Cultivating Creativity at Christ’s Hospital
Annabella has recently finished her final year at Christ’s Hospital. Throughout her time at School, Annabella cultivated her creativity through music and the arts. In fact, Annabella was first motivated to start playing music by the CH Band.
“I was inspired to play the saxophone when I visited CH on an open day when I was in year 5, and watching the Marching Band was when I realised I wanted to be a part of it. Visiting the school’s Art Department was another reason for me to apply, as I was amazed with the high standard of work that the students produced.”
Music is integral to CH’s tradition of discipline and creativity. Whilst research suggests that state schools in England have seen a 21% decrease in music provision over the last five years, CH continues to recognise the importance of teaching music to young people.
Pupils of every age and ability are encouraged to explore and develop their musical abilities. Over 600 individual music lessons are taught each week, and in many cases, the School is able to provide an instrument for a pupil to use throughout their time here, thanks to the support of our donors. Over 100 pupils make up the infamous CH Band and six days a week, weather permitting, the Band plays to march every pupil into lunch.
Like the other pupils who learn an instrument at CH, Annabella has been able to take part able to take part in a huge range of exciting musical events at the School.
“Since joining CH, I have been in various music ensembles such as Senior Jazz, Saxophone Quartet, the Big Band and the Marching Band which I love being a part of. I am this year’s Band Captain, and I enjoy committing time to help others, reassuring new members who may feel unsure, saying that I was very much in the same position not so long ago! I joined the band in LE (year 9) and have loved all the various events such as St Matthew’s day, Lord Mayor’s Parade, and even playing at Lord’s Cricket ground. The highlight there was definitely playing the theme to Game of Thrones – it felt almost surreal!”
Annabella has also discovered how practicing music can help to grow other skills, like confidence. “Music has played a huge role in my development in my time here, with such opportunities including lunchtime concerts to improve with my confidence in performing, to bigger events such as playing Michael Nyman’s Where the Bee Dances in this year’s Angus Ross Gala Concert.”
Thinking outside the box is a common trait found in CH pupils, and Annabella has utilised this in other projects at School, like Art.
“Balancing art and music, as well as academics, has been key in my organisation skills, especially with art being a demanding subject. The theme given for our A-Level Art project lead me to create a suit out of Tunnock’s caramel wrappers, which reminds me of how liberal art can be at CH!”
Annabella is now looking towards the future and is keen to keep the creative spark going in her life post-CH.
“I am going to do an Art Foundation at Central Saint Martin’s after leaving, and am very much looking forward to what that brings for the future. As well as this, I am also applying to various music colleges, due to the constant support from the music staff including Mr Hodgkinson and Miss Beere, my saxophone teacher. I hope to continue art and music once I leave CH, and I am very much going to miss all that this school has to offer!”