Music is a practical subject where boys perform, compose and listen.
Singing takes place throughout the pre-prep years accompanied by stories and sound effects using percussion instruments. During Year 2, boys read music notation playing tuned percussion instruments and recorders.
In Junior School one music lesson is devoted to recorder playing where the boys revise their skills and learn to play more challenging pieces. Boys also play classroom instruments and attempt basic composing as well as continuing to sing regularly.
Everyone in Years 3 & 4 has the opportunity to sing in the Junior Choir. Public performances continue to be important and all Junior School boys participate in the Junior Play during the Spring Term and the Junior Concert during the Summer Term. Our most advanced Junior instrumentalists have the opportunity to play a solo in the Junior Concert and can also join the School Orchestra after they have passed their Grade 1 examination. Junior boys are also invited into other instrumental ensembles when they have reached an appropriate standard of playing.
In Middle School the elements of music such as texture and timbre are studied, and composition is based on this. Boys compose and write down melodies and study Medieval and Tudor music which provides a cross-curricular link with history. In Year 6 the boys will visit Hatfield House as a combined History/Music trip and will learn a Tudor piece to perform on the day .In Year 5 boys learn how to use Sibelius composition software and continue to use this, becoming more adept at using the more advanced features of this program as they progress through the school until the end of Year 8.
During Year 7, the boys learn about the music of the Indonesian Gamelan and we have a workshop session for Years 7 and 8 when a visiting expert brings in a set of gamelan instruments and everyone has the opportunity to play Indonesian Instruments. They also look at the music of Latin America and Egypt and study different ways of song writing including folk songs.
By Year 8 everyone is happy to perform. All boys compose, perform, improvise; and listen with confidence and perception.