Music plays an important role in the life of Godstowe. Total inclusion to the full extent of the individuals skill set is the philosophy of the Music School. The department work hard in providing fun, engaging and challenging activities.
The Music School team comprises of three members of staff;
All pupils in Years 6, 7 and 8 receive one class music lesson a week. All younger pupils receive two class music lessons a week. During their lessons pupils engage in project based learning exploring the three fundamentals of musical education; Listening and Appreciation, Performance and Composition. Pupils are encouraged to develop their creative confidence during fun lessons in which they tackle tasks ranging from solo, paired, small group and whole class work.
The purpose-built Music School includes two large classrooms; one fully equipped with keyboards, computers and a clavinova, the other housing another clavinova and a wide range of classroom percussion and ethnic musical instruments. There are twelve practice rooms, each with a piano. Two of these can be used for small ensemble rehearsals and two others are used for larger ensembles. The Recital Hall houses a Bosendorfer grand piano and is regularly used for choir, orchestral and instrumental group rehearsals. Rehearsals are also conducted in the school’s purpose built theatre. The department has a large catalogue of instrumental music, chamber and orchestral music, CDs and some orchestral instruments which are available for beginners to loan.
The Music School runs an enormous range of activities and events for all levels of ability, including choirs, orchestra, bands, chamber ensembles, workshops, playing days and international tours. The types of activities are summarised as;
Individual tuition is available from our experienced team of specialist teachers:
|Mrs Jane Winnard||Piano|
|Mrs Claire Sanderson||Piano|
|Mrs Cathering Bowers||Voice|
|Mrs Jacqueline Connell||Voice|
|Mrs Philippa Wallin||Flute|
|Mrs Melanie Foster||Clarinet|
|Mr Jeremy Foster||Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone|
|Ms Alison Chetwood||Bassoon|
|Mrs Guy Button||Brass|
|Ms Emma Lake||Violin|
|Mr Rob Woollard||Cello|
|Ms Catherine Wells||Classical Guitar|
More than 80% of pupils receive individual music lessons each week. In consultation with parents, pupils are prepared for Associated Board or Guild Hall examinations, recital and concert performances, and music festivals. A large proportion of the candidates achieve merit or distinction particularly in the higher grades and in music festivals their performances are recognised with many awards. For many years, several pupils continue to gain places in the National Children’s Orchestra where, since 1998, three have been invited to lead. A number have joined the Junior Departments of the London Conservatories.
Since 2000, senior pupils have been awarded music scholarships and exhibitions to Wycombe Abbey, Oundle, Cheltenham Ladies', Downe House, Benenden, Headington, Bedgebury, Leighton Park, Haileybury, Roedean, Marlborough College and Godolphin.
There are many opportunities for individual and group performances ranging from assemblies to regular recital concerts in the Recital Hall, half-termly concerts involving the whole school to the Carol Service and the end of year Leavers’ Service. Termly musical drama productions involve everyone in the school. Recent productions have included Blast Off, Oliver and Yanomamo as well as productions developed by pupils and staff.
Group music making is encouraged at all level: a number of ensembles take part in local festivals, some have entered the National Chamber Music Competition where they have performed in the Finals.
During the year, the orchestra and some of the choirs are regularly invited to perform at local musical events. In the past pupils have prepared lively and exciting programmes for a tour of the Czech and Slovak Republics where pupils have entertained Ambassadors, Mayors and other dignitaries and have shared concerts with the Blind School of Levoca and a number of other local music groups. The Music School is currently in the process of planning for their next music tour in Venice, Italy.
As well as performing, the Music School holds recitals from visiting musicians. Recently Peter Ripper and the Maidenhead Concert Band supported the pupils during their WWI commemoration concert in raising funds for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. The Musical School also organises regular trips to local theatres and London to view a variety of concerts and shows.