School in North London celebrates winning Classical 100 Challenge – and a Yamaha Clavinova piano

31 October 2018, 16:56 | Updated: 1 November 2018, 12:44

Park Lane Primary School
Park Lane Primary School. Picture: ABRSM

By Elizabeth Davis

Park Lane Primary School and music teacher Cecilia Kovacs won the prize for their work on Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, and were presented with a Yamaha Clavinova piano by MP Nick Gibb this morning

In a special assembly this morning, 31 October, the 360 pupils of Park Lane Primary School gathered in their school hall for a special performance of Carmina Burana.

Music teacher Cecilia Kovacs – had entered the school into a competition run by ABRSM as part of Classical 100 – an app that aims to help teachers introduce primary school children to 100 great pieces of music. Classic FM is a partner on the project.

Over 4,000 schools have used the Classical 100 app since its launch in 2015. Earlier this year the ABRSM set schools the task of submitting an original idea for a challenge or task linked to Carmina Burana, one of the pieces in the Classical 100.

Ms Kovacs and the children of Park Lane Primary were picked as the winners of the challenge and this morning they were presented with their prize – a Yamaha Clavinova piano – by the Minister of State for School Standards, Nick Gibb MP.

Ms Kovacs said: "Having worked at Park Lane Primary School for over two years, music has become an important part of the curriculum; the children have weekly music lessons in which they study a comprehensive singing based curriculum.

"I never expected to win the ABRSM Classical 100 competition, rather I really enjoyed planning the lesson and delivering the material. But to win the digital piano from ABRSM and its partners is an absolute treasure and will be a significant influence in future lesson plans."

Nick Gibb said: "I want to congratulate the children and staff at Park Lane Primary School, whose inspired musical creativity has been rightly rewarded with this generous award."

Responding to recent stories about a decline in music education he said: "Music plays a very important part in almost all schools in our country and as a Government we take music very seriously. Music and the arts are a hugely important part of a child's education as part of a broad and balanced curriculum and we feel very strongly that music should play an important role in schools, that's why it's compulsory in the national curriculum from the age of 5 to the age of 14."

In response to claims that the EBacc is damaging music in schools, the Minister said:

"We take the arts and music extremely seriously. Our state schools are providing a very strong academic education, standards are rising. And we believe as a Government that music and the arts are an important part of a child's education. But at the same time the EBacc is important, it's important that young people have good maths lessons."

The Classical 100 is an app designed as a teaching aid for teachers. It's a free resource and includes music by composers from Bach to Bernstein and Handel to Haydn.

Teachers can sort the music according to mood, instrument, tempo or historical period. Find out more about Classical 100 here.