All boys, up to the end of Year 8, receive two periods of class music each week. The aim at all times is to encourage response to pitch and rhythm, to achieve a high level of musical literacy, to encourage creativity and to cultivate a knowledge and understanding of composers’ works by developing listening skills.
Years 7 and 8 class music is designed to develop musical knowledge and skills through a varied range of activities from singing and learning how to listen attentively to music, to working in the School’s two fully-equipped music laboratories utilising professional score-writing and sequencing software. ‘Hands on’ experience helps to consolidate basic principles of musical theory, aural responses, techniques of composition and improvisation.
At the start of Year 9, boys may choose Music as one of their creative/technical subjects. The course includes musical analysis, further development of music theory as well as stylistic composition and other creative work.
Music is a GCSE option in Years 10 and 11 and in addition to the skills developed through Year 9, candidates must give evidence of aural achievement and practical skill on an instrument. Much of the GCSE coursework is composed using computer software.
In the Sixth Form, boys may choose to study AS and A2 Music. The course includes aural work, detailed study and analysis of set works, stylistic composition to a given brief, as well as more advanced instrumental instruction. Boys can be prepared for university entrance examinations in Music, or may present themselves as candidates for choral awards or organ scholarships.
For many boys, their musical involvement extends beyond the classroom through membership of the School’s many orchestras, bands, choirs and other ensembles. Over 40 concerts are held during the school year, the most prestigious of which are concerts in the Barbican. The Boys’ School was last there in March this year, in a combined concert with Habs Girls’ School.
MUSIC SCHOLARSHIPS AND EXHIBITIONS
Music Scholarships are awarded each year to candidates showing special promise in music. A Music Scholarship of up to 50% of annual fees may be awarded each year to an outstanding candidate. Music Exhibitions provide free tuition in one instrument. This free tuition remains throughout a pupil’s time at Haberdashers’, although it is subject to annual review. Music Exhibitions are additional to Music Scholarships, however all Music Scholars will also hold a Music Exhibition.
Music Scholars and Exhibition holders will automatically become involved in a rich music curriculum including study, composition and performance. They will also be invited to join a wide range of ensembles in which they will experience music-making of the highest order. Parents should apply to the Director of Music who holds auditions for Music Scholarships and Exhibitions, before making recommendations to the Headmaster.
When contemplating applying for a Music Scholarship or Exhibition, candidates are warmly invited to make an appointment to visit the music department, to meet the music staff and to consider the programme which, as a Scholar, will be available to them.