Music plays an important role in the life of Godstowe. All pupils are encouraged to take an active role in the musical life of the school according to their ability.
All pupils in Years 6, 7 and 8 receive one class music lesson a week. 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 engaging and challenging activities.
Our 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 12 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.
Groups, Clubs and Workshops
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:
- Choral - Lodge Choir, Junior Choir, Intermediate Choir, Senior Choir, Chamber Choir, Boarding House Choirs and a Gospel Choir in the summer.
- Instrumental - Recorder Group, Junior String Group, Intermediate String Group, Senior String Group, Intermediate Wind Group, Senior Wind Band, Guitar Group and Orchestra.
- Theory – Beginner Theory Group, Advanced Theory Group and Music ICT Club.
Individual instrumental tuition
We are proud to have an experienced team of visiting instrumental teachers:
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.
More than 80% of pupils receive individual music lessons each week.
Each year, Godstowe pupils are awarded 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.
Senior School Music Scholarships and Exhibitions
Our senior pupils are awarded music scholarships and exhibitions every year to top senior schools including 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.
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.
As well as performing, the Music School holds recitals from visiting musicians and organises regular trips to local theatres and London to view a variety of concerts and shows.
Specialist Music Teachers
|Mr Barnaby Archer
|Teacher of Percussion and Drum Kit
|Mr Guy Button
|Teacher of Brass instruments
|Miss Jacki Connell
|Teacher of Voice and Music Theory
|Mr Jeremy Foster
|Teacher of Clarinet, Oboe, and Sax
|Mrs Melanie Foster
|Teacher of Clarinet and Sax
|Ms Rebecca Holt
|Teacher of Piano
|Miss Emma Lake
|Teacher of Violin and Viola
|Mr David Lewin
|Teacher of Piano, Bassoon, and Music Theory
|Mrs Joanne Lunn
|Teacher of Voice
|Mrs Mary Reid
|Teacher of Harp
|Mrs Claire Sanderson
|Teacher of Piano
|Mrs Rebecca Van den Berg
|Teacher of Voice (from January 2020)
|Mrs Philippa Wallin
|Teacher of Flute and Music Theory
|Miss Catherine Wells
|Teacher of Guitar
|Mr Rob Woollard
|Teacher of Cello