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Frozen Music

My Blog title today does not refer to the wonderful Disney film but is part of a quote from writer and statesman Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe in the late 18th Century; ‘I call architecture frozen music’. It is a beautiful quote and one of many that you come across when researching quotes about ‘music’. What a wonderful image. Years ago when I studied music, I was fascinated to learn that the historical periods of music such as Baroque, Classical and Romantic, were all linked to architecture with the style of the music period reflected in the buildings of the time as illustrated most easily by the Baroque music period and the Baroque styles of architecture and art.

If I was to announce the title of this Blog in assembly however I would have a Hall full of eager 3 to 7 year olds spontaneously and impressively burst into the Disney song ‘Let it go’ famously sung by Elsa the Snow Queen in the recent film ‘Frozen’. If you have ever experienced the latter it is truly a memorable and breath-taking experience. The song ‘Let it go’ is one of the best Disney songs in recent years and it was recorded and made famous by the Disney character singer Edina Menzel who is a famous star of Broadway. The lyrics and the tune are not simple but somehow 2 and 3 year olds can hook into the magic of this piece and begin to sing it with unbelievable style. By the time they get to 4 and 5 perfect renditions can be heard all over the world sung by children who are still learning to communicate and build their vocabulary. How does this happen?

The power of music is well documented.  It touches the soul in a way that experts continue to study with a view to capture.  How many of us when studying for exams could struggle to retain facts and chapters from lessons but could sing pretty much word perfect dozens of songs from that week’s Top 20?  Set the ‘Times Tables’ to music and you have children who can rote learn this important mathematical knowledge with much greater ease than by digesting tables from study. There is a well-known correlation between maths and music connected with patterns and order.

This term we are thrilled to have a designated Music Term.  At a time when some politicians are looking to erase ‘music’ from the state school curriculum due to cuts and poor budget management, yet again we celebrate our independence which enables us to give our children the richest possible experience in this valuable subject.  The world needs future citizens who enjoy academic success coupled with a deep experience of the arts not robotic young people lacking cultural depth. Accordingly we have a term filled with opportunity and experience and we began it in style on the first day back with a 37 piece orchestra playing in our school hall to a room full of fascinated children.  I say ‘fascinated’ advisedly because I was standing in an advantageous position where I could see our children’s faces as well as the magnificent orchestra from City of London Freemen’s School. From the ages of 2 and a half to 7 the children watched and absorbed the wonderful sight in front of them.  They could not resist gently moving to the sound and many tiny hands instinctively copied the conductor, the inspirational Mrs Eaglestone, as the children made sense of the live music at such close quarters.  Special thanks to the talented musicians from CLFS.

Inspirational education is what we are all about and next week is Keyboard Week when we will be welcoming the legendary one armed concert pianist Mr Nick McCarthy in to give a talk and performance to our lucky children and I can’t think of a more inspirational guest than that.  I started with a quote and I will end with another beauty this time from Plato the philosopher;’Music gives a soul to the universe,  wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything’. Roll on this magical term.

Annie Thackray