The School takes the performing and expressive arts seriously, encouraging all pupils to participate in music-making and fostering musical ability at the highest levels. A solid grounding in the traditions of Western classical music, together with experience of modern, popular and World Music styles, offers pupils a well-rounded musical education.
The Music Department comprises eight practice rooms, two music classrooms, a large concert space, an Apple Mac computer suite and Recording Studio. With computer work stations featuring Sibelius 7, GarageBand and Logic 9 software, the Music Department is able to offer every pupil essential training and experience in the technology associated with music.
For further information on Music Department staff and activities, please click on the links below.
Musical Artist in Residence
Music: Senior 7 – Senior 9
All pupils take Music as a classroom subject until the end of Senior 9 and the Music Department offers (I)GCSE and Pre-U courses leading to university, college and conservatoire entrance.
Senior 7 pupils have a wonderful opportunity to learn several orchestral instruments in their curriculum, including the trumpet, French horn, trombone, Euphonium, oboe and bassoon, and each term concludes with an informal concert to which parents are invited. Pupils experience first-hand the instruments’ various timbres and develop invaluable skills such as learning to read music, basic music theory and score directions, compositional techniques and listening skills. The instruments are taught by some of the finest teachers in the country.
Senior 8 and 9 pupils have a rich and varied curriculum, which embraces three main components: listening, performing and composing. Pupils study the building blocks of music, harmony, bass, rhythm and melody, through score analysis and listening. They then transfer these skills into composing and performing opportunities in the state of the art Music Technology Room. Pupils will learn to write in a variety of genres, from brass fanfares and music for car advertisements to dance tracks and Musique Concrète.
The three components of the pupils’ (I)GCSE are Listening, Performing and Composing. Pupils sit a Listening paper containing questions based on recorded extracts of prepared and unprepared music from Western and World Music traditions. Areas covered include: Rudiments, Melody, Rhythm, Harmony, Instrumentation, Structure, Compositional devices, Texture, Style and Genre, as well as historical/cultural context and short dictation or transposition exercises. Directed listening based on short extracts of recorded music from the areas of study is a regular feature of lessons and prep activities.
Performing consists of both a solo (individual) and ensemble (group) element. As an indication of the expected standard, full marks for demand can be obtained with a Grade V instrumental level. Pupils should take full advantage of performing opportunities in School, and to prepare their performance using the School’s recording studio. In order to prepare for this aspect of the course, pupils are advised to have individual tuition on an instrument or voice for the duration of the (I)GCSE course, in addition to their classroom lessons.
To complete their course, pupils must submit two contrasting compositions, at least one of which must be composed in the Western tonal tradition and fully notated using staff notation. A recording, together with a notated score, must be created for each composition. Pupils use the latest software to compose their pieces and develop their skills in music technology. Attendance at Composition Club one afternoon each week is strongly encouraged in order to give pupils sufficient time to complete coursework and develop their skills appropriately.