‘#candomusic’ is a hashtag that has been in regular use by schools and professional bodies since its first appearance in early 2020. It’s a simple but important message which has pulled together musicians and performers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, and which has been a source of reassurance and encouragement for the massively-impacted Performing Arts industryIt has been something ECS has held onto as we ‘re-opened’ in September and embraced socially-distanced singing and instrumental rehearsals in School – and even more so now as we find ourselves unable to meet together in person to make music.  

And yet, despite the whole-sale upheaval of the performing arts brought about by C-19, music and performance remain sturdy central pillars of our provision and of our identity – even in lockdown. Here, then, is a snapshot of what the Music Department is getting up to. 

Music is taught to every year-group throughout the School in the form of a live lesson, and during these sessions we are working our way through singing material, teaching the pupils new part-songs and rounds which we hope to ‘put together’ once we are back in School in the physical sense. In the Pre-Prep, Reception and Year 1 have been learning some new ‘action’ songs, exploring the importance of rhythm and pulse, whilst Year 2 have learned new part songs which they hope to perform (socially-distanced) once back in School, alongside their learning about instrumental ensembles from around the world. In the Prep, topics this term alone have ranged from Tudor Music, to Rock and Roll and Beat Boxing, with lessons all including a singing session to ensure that pupils can build their confidence as performers and make ‘live’ music during this time.    

One exciting venture that has been underway is the bespoke arrangement of ‘Here Comes the Sun’, written for us by our in-house professional arranger, Mr Roberts, with parts especially written to meet the instrumental needs of our group. Plans are afoot to get this recorded or performed live later in the term, when we really do hope that the sun will appear and we will be able to relish getting out and about again.  

Of course, ‘extracurricular’ music plays an important part in our daily School life and is continuing to do so during Lockdown. Our Music Theory classes are taking place before school and at lunchtime, with Mr Roberts and me running an ‘early morning’ slot for those keen to work towards their Grade 5 theory. During lunchtimes, both Ukulele Club and Vox (our pop choir) are up and running, and after school Mr Roberts runs an ‘Advanced Musicianship’ club where older pupils can turn their hand to a mixture of composing and arranging.  

In essence, Music continues to thrive at ECS. Pupils are engaged in a wide variety of activities, and lessons continue to stimulate and inspire pupils throughout the School. Pupils are also continuing in their own instrumental and vocal studies and it has been great to show-case pupils’ work through weekly lunchtime concerts – ECS Performers’ Platforms – broadcast on the School’s media platforms each Wednesday. Do, of course, keep sending in videos of your child performing (filmed in landscape, please!) so that we can continue to showcase the talents and hard work of our pupils.  

It is very much our hope that on 8th March we will be able to start making music ‘live’ together in School, but in the meantime it is a joy to see that – continuing a 900-year-old tradition – the pupils of ECS really #candomusic.  


5 February 2021
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