1. Read about this famous
Middle Eastern instrument
in Instrument of the Month
musicmattersIssue #07 Jun/Jul 2013
ST. JOHN’S PREP SCHOOL’S MUSIC MAGAZINE
THEBEATLESThe universe’s best-selling
band in history
HOLIDAYSFill up those long days with this month’s
Read about our first ever
choral exchange as we visit
the Scottish Highlands
Welcome to the last issue of Music Matters for the
academic year! And what a busy half term it has
been. The choir has just returned from their very first
choral exchange visit from the Scottish Highlands,
where they performed in Gordonstoun School to many
positive reviews. You can read more about this on
pages 6 & 7.
The F3s were also kept busy with their preparation for
the Arts Exhibition, which took place on the 20th of
June. For their final performance as a year group, they
devised a medley of three songs, each containing
lyrics that were pertinent to their school journey at St.
John’s. They also came up with their own prose that
summarised their school experiences over the years,
which they interspersed throughout the medley as
each song was segueing into the next. Overall, a
As usual, next year will feature a wide array of
activities, trips, visits and workshops within the music
department. I am excited to constantly raise the
standards of this publication, and look forward to
bringing exciting and fresh new ideas towards the
creative life of every St. Johnian in the new academic
year to come.
Having said that, I have really enjoyed producing this
magazine for St. John’s Prep School over the past year
and I hope to be continuing this for the next year. I
always value any feedback that you may have, so if
you have any ideas or suggestions as to what you
would like to see in any future issues of Music Matters,
please do not hesitate to get in touch!
MR. JONATHAN ANG
Instrument of the Month
The Practice Chart
Featured Artiste of the Month
The Pre-historic Flute
The Year in Review
Trip to Gordonstoun School:
Prep School Choral Exchange
by Mrs. P Bowman
All humans love to make music and our ancestors were no different. Archaeologists have
discovered some of the oldest musical instruments known to man – flutes made from the
wing bone of a vulture and mammoth ivory, dating from as far back as The Stone Age!
The oldest flutes have been dated as being
around 35,000 years old! Flutes made from
ivory are particularly impressive, since they were
made by cutting a thin piece out of a mammoth
tusk, splitting the piece in half, hollowing out
the tube and cutting the finger holes, and then
reattaching the halves with an airtight seal.
Stone Age flute made from a vulture's bone
All of these finds come from an
ancient culture called the
Aurignacian, who lived in what is
now modern Germany. Scientists
believe that music was part of their
everyday life, just as it is in our lives
– perhaps used in celebrations or
Stone Age flute made from a mammoth’s bone
Want to hear what a Stone Age
flute might have sounded like?
Of the month
Every month we feature an instrument, which might be a common instrument,
or sometimes a strange and mystic-looking one instead! If you would like to see it in action,
simply visit YouTube and type in the instrument name, and there you have it!
If you would like to learn a new instrument, simply speak to your music teacher
and they will point you in the right direction.
The oud is a pear-shaped instrument com-
monly used in Arabic, Jewish, Greek, Turkish
and Middle Eastern music. It is commonly
considered as the ancestor of the guitar and
shares many similarities with the western
While the oud may appear to be a beautiful
instrument, it has a rather grim tale behind it.
Legend has it that the first oud was inspired
by the shape of a skeleton hanging from a
tree, after a grieving father hung the body of
his dead son from a tree. Other cultures,
especially the Turkish, believed that the oud
contained magical powers and was brought
to wars and used in military bands. Indeed,
this instrument has had a long and varied
history, with the oldest record of the oud
dating all the way back to over 5,000 years
ago. It has been praised for its healing pow-
ers, and ancient doctors from Iraq used it
regularly to heal the sick as they believed it
to be able to “calm and revive hearts”.
The playing technique of an oud involves
strumming or plucking the strings with a
plectrum called a risha. Traditionally, risha
were made of eagle feathers and tortoise
shells, but today they are usually made out
#1 You can beat me and I won’t get red in the face.
I come in all sizes from snare down to bass.
All bands like to use me to keep a good beat.
As you march me along on your two little feet.
I’m a _________________.
#7 I’m played with a mallet, that’s easy to see.
And there are bars that are big and small across me.
I’m made of wood and come in different sizes.
My music makes lots of terrific surprises!
I’m a _________________.
#3 I have four short strings, but you can’t tie a knot. I do have a bow so you can play me a lot!
