For their first foray into whole-class instrument lessons, Year 1 have got to grips with the ancient wind instrument, the Ocarina.

Learning to play an instrument can offer huge benefit to children, helping to develop many characteristics associated with High Performance Learning, including perseverance, patience, resilience and creativity. Each year group at St Edward’s take part in instrumental lessons, trying their hand at a different instrument each year, ranging from African Drumming to the Violin.

The Ocarina is a fantastic instrument to learn as a beginner. Most find it easy to learn, yet difficult to master and because of its simple structure it makes an ideal starting point for our younger pupils.

Variations of the Ocarina have been found in Aztec, Mayan, Chinese, Mesoamerican and Japanese culture,s but the form in which it is known today is thought to have been developed in Italy by the Italian inventor, Giuseppe Donati.

To begin their study of the Ocarina, the children were each given new instruments, which will be theirs to play for the duration of Year 1. Their lessons with Mrs Arthurs (our fabulous woodwind teacher) began with learning the different parts of the Ocarina, the correct way to hold it and the ways in which it produces its different sounds. They have also leant basic percussion skills to complement their playing. The class have now moved on to learning how to keep time, the different lengths we can hold notes for and putting together sequences of notes.

As their sessions progress, the children will be accumulating valuable transferable skills, including a familiarity with musical notation, playing melodies and harmonies and getting used to the technique needed to use their fingers with a wind instrument.

Prep School | 01/12/2021