King Edward VI School - Music


'Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”  Plato

K.E.S. is enormously proud of its Music Department. It is a busy and thriving department place, offering students a huge variety of musical experiences both in and outside the classroom. All Year 7s are offered the opportunity to study an instrument, free of charge, for their first term, and this is the School’s tangible investment in the musical ethos of the School: all students can take part.

Emphasis is placed on practical music-making during Year 7 and 8. Boys are taught in forms and follow a varied scheme of work including performance, singing, improvisation and composition which also includes developing some theoretical understanding of musical processes as well as historical context. All Year 7 students sing and play instruments together in the annual Year 7 Concert. In Years 9 to 11, students who opt for Music cover a course which culminates in a GCSE (AQA 8271). During these three years they also have an opportunity to take the ABRSM Grade 5 Theory examination as well as participating in the Year 9 Strings project. In Years 12 and 13 students study history and composition in more depth, with a continued emphasis on performance, leading to A level (AQA 7272). Across all year groups work is enhanced by materials on Moodle and other platforms.

The department is located centrally in the School, and consists of a general music classroom and a dedicated ICT suite, with recording links to a practice room in between.  There are also eight practice rooms, each with a keyboard instrument, including a Schimmel concert grand piano, a Yamaha baby grand and a Roland digital harpsichord.

Two specialist staff teach Music across all years, and there is a team of fifteen visiting music teachers who teach instrumental and vocal lessons on a one-to-one basis.

The Music Department is a vibrant, exciting and exhilarating place to be and gives students huge opportunities to perform in many ensembles which rehearse weekly, concert performances throughout the academic year and tours enabling students to experience performances in a variety of venues throughout Europe.

For more details of individual lessons, ensembles and performance opportunities at the School, please see under ‘Extra-curricular’.

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