Music

Every pupil in the school experiences a weekly music lesson, with two weekly lessons for Years 3-6.

Music is a very practical subject and pupils in every year group have the opportunity to experience music in its many forms and genres, whether by playing an instrument, listening and appraising, composing their own music, or performing alongside their friends.

Our music curriculum runs closely aside schemes of work at our Pre-Prep, with a Class String Scheme operating across Years 3 to 5; and with our Senior School, a Year 7-9 curriculum that has been designed and regularly reviewed by both Prep and Senior School staff.

Experience

  • Pupils in Years 3, 4 and 5 have the opportunity to study violin in small ensembles.  Brass and Woodwind group tuition is also available.
  • Individual lessons given by our experienced team of visiting music staff are also available in singing, piano, organ and all orchestral and band instruments on request.
  • Year 3 pupils receive 1 violin lesson per week with Year 4 pupils taking 1 lesson of violin/cello each week.
  • Year 5 pupils have the opportunity to continue with their violin or cello studies in smaller ensembles.
  • All year groups learn aspects of music theory in classes, which particularly supports the large percentage of children who take individual music lessons and grade exams.
  • Children are guided in music composition, using not only standard handwritten notation, but notation software such as Sibelius on our suite of Mac computers. Composition has also been assisted with recent composition workshops with the Britten Sinfonia and former composer-in-residence, Patrick Hawes.
  • Skills in Music Technology are encouraged through class projects using Garageband and Logic Software, supported by the specialised teacher of Music Technology from our Senior School.
  • Much emphasis is put on singing at Gresham’s. All pupils take part in the annual House Music Competition, of which singing is an integral part, and a variety of songs are used in classes to help develop voice technique and aural skills.

Listening

  • Pupils develop important listening skills through listening to a wide range of musical genres, styles and composers.
  • Pupils also use these listening skills through peer-to-peer assessment during class performances, and also in the regular school concerts and when attending our professional subscription concert series (which has included John Lill and the European Union Chamber Orchestra most recently).

Performance

  • Performance at all levels, is encouraged through class music, informal concerts, school concerts and in our weekly chapel services.
  • Every child has the opportunity to perform in a termly year group Music & Performing Arts showcase which is held in our Auden Theatre. Additionally, the whole school takes part in the annual summer Speech Day Concert, as well as the aforementioned House Music Competition.

There is a very busy extra-curricular programme of music that happens at the Prep School every week, including choirs, string groups, brass group, orchestra, percussion ensemble and rock bands.