The school has a tradition of musical and performance excellence.
The music and drama department is busy throughout the year, with many children learning instruments, participating in a wide range of music and drama festivals, concerts and performances. This is enhanced with regular theatre visits to local venues and internal workshops for all year groups.
Music is taught to all children from KG – Y6 by our specialist music teacher. The school has an established staff of peripatetic music teachers who offer individual music tuition on a wide range of instruments. Pupils are encouraged to join in instrumental ensembles and recorder groups. Examinations by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music are offered to eligible pupils three times a year and are taken at a local examination centre. There are two accomplished school choirs which perform regularly at school and external events under the leadership of the Head of Music.
We currently offer the following instruments.
PERIPATETIC MUSIC TEACHERS – in their own words
ALISON DAWSON – VIOLIN AND CELLO TEACHER – WEDNESDAY
After spending 20 years working for financial organisations as an IT Project Manager, I decided enough was enough and it was time to follow my dream of being a freelance instrumental teacher, specialising in the cello, violin, double bass and piano. I am a qualified music teacher (B.Ed at Bath University) with eight years teaching experience and I am passionate about music and love to see the enjoyment and achievement students of all ages and abilities can get from playing an instrument.
WILL HAY – PIANO TEACHER – THURSDAY
I graduated in 2001 with a MusB, in piano and trombone, from Manchester University. After working as a lay clerk (professional singer) for two years at Peterborough Cathedral I went to Durham University to do a PGCE specialising in music. Since moving to Chester I have taught music in schools and now specialise as a peripatetic piano teacher in schools around Chester. Besides teaching the piano, I run two community choirs in Chester and work as an accompanist and a pianist for weddings.
MARK HOOPER – PERCUSSION TEACHER – MONDAY
Since finishing my MA in music performance I have been working full time as a professional musician in both performing and teaching settings. I work as the lead percussion tutor for Cheshire Music Service and run a very successful home studio where I teach one-to-one drum kit lessons. In terms of my own performing, I play for and manage one of the UK’s busiest function bands and work as a session musician for both recording and live work in various musical settings.
DANNY ORTIZ – BRASS TEACHER – FRIDAY
I have been a professional trumpet player for many years. As a child I auditioned and gained a place in the National Youth Brass Band of Wales and then later succeeded in gaining a place with the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain. Professionally, I continue to perform on many UK and European Touring shows such as, Chicago , Jerry Springer the Opera , Mary Poppins, The Blues Brother show and many more. I have performed with many big name artistes such as, The Osmonds, The Monkees , Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and Sarah Millican. I am currently lead trumpet on the touring show ” I Feel Good”.
RACHEL OWEN – WOODWIND AND RECORDER TEACHER – FRIDAY
Qualifications: BA Hons degree in Combined Humanities (Music and Literature) from Crewe and Alsager College of HE. ALCM (Flute Teacher’s Diploma from London College of Music). DipABRSM (Performance Diploma from Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music). I began my musical life aged 7 with the recorder, an instrument on which I still love to perform. I started learning the flute at high school, where I took all my grades and played in the concert band and orchestra. I was also a founder member and principal flute player of West Cheshire Schools Concert Band (now Chester Schools Concert Band). Currently I am principal flute player of national- platinum-award-winning Wirral Symphonic Wind Band.
NICK STUDHOLME – GUITAR TEACHER – THURSDAY
I have been playing the guitar for over 25 years and have over 20 years experience teaching all styles of guitar, bass and music technology in a private capacity, throughout many schools (in partnership with the organisation Music for Life). After completing a Jazz diploma and attaining grade 8 classical music theory, I played guitar and bass in a wide variety of bands and spent time as a professional composer writing Jazz, Electronic, Pop and advertisement compositions for a prestigious marketing company. I currently provide lead guitar and backing vocals for the corporate band – Slinky.
The Firs is also an examination centre for LAMDA , giving pupils the opportunity to complete examinations throughout the year. Drama is taught by Mrs Ravanne Hamer and Mr Joe Mann on a Friday.
The London Academy of Dramatic Art examination board is internationally acclaimed. It forms one of the largest Theatre Schools in London and it is recognised for not only acting but also in speech and communication. LAMDA qualifications are widely recognised and once you enter Grade 6 and above you are awarded UCAS points for University.
The aim of the examination is to help improve your child’s confidence, skills in public speaking and as a performer. The children are introduced to verse speaking and prose reading as well as performing monologues for their examination. This is an enjoyable experience for the children within a friendly atmosphere.
The latest results from the children at the Firs School where outstanding, 14 Distinctions and 4 Merits. Congratulations to all the pupils who entered, we are very proud of you.