PUPILS and staff at an independent school in York have remained virtually connected during lockdown through the power of music.

Almost 200 children at St Peter’s School have continued to practice their skills, with more than 1,900 music lessons delivered virtually over the summer term.

The youngest pupils in the school, aged two to eight, have enjoyed Zoom singalongs every week since lockdown began, with one singalong per week for Nursery and Reception and another for children in years two and three. There has been a weekly Zoom singalong for the whole school every Friday, which has given the children the chance to sing many of their favourite songs.

To support the younger pupils, children from eight to 13 also held a guitar masterclass for pupils aged two to eight earlier this term, teaching them new skills and playing together virtually.

In addition to their music lessons, pupils have had the opportunity to perform virtually, via a series of Zoom concerts.

Three virtual concerts have been held for pupils aged five to eight with 30 children taking part, many of whom were performing for the first time. There have also been 14 Virtualosity concerts for pupils aged eight to 13, with 97 different performers, including 10 members of staff, and 164 live performances in total.

Furthermore, there have been three 6-2-7 virtual concerts for pupils aged 13 to 18, with around 50 pupils involved. These concerts are inspired by the year of the school’s foundation in 627AD. The performances were recorded during lockdown and published on YouTube on Tuesday evenings for pupils and staff to enjoy.

The pupils continued to celebrate the joy of music last week, with three special events to mark the end of the summer term. On Tuesday evening at 7pm, a virtual ‘Cabaret’ performance was streamed on YouTube, featuring solo performances from Upper Sixth pupils. This was followed by the final Virtualosity concert at 1pm on Wednesday lunchtime, and the Year 3s have been learning three songs for their special end of year assembly on Friday.

Paul Miles-Kingston, director of music at St Peter’s, said: “It has been great to see so many pupils keeping up with their music whilst we’re away from school, whether that’s with individual tuition, in virtual rehearsals or contributing to one of our 627 concerts. We have a busy programme of music events at St Peter’s and we’re glad to have been able to continue this remotely. Our term finishes with a virtual Cabaret concert with solos from the Upper Sixth leavers and a remote Commemoration service featuring the Chapel and Chamber choirs.”