I’m a _________________.
As you can see from the pictures, the body of the oud
has a bowl-like back, while the neck is bent at a 45-90
degree angle. It usually has three intricately designed
circular-shaped sound holes and consists of eleven
strings. Unlike a modern guitar, it does not contain
frets, making it more similar to a violin.
should be able
to recognise the
Help! I’m in ! I ran over something
and now my tire is . Can you come
and help me in a of an hour? Thanks! Do
I need to any of that?
VISIT TO GORDONSTOUN SCHOOL
he Prep School choir embarked on their first ever
choir tour in June, heading up to the Scottish High-
lands to visit Gordonstoun School for a choral ex-
On the 14th of June, sixteen pupils led by Mr. Ang spent
an entire day at Gordonstoun, performing for both the
Senior and Prep school pupils whilst enjoying the lush sur-
roundings of this faraway boarding school. This school is
known for its several previous notable alumni, including
Prince Philip and Prince Charles.
Aside from putting on stellar performances which they all
worked very hard at, the choir were also treated to a host
of varied activities such as a piping display, workshops on
the bagpipes and African percussion instruments, perfor-
mances by the award-winning Gordonstoun chamber
choir as well as a rounders match. They also got to meet
several of the Prep school pupils, who took them to both
lunch and dinner at the school refectory.
The F.1 singers getting ready for their performance. Enjoying a presentation by the Gorrdonstoun chamber choir.
They concluded their eventful day in Gordonstoun by performing at the Prep School chapel service, which is a weekly
service held every Friday before the weekly boarders are taken home by their parents for the weekend. On top of
showcasing their own repertoire, they also sang a medley of Glee numbers with the Gordonstoun choir, after only re-
hearsing for it twice throughout the day. That certainly went down a treat!
The next day, the choir made a visit to Culloden Battlefield, near Inverness. The Battle of Culloden is known for being the
last pitched battle fought on British soil, where the Hanoverian British government quelled the Jcaobite Rising once and
for all, ushering in the Act of Proscription in 1746 and crushing the Clan system as well as Jacobite traditions.
Michelle Rhys, F.1 Aileen Ajibade, F.2
I really enjoyed playing rounders and meeting
the girls from Gordonstoun. I made a friend
called Liberty in Year 5, and she told me more
about her boarding experience. The campus was
huge, and we had fish and chips for dinner - it was
great! Interestingly, I did not hear many Scottish
accents. That is because there were many pupils
from different parts of the world. I hope the choir
goes to Scotland again next year!
The best part of my day at Gordonstoun was
actually when we first stepped off the coach!
The bagpipes were waiting for us and they sounded
amazing. It was a bit shocking but a very pleasant
surprise still! I had a go at playing one as well - it
certainly was not easy. It took a lot of breath, and it
was tricky trying to do that without laughing at the
same time! I also learnt that the boarders share six to
a room. That sounds quite cosy to me!
There is absolutely no sound in space, because there is
no air in space for sound to travel through. Which
means all those explosions in space you see in films are
If you try to say the
moving your lips or
tongue, every letter will
sound the same.
term for a
plays a flute
is a flautist.Trumpeters used to play on
battlefields to signal the
troops. This was a dangerous
job, as the enemy would
usually try to aim at the
trumpeter first so he would not
be able to give signals to the
rest of the army.
Modern Times Forever is a Danish
film that is currently the longest film
ever made in the world. It was
released in 2011 and is 240 hours
long, or 10 days.
More than half the
instruments in an orchestra
belong to the string family:
violins, violas, cellos, double
basses and the harp.
The Gordonstoun Pipe Band and Drum Corp.
St. Johnians enjoying their
Mr. Oliphant, the piping teacher, giving a workshop.
Sarina Seth (F.2) having a go.
Mrs. Richardson trying out the Great Highland Pipes.
The St. John’s choir learn the finer points of African percussion instruments. Enjoying an African rhythms workshop.
As the summer holidays are just round the corner, Music Matters has compiled a list of events taking part in and
around Greater London in July & August. Fun for the whole family!
Petunia’s Pick - Peppa Pig at the Farms
31st Jul. 2013 Stubbins Hall Lane, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 2EF
The Lee Valley Park Farms in Waltham Abbey are just the best
kind of fun when it comes to a great value family day out.
