In the Music Department we provide a wide range of musical opportunities, both curricular and extra-curricular, for every pupil in the school. The overriding ethos is to be inclusive and make music accessible to all, whilst offering challenges to our gifted musicians. Studying a wide range of musical styles offers plenty of opportunity for the three tenets of Music Education: composing, performing and listening to/appraising music. Focus on developing instrumental and vocal skills, music literacy and vocabulary, and confidence is essential. Trips, concerts and school performances are an important part of the curriculum providing occasions for pupils to experience and appreciate live music. Working with the Drama department, musical productions are also annual features in the school calendar.
Choirs and Ensembles
We offer a range of choral and instrumental ensembles for a range of abilities and musical experience. Most ensembles and choirs at school are non-selective, however, our Chamber Choir members are selected by audition. Every child from Years 1 - 6 receives a choir lesson each week as part of their ongoing music curriculum and all participate in regular performances with their Choir, either as a year group or in collaboration with peers of different ages.
The Orchestra meets once a week and is conducted by the Director of Music. It is open to pupils playing instruments at Grade 1+ standard and above, although many students are of a more experienced playing level. The repertoire is extremely varied and challenging and the students enjoy playing everything from iconic film music to great classic, developing aural and ensemble skills alongside their practical musicianship. The Orchestra performs at assemblies, concerts and school and community events throughout the year.
Clarinettist and staff member, Emma Spurgeon, directs this ensemble who rehearse once per week. Focusing on the colours of woodwinds and appropriately arranged repertoire, members enjoy developing their ensemble and individual playing skills, sharing their performances regularly throughout the academic year.
Willington's Chamber Choir consists of members from Years 4 - 6 and is the school's only auditioned ensemble. Children with a particular love for and ability in singing explore a range of challenging repertoire from across a number of genres and time periods. The Choir is lead by the Director of Music and members have often taken private vocal lessons to assist in developing their abilities. The Chamber Choir performs regularly at school and community events.
Music Theory (Junior and Senior)
Prep students enjoy developing their music literacy skills in Music Theory Clubs with peers of a similar age. Designed to ensure secure foundations in the understanding and practice of music notation and concepts, pupils are able to work at their own pace and support each other’s learning under the direction of the Director of Music. Although not specifically designed to prepare pupils for formal theory examinations, the essential skills required to achieve success and progress in theoretical understanding are developed through a structured and practical programme.
Several students each year show initiative in developing their own instrumental ensembles and bands. Rehearsal space is provided at school with guidance from music staff when sought. These ensembles are given the opportunity to perform at Recitals and other school events when appropriate. Pupils organise their band members, instrument combinations, repertoire and rehearsals independently and continue to impress with their creativity and commitment to developing their own musical expression.
Instrumental and Vocal Tuition