Music has played a central part in the life of the College since its foundation by Edward Alleyn whose statutes made specific provision for musical education. As an academic subject, Music seeks to engage all boys in the key skills of performing, composing, and appraising.
A broad and comprehensive programme of musical experience is offered. In Years 7 to 9 each boy receives one lesson per fortnight covering a broad range of activity-based projects which include both traditional musical study and skill-based training in score writing and sequencing using Sibelius 7, Garageband, and Logic Pro X.
In Years 10 to 13 boys can take Edexcel GCSE and A level courses which provide the opportunity for advanced musical study, and act as a preparation for higher education. Here, the study of set works, which encompass a wide variety of musical styles, enables all boys to discover who wrote what, for whom, and why. To support the teaching of contextual and historical study there are academic seminars given by eminent musicologists and, in addition, use is made of the College’s unique archive of books and eighteenth-century music manuscripts. There are also regular opera trips and concert visits during the academic year. Performance skills are nurtured by a wide range of co-curricular ensembles and masterclasses with professional players.
In addition to the normal teaching programme Cecilia McDowall, a composer of international reputation, makes frequent visits to the College as our Visiting Composer and is able to provide one-to-one supervision for our GCSE and A level students. Our music production and professional studio engineer, Isa Khan, is able to provide expert coaching in all aspects of music technology and studio techniques.