Music in the Prep Department
Lanesborough has an inclusive ‘Music for All’ approach, offering performance opportunities for all the boys and specialist instrumental study in all orchestral and contemporary instruments. Fourteen Visiting Music Teachers offer specialist tuition in a wide array of instruments, and for our more accomplished instrumentalists, there are opportunities to participate in a range of ensembles, Orchestras and Choirs as well as take part in workshops and performances both in school and in the community.
The Music Curriculum
The curriculum aims to develop key listening, musicianship, vocal and creative skills whilst exploring a range of musical styles and instruments.
Year 3 boys develop their musicianship, vocal and percussion skills and begin exploring notation (both conventional and graphic notation). They are introduced to the instruments of the orchestra, visit GLive to hear a concert and learn the ukulele for group performance in the Trinity term.
Year 4 boys continue to develop their creativity, musicianship and vocal and percussion skills through a focus on world folk song and music.
In addition to their curriculum class music lesson, all the boys receive a weekly strings lesson on the violin, viola or cello. This enables them to develop ensemble performance experience and ensures that by Year 5 they all have a good understanding of basic musical notation.
Year 5 boys develop their composition skills both through classroom percussion and acoustic instruments and begin learning how to use Sibelius and Garage band to compose new digital works inspired by the ‘The Elements’ and ‘Cyclical Music.’
Year 6 boys continue to develop their vocal, musicianship and composition skills through an exploration of Medieval and Samba music, and hone their song-writing skills using both social and political starting points for inspiration for the lyrics.
You can hear the composition ‘We are All Connected’ written by Year 6 to promote Global Citizenship at the bottom of the page.
In Year 7 and 8, the boys study more advanced musical structures, developing their understanding of form, historical context, instrumentation and performance. The boys further develop their Music Technology skills through Sibelius and Garageband. Much focus is placed on practical work ensuring that all boys continue to develop their performance skills and compositional abilities.
Click here (link to recordings portal) to hear a new composition inspired by Saint-Saens ‘Dance Macabre.
Much of Lanesborough’s musical activity occurs outside timetabled class lessons. Details of some of these activities are outlined below.
Guildford Cathedral Choir
The choristers of Guildford Cathedral Choir are pupils at Lanesborough. Under the inspirational direction of the Organist and Master of the Choristers, Katherine Dienes - Williams, (Picture) they are provided with a musical education that is second to none. The choristers make a valuable contribution to all musical aspects of the school curriculum and performance. The music department at Lanesborough wholeheartedly supports the school/cathedral link and places high value on the choristers’ contribution both to the school and the cathedral worship. For more information about the Choristers please use this link.
Private Instrumental Tuition
A wide variety of private instrumental lessons are available, including piano, violin, viola, cello, guitar, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, horn, trombone, voice, drums and music theory. Weekly individual lessons of a half hour’s duration (timetabled on a rotation system throughout the school day) are provided by a highly skilled and experienced team of Visiting Music Teachers. The department currently averages approximately 2000 lessons per term and pupils are encouraged to study for Associated Board grade exams. Lessons can be arranged by contacting the Director of Music.
We are a singing school! Whole school and Key Stage choirs feature in our annual Carol Service and other concert events. There are also two Chamber Choirs (Junior and Senior) which perform within school concerts and local festivals.
School Orchestras and Ensembles
There are Junior and Senior Orchestras, a String Ensemble, Wind Ensemble and Brass Ensemble and Rock and Pop group all of which meet weekly. All boys who learn an instrument are encouraged to join an ensemble and the department’s policy of ‘Music for All’ ensures that all boys can gain valuable ensemble experience and accelerate their performance skills.
A hymn or worship song is sung at every assembly and there is a weekly hymn practice for the whole school when new music is learnt and known music refined. It is not infrequent for the whole school to sing in two or three part harmony. Boys are encouraged to provide instrumental accompaniment and performances for assembly time.
We seek to provide regular and informal platforms for our instrumentalists to gain performance experience. At least two Informal Concerts are held in each of the Informal Concerts are hugely popular amongst the boys and the department encourages performances by both inexperienced and advanced musicians.
Gala and Spring Concerts
The Gala Concert takes place every two years at the end of the Trinity Term. In a production year, a smaller scale Spring Concert is given at the end of the Lent term. These concerts provide a platform for our choirs and ensembles and includes performances by our Senior Music Scholars.
House Music Competition
An annual House Music Competition takes place during the Lent Term. With well over half of the school usually entering, the standard is high and competition fierce! The resulting Semi Finals and Finals guarantee top level performances from some of our most accomplished musicians.
A major school production takes place every two years in conjunction with the English & Drama Department. Depending on the style of the production the boys often develop their choral and vocal skills and our top musicians are invited to perform in the stage band or ensemble.