The Ideal Place to Create

The Ideal Place to Create


“I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.” – Plato

The aim of class music teaching at Clifton is to expose our children to the elements of music through singing, playing instruments, music appreciation, music history and theory.

All children at Clifton have an hour of music class per week, from Grade 00 to Grade 7, and a myriad opportunities to get involved in extra-curricular music.

Who has music lessons at Clifton?

All children from Grade 00-7 have an hour of class music per week offered by specialist music teachers, one in the JP and one in the SP.

In the junior years, children start off with non-melodic percussion – instruments that make a sound rather than a note; such as the triangle, drums and tambourines. From there they will progress to melodic percussion instruments such as the xylophone and glockenspiel; this introduces the concept of pitch. The next level of progression is the recorder and marimbas which builds on simple pitch, allowing children to recognise and quite easily learn about and even develop their own rhythm, melodies and song.

Children sing in every lesson and an appreciation for music is established through critical listening to various genres of music, composers from different eras, musical stories and also the creation of their own compositions.

Do the children play instruments?

All Grade 3 children are exposed to four different instruments during their Grade 3 year. They are involved in small group lessons once a week for 30 minutes where they learn to play the violin, recorder, guitar and clarinet. The aim of this programme is to grow the instrumental programme at Clifton and, at the same time, teach the children an appreciation for the effort and time it takes to learn a musical instrument.

Children may elect privately to learn a specific instrument and individual teachers may be contacted by the parent to arrange lessons. Instruments currently on offer include piano, guitar, drums, violin, flute, saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, trombone and voice. More information is available on the D6 under Resources / Expressive Arts.

Does Clifton have a Marimba Band?

Children can join the Clifton Marimba Bands in Grade 6 and 7. In Grade 6, the focus is on the development of marimba playing skills and all Grade 6 children are welcome to join. In Grade 7, a show band is selected through an audition process. The Marimba Bands perform at termly concerts, J2C and the Clifton Marimba Festival.

Does Clifton have a school band?

An instrumental ensemble, the Clifton Band, was established in 2016 to allow our instrumentalists the opportunity to experience the joy of making music together. The band has grown from strength to strength and performs regularly at school events and external concerts. A highlight of the year is the Clifton Ensemble Concert where instrumental groups from local primary and high schools are featured.

Can a child take instrument lessons in addition to those offered in the curriculum?

Specialist teachers for the piano, guitar, violin, flute, trumpet and drums are available on site. Children learning an instrument are invited to join the band.

Who can join the Choir?

Clifton has three choirs.

The Junior Primary Choir, The Cliftones, consists of all the Grade 2 and 3 children. They rehearse twice a week during school hours and perform at termly JP Music Recitals, Easter and Carol Services and The Wykeham Collegiate JP Choir Evening.

The Senior Primary Choir consists of approximately 80 children. All Grade 4-7 children are welcome to join. The choir sings a variety of repertoire, from traditional folk songs to pop and gospel music. The choir performs at various events during the year, including SP Music Recitals, Easter and Carol Services, The Michaelhouse Music Festival, Epworth Choir Festival and Music in the Hills at Hillcrest Curro School.

The Chamber Choir is for those children that would like to develop their voices further. This choir is selected through an audition process. Popular songs as well aca pella songs are learnt. They perform alongside the SP choir.

    A typical Clifton Music Experience will include:


    • Marimba Concerts
    • Termly Music Recitals
    • The Michaelhouse Music in the Midlands
    • The Annual Carol Service
    • Christmas visit to Amberglen