Sweet Valley recognises the value of music in a child's life and as such has embraced the subject as an integral part of the school curriculum. This department goes a long way to encouraging and stimulating a love for the broader subject of Arts and Culture. While striving for excellence the staff of four full time and seven part time highly qualified and dedicated music teachers provide an opportunity for learners to enjoy making music and to achieve the best of which they are capable.
We have no doubt that exposing every child in the school to some form of music has enhanced their lives while stimulating the brain in such a way as to promote a higher level of academic performance.
In a school of some 900 learners almost one third take instrumental lessons with 240 Grade 2 and Grade 3 learners playing the recorder as an introduction to individual and group music making.
All classes receive music education once a week.
Grade 1's attend a music education lesson once a week in which they are exposed to singing, movement and percussion work.
Grade 2 and 3 learners all learn recorder while children who show musical aptitude are then placed in groups and given the opportunity of moving onto another instrument at a later stage. They are also exposed to singing and percussion work, while also learning to compose their own rhythmic compositions in groups, which they perform in class.
Intermediate and Senior Phase
Intermediate and Senior Phase learners are given music education classes as part of a modular programme. From Grades 4 to 7 the learners are taught to recognise period styles of music, art and costume ranging from Baroque to Modern-day, to play percussion instruments and to compose their own songs.
Individual music lessons are given to learners from Grade 2 in the following disciplines - Piano, recorder, voice, fife, flute, folk guitar, classical guitar, drums, saxophone, clarinet and violin.
Learners who receive tuition on orchestral instruments are required to play in the band or string ensemble. Those doing voice sing in the Senior or Junior Choir. We also have a flute and recorder ensemble.
During the week rehearsals for the Senior and Junior Choirs, Wind Band, Recorder Ensemble, Flute Ensemble and String Ensemble take place.
All music learners are required to do theory. Special classes are given for learners who have only one half hour lesson a week, while there is a Grade Two and Grade Three UNISA theory class for those who have achieved this level and wish to take music as a subject in High School.
Both Senior and Junior Choirs participate in the Cape Town and Afrikaans Eisteddfodeau and have come away with excellent results over the years. Learners are given the opportunity to perform at the school assemblies which is a way of sharing their talent with their peers and also giving them the opportunity to perform.
Each year a Music Prize Competition takes place which allows those who show performing ability to compete against others and to learn from the experience. This is adjudicated by two external judges.
Our learners have participated most successfully in both the Cape Town and Afrikaans Eisteddfodeau, and external examinations. Every learner who studies music is required to play in a grade concert irrespective of how long they have been studying music. This is fun and is kept low-key. They also participate in concerts and community outreach programmes.
Sweet Valley is most fortunate in having a strong parent support system. There is an Arts and Culture Parent Forum committee who assist in all preparations for the many activities which we undertake.
We are delighted to be able to offer such a wonderful variety of music-making experiences which our pupils will take with them into High School and the remainder of their lives.