering their instrumental and/or vocal skills and inspiring them in a lifelong love for music.
The Music department adapted quickly and enthusiastically to the challenges and opportunities of online teaching. Although traditional individual music lessons were not possible, the team held over 500 performing workshops for girls to practise their pieces in front of Music staff. Alongside this were 15 sessions of online premium practice slots, encouraging girls to take the time to pick up their instruments in allocated dedicated time. The Virtual Music Summer School builds on this musical momentum, offering another new opportunity – for girls to return to one-to-one lessons online.
Antonia, soon to be in Lower Sixth, said:
It was great to be able to have a 1 to 1 lesson with my teacher and to get feedback on my playing!