Music

Music has to be one of life’s joys. The Music department places a strong emphasis on practical music making and individual achievement through outstanding class teaching, extensive facilities, individual instrument lessons and ensemble learning.

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Pupils across all years are introduced to theory and composition, and encouraged to develop a broad appreciation of different types and styles of music. With six practice rooms, a theatre and two teaching rooms, both with interactive whiteboards and quality sound systems, we can offer the latest technology alongside specialist tuition: musical talent is developed through fun, practical and innovative lessons.

In any given week, more than 130 individual instrument lessons take place in school: we can cater for any instrument, and actively encourage practice outside lessons and at home. Each child with individual music lessons keeps their own Music Diary. We also provide personal vocal and singing tuition.

At the same time, a varied ‘menu’ of musical activity includes our Pre-prep, Chapel and Junior choirs, school orchestra, jazz band and pop bands the ‘Stags’ and ‘Does’, alongside brass, string and woodwind groups. We also offer a percussion studio, ideal for Nursery and Pre-prep and our Samba band.

Extensive concert and performance opportunities help build confidence, and are an essential part of a young person’s musical development. Usually based at our Performing Arts Centre, these range from informal lunchtime performances to school concerts where parents are welcomed. Opportunities exist to perform in Chapel, assembly and Junior and Senior Concerts, as well as the Christmas Carol Service. Houses compete against each other in the keenly contested House Singing competition while children are also encouraged to take part in various regional and national music festivals.

We are proud our pupils achieve consistently excellent results in ABRSM/Trinity practical and theory exams.

Music Assessment

Pupils are entered for ABRSM exams when they are ready: they do not take exams for the sake of it, but as a natural part of their study. Our Instrumental Team Leader is a qualified ABRSM examiner and pupils entered for exams spend time with her accompanying them, practicing sight reading and on aural tests. Closer to the time, mock exams provide valuable feedback for both pupils and staff.

Music Curriculum and Teaching

Pupils across all years are introduced to theory and composition in a variety of styles whilst developing a broad knowledge of classical, modern and world music. As pupils develop their individual musical ability, we also work to develop:

  • Listening and appraising skills.
  • Social skills.
  • Self-confidence.
  • Speech and language skills.
  • Individual and collective problem-solving.
  • Self-expression.
  • Working as part of a team.
  • How to study effectively.
  • Concentration.
  • Self-discipline.
  • Self-motivation.
  • Aesthetic appreciation.
  • Individual and collective pride in achievement.
  • Co-ordination skills.

Music Department Staff

Mrs S Mudd Director of Music, Years 3-8
Mrs A Hutchinson Kindergarten – Year 2
Miss K Alder Singing
Ms C Ashman Clarinet/saxophone
Mr P Clayton Drum kit
Mrs K Cousins Piano/theory
Mrs J Handy Cello
Mrs C Hughes Violin/viola/piano/theory
Mrs A Hutchinson Pre-Prep and Y3 violin
Mrs M Jarvis Flute
Mrs H Tate Piano/recorder/oboe/bassoon
Mrs R Taylor Brass/singing
Mr T West Guitars
Mr D Woodgates Brass
Mrs H Woodgates Piano/exam rehearsal/theory – Instrumental Team Leader