The Music department offers individual tuition in musical instruments, an orchestra that the girls can join, and singing lessons and a choir.
- Tutors are available to the girls in a range of instruments: piano, violin, wind instruments, drums, guitar and many more.
- We have an orchestra, and all girls who are interested in music are welcome to join.
- Singing is also taught and there is a chamber choir. We hold house singing competitions and here is plenty of opportunity for spontaneous musical expression in class.
One-to-one instrumental and vocal lessons are available from Year 1 upwards. We have 13 specialist tutors, who give individual tuition in piano, voice, brass, woodwind, percussion, violin, viola, cello and music theory. The School's structured, integrated approach, liaising closely with the tutors on a child-by-child basis, prepares the girls for concerts, formal examinations and, where appropriate, musical scholarships.
We ensure that a pupil's individual lessons are rotated each week so that she does not repeatedly miss out on another subject.
In the autumn term each year, the KG girls put on a Nativity play for their parents and the rest of the school, so that immediately, performing on stage becomes second nature to them. Meanwhile, the Year 1 and Year 2 girls take part in a Junior Christmas play which never fails to get everyone in the festive spirit. Needless to say, singing plays a significant part in the production and the rows of beaming faces whilst singing from our youngest girls is such a sight to behold!
Extracurricular activities for juniors
Extracurricular musical activities for our junior girls include visits to the Royal Festival Hall where they take in a performance by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, watching our head of music’s professional string quartet perform in assemblies, and hearing the magnificent sound of Oompah Brass as they take to the stage and introduce the brass family of instruments. The girls from Year 2 are welcome to join the joint choir with the pre-prep boys as part of the The Manor Voices after school choir club as well as joining the Music and Song club which is open to girls of all ages.
The violin scheme
As part of the curriculum, all the Year 2 girls learn to play the violin in class and can take a school violin home to practise the skills they are learning. The violin scheme takes place over the course of the whole academic year and is an exciting opportunity for the girls to be exposed to learning an orchestral instrument. It is also an excellent way to put into practice what they have already learned about rhythm, pitch and tone as well as giving them the joy of playing together in an ensemble.
Several Junior concerts take place over the course of the year, where the girls are encouraged to present the pieces they are learning on their instruments or in their vocal lessons. The uptake for the concerts is always extremely popular and a real sense of achievement is apparent from all those who take part. The Junior Choir also perform in these recitals which includes every girl in Year 2 so every child has their moment to shine on stage.
By the time the girls reach the Senior part of the school, music and singing is deeply rooted within them and there are opportunities a plenty for performance and tuition.
From Year 3, any child in the Girls' School is invited to join the Senior Choir, which currently boasts over 70 members and performs throughout the school year at important events such as the carol service and Senior music concerts.
In the spring term, Year 3 and Year 4 show off their musical and theatrical skills in their play, closely followed by Year 5 and Year 6 in the summer term. Past performances have included The Wiz, Bugsy Malone, Olivia, Dragon Days and Mystery at Magpie Manor, all of which have demonstrated the girls' maturity and immensely accomplished musical efforts. There are many senior music assemblies in the calendar where all who learn instruments or sing are encouraged to give performing a go whilst being in a nurturing and supportive setting.
Orchestra and music ensemble
Our ensembles include the Senior music ensemble, Form 2 violin ensemble, string quartet, and recorder ensemble.
Playing successfully within an ensemble is a skill which enables a musical child to progress to true musicianship. The benefits of participating and performing in an ensemble, group or orchestra are huge – not least for the sense of exuberance, joy and fun.
We teach general instrumental technique through individual lessons, but ensemble playing gives students the opportunity to reinforce and develop their technique in a different setting. Students are taught how to interpret, to respond to the conductor's gestures and expressions and the importance of strict adherence to beat patterns and tempi.
- We have a Junior and a Senior choir open to every pupil.
- The Bel Canto Choir, drawn from Years 4 to 6 with entry by audition, provides higher challenges for the more gifted vocalists.
- A joint choir with the Eaton House Pre-Prep Boys' School has also been established, further extending the horizons.
- In addition, we can offer specialist individual voice tuition in certain circumstances.
By the time our girls leave Eaton House, they feel inspired and motivated to continue singing, performing and practising their instruments, having had a fully rounded, plentiful and happy musical experience.