Music Department

Mr T Corin, Head of Music

Music plays an important part in the life of the school and we are very pleased to be able to offer many opportunities for the boys to be involved in a range of activities in and out of the classroom.

‘Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent.’

Victor Hugo

Pre-Prep Department
Music lessons start when boys join the Nursery and throughout their time in Pre-Prep they are taken by a specialist music teacher. The boys have lessons each week and during this time they learn to: use their voices expressively and creatively by singing songs and speaking chants and rhymes; playing instruments; listening to a range of live and recorded music, and experimenting and creating sounds using the inter-related dimensions of music.

From Year 1 boys can take instrumental lessons with one of our peripatetic teachers, which include piano, guitar, violin, cello and flute.

Prep Department
In the Prep Department, boys in Years 3 – 4 receive two music lessons a week, covering singing, playing the recorder, xylophone and ukulele, composing and improvising using percussion and developing general musicianship skills.

In Years 5 and 6, boys receive one lesson a week but during the lesson they continue to develop their composition and improvisation skills and listen to and appraise different styles of music, exploring rhythms and styles of music whilst composing. In Year 5, the boys follow a percussion programme and in Year 6 continue to learn the ukulele.

Senior Department
Once the boys enter the Senior Department they participate in a series of projects, building upon foundations laid in the Prep Department, which provide a wide range of imaginative and interesting challenges to motivate and engage the boys.

The projects are designed to develop knowledge and understanding of musical styles, structures, context and purpose, which build up musical vocabulary and develop an increasingly critical and analytical ability in preparation for the GCSE course.

GCSE Music
The GCSE course is divided into three sections; composing (30%), performing (30%) and listening (40%). During the composition section of the course, boys build up their skills through various simple set assignments during the first year. Then they choose and develop two of these further for final submission. Performances at GCSE level are expected to be around Grade 4 level. The listening part of the exam is a formal written paper sat in the summer of the second year and draws upon everything learned during lessons. The topics for this are very wide ranging so cater for musicians from every background whether classical or pop!

Beyond the music room
There are a great many opportunities for the boys to experience music through the wide range of extra-curricular activities we offer. Thorpe House has an experienced team of peripatetic staff offering piano, classical and electric guitar, singing, drum and percussion, woodwind, brass and string lessons. The boys are also encouraged to join ensembles to broaden their experiences and all are welcome to participate whether or not they have lessons in school. The Prep and Senior Department each have their own choir who perform regularly at school.

One of the aims of the Music Department is for all boys to experience and discover a passion for music. This may be through a theatre or concert visit like Stomp; by participating in a visiting workshop like Brazilian drumming or by performing in an event like the Scratch Youth Messiah at The Royal Albert Hall.

Contact Thorpe House School

If you would like more information about the school, would like a prospectus or would like to arrange a visit, please contact Mrs Tyler, our registrar using the form below.

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