Music at Norwich School

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1 Music at Norwich School A guide for parents and pupils

2 Contents Introduction from the Director Academic Music Extra-curricular music Individual Music Tuition Instrument Hire Frequently Asked Questions Contacts Norwich School pupils performing West Side Story at Norwich Playhouse

3 Introduction from the Director Music is a lifelong pleasure for most of us. This booklet is designed to provide parents with an overview of the opportunities on offer to our pupils and to highlight the many ways of getting involved in school music-making, whether it be as a soloist or as part of an ensemble. Music plays a central part in the life of Norwich School, with over 65% of pupils involved in musical activities each week. Exceptional opportunities exist in all aspects of music, including instrumental study, ensemble playing, composition, jazz, choral music and cathedral choristership. The Music School is situated in a converted Jacobean house in the heart of The Close; the department is fortunate to enjoy regular performances in Norwich Cathedral, the School Chapel, Barbirolli Room and St Andrew s Hall. Pupils at Norwich School study music for many reasons: some play purely for pleasure; some go on to read music at the UK s leading universities and conservatoires; some have gone on to pursue successful professional careers. There are 25 weekly ensembles, including orchestras, concert bands, jazz bands, choirs, guitar groups, percussion groups and the school s Choral Society (which combines both school and adult choirs). A team of 35 visiting music teachers give instrumental and vocal tuition at both Lower School and Senior School. The department stages a musical theatre production at Norwich Playhouse each autumn; recent productions, to sellout audiences, have included My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls, Les Misérables and West Side Story. I am happy to discuss any aspect of your child s music education, and would be keen to hear from you should you have any questions or concerns about your child s musical experience at Norwich School. I look forward to meeting you at one of our events very soon. Richard Allain BMus FTCL PGCE Director of Music

4 Academic Music Music thrives within the classroom at Norwich School and is particularly popular at A-level with numbers of 15 studying AS Music in recent years. Below is a short overview of the topics studied; further details can be obtained from the Head of Academic Music. Fourth Form (Year 7 & 8) Studies at Fourth Form level are designed to develop listening, analysis, theory, composition and performance, with a particular emphasis on the use of music technology to enhance pupil learning. Lower Four pupils develop their understanding of basic music theory principles through a number of integrated projects, including World Music, Music for Advertising, and the History of the Orchestra. Pupils in the Upper Fourth build on this knowledge with a more in-depth analysis of the Western Classical Music as well as more modern musical styles such as Blues and Film Music. Pupils are encouraged to participate in group music making, with a strong focus on small group and whole class performance.

5 Fifth Form (Year 9-11) Lower Five functions as a preparatory year for the GCSE course. Pupils are introduced to the notation program Sibelius, and learn some of the fundamentals of composition (such as melody, rhythm, structure) in preparation for their coursework in subsequent years, as well as building on their theoretical knowledge from Fourth Form. For Middle and Upper Five, GCSE (Edexcel) music is divided into three topic areas: Performing (30%) Composing (30%) and Listening (40%). This course encourages students to study an eclectic mix of music ranging from Handel to Miles Davis, Shoenberg to Jeff Buckley through the use of twelve set works (all printed in a dedicated anthology). Diversity is similarly encouraged in performance and composition. Pupils of all musical backgrounds and disciplines can develop their skills throughout this exciting course. Pupils with a practical level equivalent to Grade 2-3 or above by start of Lower Five are well placed for the performance element. Sixth Form (Year 12 & 13) Musical study at A-level follows the AQA specification. During the course of their studies, pupils will examine a number of key works from a wide range of repertoire, and learn to notate, describe and analyse the music they see and listen to. They will develop their understanding of harmony and composition techniques by looking at styles including chorale harmony, two-part realisations and string quartets. They will also perform and record pieces for assessment: at AS pupils will record two performances of 5-8 minutes, with the expected standard of Grade 5-6. At A2, pupils will record one solo performance of minutes, with the expected standard of Grade 7-8. Any further enquiries into programmes of study are welcomed and can be made by contacting the Head of Academic Music.