There you can meet the farm animals and make friends with
cuddly sheep, giant rabbits, rare breed pigs, long-necked lla-
mas and a loveable meerkat family. And for one day only,
Peppa Pig will be making appearances at the farm, so do
come and see her! There are also indoor and outdoor play
areas available to run around in, as well as a tractor and trailer
ride to the dairy farms.
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
Battersea Park, London SW11 4NJ Permanent attraction
This small and charming family-run zoo is a great alternative to the more
crowded zoo in Regents Park. Alongside the familiar rabbits and sheep
are more exotic (and some endangered) species such as meerkats, le-
murs, emus, mynah birds and a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. In the meer-
kats’ enclosure, you will get a chance to crawl through a tunnel and
pop out at ground level with the furry creatures right in the middle of
Horrible Histories®: Spies
from 29th Jul. Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ
Uncover the deadly and mysterious world of spies
at this major new interactive exhibition for the
whole family. Horrible Histories®: Spies brings the
horrible history of WWII spies and their secret
schemes to life. Find out which sneaky spies told
the biggest lies, how exploding rats were used to
sabotage German factories and what secret
agents carried in their suitcases. From exploding
camel poo to irritating itching powder, this exhibi-
tion reveals the terrible tricks, traps and techniques
used by spies to make secret war on the enemy.
Jason’s Canal Boat Trip
Jason’s Yard, opp. 60 Blomfield Road, Little Venice, London W9 2PD Permanent attraction
Explore the picturesque and well-hidden Regents Canal onboard Ja-
son, an authentic 100-year-old canal boat which was originally used
as a cargo vessel. The tour runs between Little Venice and Camden
Lock and includes a live historical commentary about the canal’s his-
tory from the 1800s to today. A one-way trip takes around forty-five
minutes. Call ahead to make sure the day’s trips have not been fully
booked. If you look carefully during the tour, you might spot Mr. Ang
going for a run on his regular route along the canal!
9th Aug. - 8th Sep. Regents Park Open Air Theatre, Inner Circle, Regents Park, London NW1 4NR
Direct from Australia, Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo brings these awe-
some prehistoric creatures to the stage as you have never
seen them before! From cute baby dinosaurs to teeth-
gnashing giants, you will also get to meet the most recent
addition to the Dinosaur Zoo, a carnivorous beast known
as the Australovenator, the most complete meat-eating
dinosaur skeleton yet found in Australia. Discover all about
dinosaurs in this entertaining and highly imaginative live
show, and get up close and personal with them on the
picnic lawn before you leave.
All information regarding ticket prices, dates and venues in this listing are correct at the time of printing. They
might be, however, subject to change. Please check all relevant websites for any possible updates.
ST JOHN’S PREP. SCHOOL
Back row (L-R): Melissa Ourris, Aileen Ajibade, Holly White, Georgia Moncaster, Haley Danso, Klara Ismail, Alexandra Chapman-Boon, Olivia George, Lily Harbron, Thusharani Rubendra
Third row (L-R): Stephanie Peretz, Rachel Hill, Anahitha Vijay, Kobika Mohan, Zebulon Lavery, Emily Woodham, Grace Alexander, Sarina Seth, Andrianna Josif, Shanaaze Mang-Smith
Second row (L-R): Michelle Rhys, Madison Barnardo, Christie Kuch, Katherine McKenzie, Alexandra Spelman, Eleanor Hall-McAteer, Kate Burrett, Andriana Ourris, Theodora Thomas, Haralambia Artemiou
Front row (L-R): James Wisker, Andreas Koureas, Shayan Patel, Tolani Odetoyinbo, Roham Sarabi, Alexander Moriarty
TEACHERFEATUREThis month’s featured teacher is Mr. Owen Huges, our guitar teacher across the
Prep and Senior schools. He speaks to Music Matters and tells us how he got
started on the violin and the guitar.
My first instrument was violin, which I started on when
I was 7, with a little help from my mum who was a
violin teacher. This went on until I was 18, when I left my
home in Wales to enrol on a Music Diploma course in
northwest London. After I completed the course, I returned to
Wales and started teaching, whilst at the same time
performing with a metal band called “The Hollow Earth
Theory”. We were quite successful and even shot two music
videos as a band!
Since coming back to London I have been working with a
string quartet recording numerous different soundtracks for
films and advertisements, as well as performing with the
London electronic band “Mt. Wolf”. As a guitarist, I perform with a function band that keeps busy at numerous
events such as corporate functions and weddings. In my spare time, I volunteer with the east London scheme,
“Every Child a Musician”, where I provide free instrumental tuition to children and direct end-of-term
concerts for the pupils to perform in.
