Formally Director of Music at King's College Madrid, our current Headmaster has a passion for school music and has strengthened this area considerably at Yarlet. The formation of the Yarlet Music Academy in 2010 was a turning point when we took the decision to appoint and quality control our own peripatetic instrumental teachers and have specialist curriculum music teaching from Reception onwards. We are now beginning to see the fruits of this with a full orchestra, many ensembles, two choirs and many individual success stories such as pupils who have won scholarships the their senior schools or gained places in the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Chorus, National Youth Choirs of Great Britain and Birmingham Junior Conservatoire.
A lively enthusiasm for music exists at Yarlet and contributes to many aspects of school life and there are regular opportunities to perform from large scale, whole school concerts to more intimate year group recitals for close family and friends. Yarlet also extends its music into the community. For example, our choir leads the town's Victorian Carol Service at St Mary's Church and has led a Remembrance Festival at the Gatehouse Theatre which was broadcast of BBC Radio Stoke.
Although learning a music instrument is completely optional, we encourage every child to have a go and children from as young as 4 are learning to play an instrument. Some of our older pupils are learning two or even three instruments and almost half of Main School pupils are in the school orchestra as we invite children to join after their first term of instrumental tuition. Lessons are available on orchestral stringed, brass, woodwind and percussion instruments as well as on piano, guitar or saxophone.
There is an annual Young Musician of the Year competition, the winners of which are awarded instrumental tuition scholarships. Furthermore, 11+ scholarships are offered to suitable candidates. Click here for further details.
Drama provides opportunities for children to build self-confidence, self-expression and creativity. From the Nursery upwards, pupils participate in Nativity plays, Harvest Festival events and special seasonal services in Yarlet's own Chapel. As pupils progress through the school, they take part in regular events, such as Yarlet's much-acclaimed poetry reciting competition, and in special assemblies, to which parents are invited, as well as our older pupils participating in some challenging drama productions such as Macbeth and Under Milkwood.
Yarlet children have the opportunity to learn Ballet, with tuition by a qualified Dance teacher. Pupils are taught Ballet following the syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dancing. The emphasis is on strength and posture and the joy of responding to music and pupils have the opportunity to take ballet productions which are staged for the enjoyment of parents and pupils.