All Dunannie children participate in the making of music as composers, performers and listeners; creativity is regarded as a latent attribute of every child. Involvement with music and movement is considered crucial in a child’s early years; there is a long tradition of music and movement at Bedales stretching back through the teaching of eurhythmics and work by the Dolmetsch family to an inspirational visit by Dr Maria Montessori in 1919.
Musical activities are taught by the music staff at Dunhurst, overseen by Ben Harlan, Director of Music at Dunhurst. They co-ordinate the music curriculum to complement work led by class teachers. There are also links with specialist areas such as dance, drama, poetry, art and modern languages.
There is a strong emphasis on singing for development of the inner ear and performance as a member of a class group, two choirs, and smaller ensembles. Additional opportunities exist in local festivals and joint performances with musicians from Dunhurst. A programme of live music is often provided by members of Dunhurst and Bedales, visiting music staff and other musicians from a breadth of musical cultures.
Dunannie children have regular experience of composing and of performing music.
Individual music tuition is available from Reception with lessons provided by 24 members of the Dunhurst visiting music staff. By Year 3 many children receive individual instrumental or vocal tuition.
Fundamental to all these musical activities is the value placed upon heuristic learning – enabling children to discover things for themselves - and providing a breadth of experience through which Dunannie children can develop the skills to define the music of their future.