Music-making is an important part of life at Abbot’s Hill. We aim to foster in all pupils a love and appreciation of a wide variety of music. It is expected that pupils will develop appropriate skills through which they can express ideas, thoughts, enjoyment and feelings through music-making. Music from a wide range of traditions, styles, idioms, cultures and places is taught at all stages of a pupil’s school life.
Music is a compulsory part of the curriculum in Years 7 to 9 and is an option from Year 10 onwards. In all years the courses cover the core elements of performing, composing and listening. In Years 7 to 9 girls investigate topics such as The Blues, Ground Bass Variations, Songwriting, Vocal Chants, Samba, Gospel, Musical Notation and a basic review of the elements of music. This will be done through performing, composing and listening both individually and in paired and group work. They also have numerous opportunities throughout the year to perform solos in their lesson as well as on a more public platform such as assemblies and lunchtime and evening recitals. In addition, there are many opportunities to go on trips to local and West End theatres, workshops and attend other musical events.
In Year 10, pupils follow the Edexcel GCSE course. It is expected that those who opt for this course will be conversant with the demands of ABRSM Grade 5 theory and will be able to perform at approximately Grade 5 level on at least one instrument or singing by the time of the examination at the end of Year 11.
The facilities for Music are first-class. There are three main classrooms, one of which is fitted out with electronic keyboards. One also includes a Mac Suite devoted to computer music using a range of composing software including the latest Sibelius 7. There are a number of smaller teaching rooms for visiting and resident instrumental teachers, as well as for personal practice. The purpose-built theatre has tiered seating for over 200 and a fully-fitted sound control room.
We offer a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities including individual lessons on a variety of instruments. There are a number of music groups and choirs who regularly perform at school events such as our annual Carol Service at St Albans Abbey and Commemoration Day.