On Tuesday the 11th of July, SIPS Music and Arts held our first year Six to Seven changeover event, aimed at children who are moving to secondary school in September.

(Article by Mr Beer)

Once all the attendees had arrived, we began by meeting, greeting and finding out which secondary school each of the pupils were going to attend in September. We were then able to introduce them to Heads of Music and SIPS Music and Arts staff who would be teaching them when they arrive. We then moved on to some fun warm up games led by Mr Beer and Mrs Reeves where some children had a chance to conduct the “changeover band”. The warmup concluded with a tense game of “forbidden rhythm” where the children beat Mr Beer by 3 points to 2.
Next were our sectional rehearsals where the band members moved into their instrumental groups to rehearse two pieces: “Seven Nation Army” and “Viva la Vida”. Within minutes some amazing sounds could be heard across the 4th floor, and it was clear that we had a great group of very talented children. After 45 minutes of hard work, the children had well deserved break and discovered the fantastic tuck shop, provided by the Friends of SIPS Music and Arts service.
After the break, it was time for a full group rehearsal where the children played fantastically. It was lovely to see the smiling faces, enjoying playing together as a group. There was also a group discussion, led by Mrs Derham, about what the children were expecting next year and how they were feeling about the move to secondary school. It was lovely for the children to see that others felt the same mixture of excitement and nerves as they did and understand that it’s perfectly normal to feel this way about what is going to be a big change in September. 
Parents arrived at around 8:10pm, and were treated to refreshments from the Friends group, before filtering into the “Willow Room” for the performance at 8:30pm. The children performed brilliantly, and it was heartening to see the pride on the faces of the gathered parents when their children had performed.
I spoke to a number of parents afterwards who were all very impressed and keen to see their children continue playing in a group in some capacity. One of my favourite parental quotes from the evening was:
“Dynamics in less than two hours Mr Beer, that’s impressive!”
A pupil who attended the event came into their lesson the following day, beaming and showing off the music that they had been working on to some of their colleagues who weren’t able to attend and then showing them how to play Seven Nation Army.
This will be the first of what I hope will be many such events and I’m very pleased that it was a success overall