Music provision is a real strength of the school. The following opportunities are available for children:

  • a weekly music lesson with Karen Warner, our specialist music teacher. All classes in the main part of the school have a forty minute lesson. Many Key Stage 2 lessons are cross curricular and linked to Learning Themes (eg: Space, Conflict, India)
  • Guitar lessons are available with Steve Nelson.
  • The Richmond Music Trust provide piano, violin, woodwind and singing lessons. For further information please call the school and speak with Carol Tingle
  • The School choir, Barnes Voices, is led by Karen Warner and Luci Ducker. They take part in the annual Richmond Singing Festival and perform in our Harvest, Christmas and Summer Concerts.
  • the chance to perform as a singer or an instrumentalist at a special event, such as our annual Summer Concert. The video clips above are taken from the 2013 event
  • the chance to perform an instrumental piece to the whole school in our Friday afternoon assembly
  • exposure to a wide range of very carefully chosen pieces that are played at the start and end of assembly four days a week. Children hear classical music, jazz, world music and the occasional pop tune.
  • special events including the Summer Concert, Harvest Festival, Christmas Carol Concert and School Productions.
  • children participate in the Wider Opportunities scheme, where all Year 4 children are taught keyboards by a specialist teacher for one term, with an option to continue and provision of keyboards for those who choose to do so.


An orchestra of 75 children and adults play the Mars movement from Gustav Holst’s ‘The Planets’ – February 2015


Our music curriculum



Music at Barnes

Karen Warner, Sue Jepson and Mark Hartley are continually looking for ways that will extend music provision at our school. We would like to see as many children as possible learning to play a musical instrument. We also want to provide as many opportunities as possible for these children to perform at school. We want all children to enjoy singing and a large number to experience the joy of being part of a choir. Finally, we aim for every single child to love music and delight in the diverse range of music that exists.

All data below was updated in May 2015.


The Richmond Music Trust

The Richmond Music Trust offers tuition on the school site, within the school day to a large number of pupils. At this time the take up for these half hour sessions is as follows

Instrument Boys Girls Total Free school meal pupils
Singing 4 5 9 0
Woodwind 2 3 5 0
Violin 2 11 13 0
Piano / Keyboard 11 19 30 1
Music Makers 11 13 24 0

Natalia Alexa offers lessons for the following instruments:

  Boys Girls Total
Recorder 6 30 36
French Horn 2 0 2
Trumpet 1 0 0
Piano 2 3 5

The Richmond Music Trust website can be found at: 

Fees are as follows:

per term

30min group
(2-4 pupils)

20min group
(2 pupils)

20 mins

30 mins

Music  Makers

Level 1

Level 2








 Please note that very significantly reduced prices are available to parents who are not as well off. It states on their website:

 We give sympathetic consideration to families where financial hardship may prevent a child from receiving instrumental tuition with us.

  • Those in receipt of:
  • Income Support
  • Job Seekers Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Council Tax Rebate
  • Free school mealsmay be entitled to receive up to 70% reduction of fees.Guitar lessonsIn addition, Steve Nelson offers half hour guitar lessons to groups of three to four pupils. The cost of these is £75 for ten sessions.
Steve Nelson offers guitar tuition:

  Boys Girls Total
Guitar 18 11 29

School choirs

There are currently three choirs at our school. Little Voices – who performed so well in last Friday’s assembly – is led by Rachel Williams. This group meets twice a week in after school clubs that take place on Monday and Thursday. Every week a boys’ choir meets. Barnes Voices is a choir made up of Key Stage 2 pupils. This school club meets on Monday after school, and again on Tuesday mornings from 8.15 am to 8.45 am.

There are currently two choirs at our school. Little Voices, for KS1 children, led by Rachel Williams. This group meets twice a week in after school clubs that take place on Monday and Tuesday. Barnes Voices is a choir made up of Key Stage 2 pupils. This school club meets on Monday after school, and again on Tuesday mornings from 8.15 am to 8.45 am.

Choir Boys Girls Total
Little Voices 16 32 48
Barnes Voices 16 61 77

Next year Barnes Voices will lose six Year 6 pupils and gain 21 Year 3 pupils (currently in Little Voices as they are in Year 2). Karen Warner is looking at splitting Barnes Voices up into two separate groups.

Wider opportunities

Our school has taken part in the government sponsored wider opportunities initiative that is designed to give all Key Stage 2 pupils the chance to learn to play a musical instrument. Each year all Year 4 pupils spend eight weeks learning to play the keyboard as part of their music lessons. These sessions are taught by a keyboard specialist from Richmond Music Trust. Once the initial taster sessions have been completed parents and children are given the option to continue learning at a significantly reduced rate. Unfortunately, following this free provision, there has always been very little interest from parents at Barnes Primary in signing up for further lessons following the free trial.


 Further details about this scheme can be found at:


All pupils who are learning a musical instrument are strongly encouraged to perform. Three options exist:

  • performing within the weekly scheduled music lesson
  • performing at the start of a Key Stage assembly (Monday or Tuesday)
  • performing in a whole school assembly (Friday afternoons).To perform in a music lesson the child concerned (or parents of the child) simply needs to ask Karen Warner (who will be delighted).

To perform in a Key Stage assembly: inform either Jo Patience (Key Stage 1), or Charlotte Phelan (Key Stage 2).

To perform in a whole school assembly inform Jo Patience.

 Formal productions

Music will continue to feature in all our school productions: the Harvest Festival; the Christmas Nativity play; the Christmas concert; the Year 4 production; the joint Year 1 and 2 production and the Year 6 production. The choir also perform at a variety of different venues throughout the year, such as at the St Michael’s Carol concert. Going forward we would like them to perform at our Arts Week Exhibition at Barnes Pond every year.

The Summer Concert

The standard of children’s performances at this annual summer event has improved year-on-year. Perhaps even more importantly more and more children ask if they can perform. Last year there were so many that it was decided to have two concerts: one for younger performers and the other for older ones. In all, approximately seventy children performed. We will continue to hold two celebratory annual events.

A school orchestra?

We did have one three years ago and we remain very keen for children to perform together. One of the challenges for a primary school orchestra is that every year some of the most accomplished musicians leave and move on to secondary education. We believe that more might be achieved if we created one or more ensemble, rather than a full orchestra. Karen Warner is very keen to set this up, but she really needs to know all the children who play an instrument, and to what level. Karen is in close liaison with peripatetic teachers from the Richmond Music Trust, but it’s very hard for her to keep abreast of all the young musicians (and their standard) as a number receive lessons out of school. If your child plays an instrument please would you let Karen know by e-mailing her at

 Why we don’t have the whole class learning an instrument in music lessons

We don’t think this arrangement works! We have found out about schools that try to offer this, teaching instruments like the fife or the recorder. Our view is that the very wide range in pupils’ experience and ability makes sessions unworkable. We know of a school in Hounslow that try whole class instrument lessons. A very limited number of pupils continue to play an instrument following these lessons.

 Musical appreciation

We would argue that there are few schools that offer such a wide and eclectic range of beautiful music that pupils hear four times a week as they enter and exit assembly. Our children hear classical music, jazz, folk, music in different styles from all around the globe . . . and the occasional catchy pop tune. They tell us they really like the tunes that are chosen and a number of parents ask us for the names of tunes we play. We believe that this is a part of the very special atmosphere we create in our school.