What I do at
What I am currently
I enjoy anything from jazz to rock music, but
I find Daft Punk’s new album Random Access
Memories particularly superb, especially
with the blending of electronic instruments
and live instruments such as strings and a
funk band. The track Giorgio By Moroder is a
great example of this. I am also listening to
Biffy Clyro’s album Opposites a lot.What his student
has to say...
Joel Matthews, 1 Blue
I am the guitar teacher in both the Senior and Prep
schools at St. John’s. I was lucky enough to start last
September and also run the weekly guitar club at the Prep
What I am currently
I have been learning the guitar with Mr. Hughes for about six months now. I was inspired by
my uncle, Randolph Matthews, who is an amazing Blues and Soul musician. When I first started
lessons I was rather nervous, but Mr. Hughes put a lot of trust in me, which helped to build my
confidence. At the start of every lesson we go through some familiar chords, before we learn
new tracks that can be found in the current charts, such as songs by P!nk and Black Eyed Peas. I
enjoy his confident style of teaching, and I am looking forward to sitting for my Grade 1 guitar
`Despite having broken
up, each member of the
band continued to enjoy
successful individual mu-
sical careers. Sadly, John
Lennon was shot and
killed in December 1960
and George Harrison
died of lung cancer in
November 2001. The
Beatles have had more
The Beatles were a world-famous rock band that was formed in Liverpool, England in 1960. They are considered to be
one of the most successful and critically-acclaimed bands in the history of music. The band consisted of John Lennon,
Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Their Rock and Roll music became so popular in the 1960s that the
term “Beatlemania” was
coined to describe the
behaviour of their fans.
With their music, the
Beatles led the “British
Invasion”, when rock and
pop music from the
United Kingdom became
extremely popular in the
United States. After re-
leasing thirteen albums,
they broke up in 1970.
OF THE MONTH
Every month this newsletter features a musician, artiste, composer or singer for you to discover.
Remember, if you want to know more about the featured artiste of the month,
you can always find more on the internet, especially on YouTube!
number one albums on the British charts and sold more singles in the UK than any other act, even till this day. In the
United States, they have sold 177 million albums, putting them in first place, and have even won an Academy Award for
Best Original Song. This makes the Beatles the best-selling band in history, with a total sales of around one billion units!
M U S I C M A T T E R S
Published by St. John’s Prep. School
© 2013 Jonathan Ang
The 2012/13 academic year has been a very active year for the music department at both the Prep
and Senior schools! Here is a look back at what we accomplished over the past academic year.
The chamber choir is set up in the Senior School. Led by Mr.
Ang, it has since become a popular performance feature in
The different ensembles from both the Prep and Senior schools make
their yearly performance debut on Speech Day at the Wyllyotts Thea-
tre. The senior chamber choir makes their debut with a soulful rendi-
tion of Sting’s Fields of Gold.
F3s watch The Lion
King in the West End
as part of a national
The Prep School choir embark on a recording project to submit
their entries for two national level competitions: the BBC Songs
of Praise School Choir of the Year and the Barnardo’s National
Annual Choir Competition.,
The different ensembles in the Prep School embark on their most ambitious Christmas pro-
duction yet, involving the orchestra, choir and soloists. All year groups participated in a
Christmas musical revue, with spoken word directed by Ms. Field. Mr. Colman also devised a
drama piece featuring the F3s, while the different peripatetic instrumental teachers banded
together for a Christmas carol sing-along finale.
First form girl band
New Ice are crowned
winners at the Senior
School Battle of the
The prep school choir continues their annual carolling tradition at Spring View
Residential Home by performing a delightful programme for its residents.
The Prep School choir perform as finalists for the first time at the Barnardo’s
Annual National Choir Competition, held at the Barbican Centre.
The Senior School puts on their annual
musical production, Into The Woods
by Stephen Sondheim, at the Wyllyots
The Prep School choir embark on their first ever choir exchange trip to
Gordonstoun School in the Scottish Highlands. They performed to ex-
tremely positive reviews and have paved the way for an annual choir tour.
Prep and Senior School ensembles
perform at the annual Arts Exhibition,
with the F3s presenting a devised
medley of songs reflecting their school
journey at St. John’s.