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Music

Curriculum 

In the Music Department we aim to provide a wide range of musical opportunities, both curricular and extra-curricular, for every boy in the school. The overriding ethos is to be inclusive and make music accessible to all, whilst offering challenges and opportunities to our gifted musicians.   Trips and concerts are an important part of the curriculum and provide opportunities for boys to experience and appreciate live music. There is a good balance of music in the curriculum, which incorporates the teaching of basic skills along with more advanced ideas.  Topics such as Blues Music, Gamelan, Calypso and Jazz provide plenty of opportunity for the three tenets of Music Education: composing, performing and listening to/appraising music.

Choirs and Ensembles 

Two out of three of our school choirs are open to all boys and most of our instrumental ensembles invite every boy, regardless of ability. The third of our choirs, the Chamber Choir, is joined through competitive audition and offers our highly successful Choristers programme.  

Sparrows Choir

Sparrows Choir is a fun choir for Years 1, 2 and 3 which meets once a week. The group exists to provide boys with the opportunity to learn to explore their voice in a fun and healthy way and was formed in response to the National Singing Campaign for Primary Schools, led by Britain’s singing ambassador, Howard Goodall. The Sparrows Choir perform at assemblies and concerts throughout the year.

Hawk Choir

The Hawk Choir is open to every boy in Years 4-8 and it is run by the Director of Music. It meets once a week and performs at school concerts, assemblies and church services, as well as giving an annual concert at the famous Wimbledon Fair and performing to the elderly at Christmas. 

The Orchestra

The Orchestra runs every week and is conducted by the Director of Music.  It is open to boys playing instruments at Grade 1+ standard and above.  The rehearsal is broken into two sections, sectionals and full rehearsal, to ensure the best possible results and achievement.  The repertoire is extremely varied, as the boys have recently played an arrangement of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture as well as Mission Impossible!  The repertoire challenges the boys with complicated key signatures, time signatures, dynamics and general ensemble playing.  The Orchestra performs at assemblies and concerts throughout the year.

The Jazz Band

The Jazz Band is the most recent addition to the ensembles at Willington.  It is run by woodwind tutor and jazz specialist Tom Harrison.  The Jazz Band is open to boys in Years 6-8 and studies basic jazz repertoire and traditional jazz techniques.  The boys enjoy eating their lunch while listening to jazz greats such as Miles Davis and then take part in an exciting and challenging rehearsal.  Every member of the Jazz Band develops his ensemble and improvisation skills.

Instrumental and Vocal Tuition 

Music tuition is available on most instruments and voice, and is taught by an excellent group of peripatetic music teachers in our well-equipped suite of practice rooms. Lessons are 30 minutes long and usually occur during the school day and boys should have their own instrument. Most teachers prepare their pupils for Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music exams.