Music is an important part of school life at St. John’s. All students in Primary and Secondary departments receive a weekly music lesson where they have the chance to develop their singing voice and to explore a range of instruments including un-tuned and tuned percussion, drum-kit, keyboard and steel pans. They also develop listening skills which is a key aspect of musical learning. Whilst there is an emphasis on performance students also develop basic skills in improvisation and composition. The Music Department scheme of work is regularly adapted and revised in order to meet the changing needs of the student population.
Students in the sixth-form have the opportunity to continue Music as part of a BTEC course in Performing Arts run in conjunction with the Drama Department. Those who do not follow the BTEC course may still receive weekly Music lessons which are non-accredited but are an opportunity for students to continue to develop their musical skills and to broaden and/or deepen their experience of music.
Beyond weekly class-based Music lessons many students take part in extra-curricular musical activities. There is a school choir which meets on a weekly basis, allowing students to develop their vocal skills as well as general performance skills. The choir has regular opportunities to perform to audiences, including at the Christmas and Summer Concerts. The choir also plays an important role in leading the music for school Masses.
In October 2015 St. John’s acquired a set of steel pans following several years of fundraising. These have greatly enhanced the Music curriculum in general, and there are also two steel pan groups that run at lunchtimes.
All students attend a singing assembly once a week where they learn a variety of songs and hymns. There are regular opportunities for classes/individuals to help lead songs in assembly, whether this is through singing or signing.