Quentin Thomas (Director of Music) and Claire Tomsett (Head of Instrumental Studies).
The Music Department has always enjoyed fruitful rewards in its academic endeavours, and has seen a high proportion of its A Level and IB Music candidates pursue Music courses at Universities and Conservatoires such as Cambridge, Edinburgh, Exeter, King's College London, the Royal College of Music, Trinity College London, Royal Holloway, Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, and the Tonmeister sound course at the University of Surrey. Many of the OH musicians have gone on to pursue musical careers.
We recognise that, for many pupils, music is simply the chance to escape the everyday pressures of school life or perhaps the chance to share and enjoy music-making with others. For others, music at this school will be everything, and our ambition is to admirably equip these individuals with knowledge, skills and experiences that will make their next aspiration a reality.
We aim to offer music to anyone and everyone in this school who:
We aim to be as inclusive of everyone as possible, whilst persistently striving towards excellence and aiming to attain the highest possible standards from those in our department. Haileybury's music department aims to offer the appropriate inspiration, guidance and nurturing needed to any individual pupil and their unique demands, be it the beginner or the spectacular music scholar.
Academic resources are terrific, and include two classrooms with 25 PC platforms, a Mac Studio, a Recording Studio being planned in the department's extension, a wealth of library and online resources and classroom facilities such as Samba, Indian and African drum sets.
Music is an academic curriculum subject for all years at Haileybury. All pupils from Lower School 1 to Removes have class music lessons; further study at GCSE, A Level or IB is optional. In addition Music Technology is also offered at A/S Level as a separate academic discipline. Class sizes are typically small for all year groups, enabling personal attention to the needs of all pupils.
LS1, LS2, and Removes (General Music course)
Largely based on the National Curriculum, lower school lessons focus on creating, developing and appreciation of a wide range of musical styles, together with performing (both singing and instrumental), composing, improvisation, ICT and Music Theory work.
Removes - Music option course
Pupils receive two class music lessons per week (in addition to their one fortnightly General Music Course lesson). This course appeals typically to pupils who already take instrumental/singing lessons, and are involved in ensembles at school. The work covered is varied and more challenging than that covered in the general music course, and includes practical performing work, composing, and music theory up to Grade 5 level. Some topics aim at preparing pupils to embark on Music GCSE the following year.
Pupils opting to take GCSE or A Level music follow the Edexcel syllabuses, which develop performing, composing and anthology-based listening and analysis skills.
At GCSE it is expected that pupils opting to take GCSE music will already have reached Grade 3 standard on an instrument/singing, and will progress further during the course.
Three 'Units' are taken by all pupils:
Unit 1 - Performing Music (30%) - coursework
Pupils offer both a solo and ensemble performance recorded at any time during the course, on any instrument and in any style.
Unit 2 - Composing Music (30%) - coursework
Two compositions OR arrangements to be submitted with a combined length of just two to four minutes. Coursework is now done via controlled assessment, ensuring good management of pupils' creative output.
Unit 3 - Listening & Appraising (40%) - examination
Unit 3 is the only written examination and covers Four 'Areas of Study':
Each area is represented by three short set pieces. The 90-minute aper tests candidates on the set works only, posing questions on specific features and the wider context of each area.
The course in the Middles delivers a foundation course in Composition, gradually building compositional skills throughout the year in preparation for producing the two pieces for submission.