Music is taught in specialist spaces with access to keyboards and sophisticated industry-standard sequencing and notation software. Boys learn to broaden their musical horizons, learning to analyse and appreciate many different styles of music from a multitude of cultures, through listening, composing and performing.
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.