More than a subject: a way of life

We aim to enthuse all our pupils with a range of musical opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom: it starts with older students seeking out younger ones to participate in ‘House Music’, the first musical event of the year.

The House Music Competition provides a chance for older students to conduct, compose and show their leadership by organising an event in which everybody gets involved.

Leslie, Fourth Year Pupil

From their first few days in school, students are immersed in an environment where a ‘can do’ and 'get involved' ethos permeates everything that they do. In the classroom, they are introduced to a curriculum that gives them the opportunity to develop the skills of accomplished musicians, while at the same time encouraging and supporting those with less confidence.

First and Second Form pupils have ample chances to compose, perform, record and enjoy all the ensemble opportunities that music-making in a class situation affords. In Year Three, those who opt for music prepare for GCSE year, using film music as a stimulus for composition. They enjoy experimenting with different timbres and textures as they get more proficient with Sibelius composition computer software.

GCSE and A Level pupils develop all the skills of practical performance and theoretical music-making that will prepare them for Music degree courses at university or conservatoire.

For many of our students, music becomes a way of life; they settle into a department that offers a multitude of different ensembles catering for every need. Some have been established over many years, such as the School Symphony Orchestra, Big Band, Choir and Choral Society. Others are more recent to cater for the specific needs of pupils, such as the boys of the Junior Barbershop who ‘just wanted to sing’. Musicals are a regular occurrence at our ‘Winter Theatricals’ and enable pupils to come together and work with different disciplines.