Pupils are taught in groups of between 20-25. Music making is an important feature of the lessons and pupils are taught skills in performing, composing, listening & appraising. Pupils learn to play on a variety of instruments including keyboards, tuned percussion & guitars. Topics include Film Music, Caribbean Music, Blues & Jazz, Traditional Instruments and the use of notation and recording software.
Pupils cover three main areas: Performing, Composing and Listening & Appraising. The four areas of study covered during the course are Western Classical music, Music in the 20th century, Popular music in context and Music from around the world. Coursework (Performing & Composing) consists of 60% of the total marks, whilst there is only one listening exam based on the set works (40% of the total marks).
At AS level, students cover two components - Listening & Appraising and Practical Musicianship where they can choose different tasks in performing and/or composing. For the listening and appraising exam, students study a series of set works.
At A2 level, students choose two components from a choice of three and can therefore specialise in Performing, Composing or choose a topic for extended writing in the Investigation & Report. As this is all coursework there is no final exam.
The Music Department is housed in its very own Music Block which consists of a large teaching & rehearsal room, a Music office, instrument store and six teaching and practice rooms. There are classroom keyboards, percussion, two drumkits, electric & acoustic guitars, traditional drums, acoustic pianos and a range of other instruments.
Many students use the facilities at lunchtimes and after school. There are also computer workstations and music software (such as Sibelius and Reaper). The main classroom also has an interactive SMART board.
Our large team of instrumental staff are well-trained, experienced professionals, many of whom work actively in music-making. Lessons are one-to-one, taking place on a weekly basis, mostly during school hours. Despite being a smaller school, we currently have approximately 150 lessons each week. Nevertheless, we are looking to develop the number of instrumental lessons and staffing at the school.
EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES
The Music Department features a School Orchestra, String Ensemble, Guitar Club, Junior Choir, Chamber Choir and even a Staff Choir! Many of these groups perform regularly at school functions and events such as Founders’ Day, the Christmas Service and Prizegiving. There are also regular concerts, both formal and tea-time whilst we have an enviable record in the Young Musicians Competition. A growing number of our instrumentalists have performed with the Kenya National Youth Orchestra, the Safaricom Youth Orchestra and even the Nairobi Orchestra. We have also successfully hosted ABRSM and LCM practical exams as well as Music INSETs and KNYO residentials.