Music is for everyone, and every pupil in the Prep School will be encouraged to get involved in the many musical activities on offer and to take the opportunity to learn an instrument.
Music enjoys its prominence at the heart of School life, recognised for the valuable role music plays in enhancing well being and self-confidence, promoting dedication and commitment and providing another platform for group and individual development, passion and talent.
The Prep School has a large and spacious Music School which encompasses two music classrooms, a song school and multiple music practice rooms.
Every pupil at DCPS has weekly class music lessons where they develop listening skills, composition skills and learn to read and write music. There is also a wide range of instruments on offer for private music lessons so every child has the opportunity to find something they can enjoy.
The curriculum for class music is a holistic one, covering the three key musical disciplines of listening, composing and performing. The emphasis is on enjoyment and practical music making with pupils often using their own instruments in class sessions. Music theory and aural training is an integral part of lessons and by the time pupils move on to the Senior School they will be well prepared for GCSE music and the more advanced players will have taken the Associated Board Grade V Theory examination. As pupils move through the School, they will have training in Music Technology and will be taught to use their skills for composition and arranging.
Currently, over 75% of pupils learn at least one instrument. A staff of 30 peripatetic teachers provide tuition in all the instruments of the orchestra, as well as piano, drum-kit, guitar and saxophone. Singing lessons are also popular.
Pupils receive 30 lessons over the course of the academic year. They will be expected to undertake regular practice and are encouraged to be involved in at least one musical activity.
Singing is one of the most enjoyable ways of taking part in music and develops many musical skills. Everyone is involved in class singing. In addition, there are two non-auditioned School choirs. The Junior Choir is open to all those in Years 3, 4 and 5 where the emphasis is on developing a good choral technique through a wide repertoire of rounds, part songs, action songs, modern and traditional music. The Senior Choir is open to Years 6, 7 and 8 and pupils will sing a wide range of music from the 15th century to the present day, including both sacred and secular.
The Choirs regularly lead School services, as well as perform in concerts both in and out of School. The most advanced singers are auditioned to join the Jubilate Choir, whose members regularly sing with the Senior Choir, but also undertake a more ambitious repertoire for performance in School and further afield.
Music Groups allow even those who have been playing for a short time to experience the real thrill of playing with others. The most advanced players will be given opportunities to play in small groups and some will be able to take part in Dean Close School music activities. Throughout the Prep School, there is an emphasis on enjoyment and development of the full potential of every musician and the range of music groups will vary to some extent from year to year to cater for individual musician’s interests.
All pupils who play an orchestral instrument are expected to take part in a lunchtime ensemble. New starters will begin when they are ready (generally after one term). All pupils who take singing lessons are expected to be in a School Choir.
Groups currently available are:
|Rock & Pop Groups
|Music Theory Groups
|Junior Strings Orchestra
|Junior Brass & Wind Orchestra
|Senior Strings Orchestra
|Senior Brass & Wind Orchestra
Music Scholarships and Awards
Pupils are invited to apply for Music Awards in Year 6 and there will be auditions for internal and external candidates. The Director of Music will be looking for evidence of potential as well as achievement. Those who are successful will be eligible for a reduction in School fees and free tuition on a musical instrument. Music Awards are reviewed annually. It is expected that Music Scholars will show full commitment to School Music Groups and will be a member of the Senior Choir.