6 Extra-curricular Music With over 25 different music ensembles rehearsing each week, there is something to suit everyone! Participation in vocal and instrumental ensembles is usually by invitation; pupils and teachers are encouraged to speak to a member of the music staff if they are interested in joining a group. Ensembles are often invited to perform outside school. Recent performances include the Royal Norfolk Show and Jazz Nite at Epic TV Studios (which was streamed live to the web). The Chapel Choir sang at the Tower of London for the ceremony marking the WWI centenary of the death of Edith Cavell. Choral Music Singing is at the heart of school life and features in daily cathedral assemblies, the House Music Competition, concerts, musicals and services throughout the year. The school s choirs have earned a reputation for excellence over the years, garnering plaudits both in the concert hall and in music competitions. Some of our pupils are members of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. With nearly 75 regular members, Chapel Choir is the school s largest choir, and it plays a leading role in school events, singing for school services as well as singing Evensong at a Cambridge college each year; members of the Chapel Choir recently sang with the internationally Annual Carol Service for pupils and parents in Norwich Cathedral

7 renowned choir of Clare College. Chapel Choir performs a broad range of repertoire ranging from Thomas Tallis to Coldplay. Recent repertoire includes Arvo Pärt s ethereal Magnificat and Victoria s sublime setting of Salve Regina (8-part double choir), alongside modern pop classics such as The Power of Love and Chasing Cars. The Chapel Choir is complemented by many other vocal ensembles, including Choral Society, two Pop Choirs, and Junior Choir. Parents are warmly invited to join the Adult Choral Society, which meets weekly during term time. Each year it combines with the Pupil Choral Society and an invited orchestra for the spring concert in St. Andrew s Hall, as well as performing an Evensong at Norwich Cathedral. Its repertoire is drawn from the major works from the last four centuries. Recent concerts have included Haydn Masses, settings of the Requiem by Fauré, Mozart and Rutter, and Handel s Messiah. Please see the school website for further information on rehearsals and joining the choir. Entry is not subject to audition. Instrumental Ensembles The Music Department also offers a wide range of instrumental ensembles operating on a weekly basis. Students are encouraged to join an ensemble as soon as they are able to play even just a few notes, as we have groups that cater to all abilities. Below is a selection of the current groups. Senior School Junior Concert Band Intermediate Concert Band Senior Concert Band Senior Jazz Band 1 Senior Jazz Band 2 Advanced Recorders String Group Intermediate Orchestra Gateway Players (Senior Orchestra) Junior Percussion Group Intermediate Percussion Group Senior Percussion Group Junior Guitar Group Intermediate Guitar Group Senior Guitar Group Rock Group Lower School Hot Air (wind ensemble) Wind Band Junior Strings Senior Strings Stickers (percussion)

8 Individual Music Tuition The department has a team of over 35 visiting music teachers, many of whom play an active part in the musical life of the city and county. Specialist instrumental tuition is available on many instruments: violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, French horn, cornet, trumpet, trombone, tuba, euphonium, guitar, voice, recorder, orchestral and kit percussion, piano and organ. Other instruments can also be catered for, subject to demand and teacher availability. Progress is monitored by means of music reports. Parents are encouraged to have regular contact with their child s teachers, as we believe that a healthy relationship between parent, pupil and teacher is the most successful way to nurture emerging talent. Incoming pupils are invited to an Open Evening prior to the start of the school year when they are given the opportunity for a hands on experience on the instruments offered. Trial lessons often precede the final choice. ABRSM Music Exams held at the school termly, with exams entries welcome from pupils learning both in and out of school. Theory tuition is also available, with a weekly theory club running for pupils. Private theory tuition can also be arranged.

9 Pupils perform Les Misérables at the Norwich Playhouse to a sell-out crowd Instrumental Hire The school has a number of instruments to loan, and beginners are offered free tuition on stringed instruments in their first term in the Lower School. Hire fees are currently 30, subject to change with one term s notice. Saxology perform for Jazz Nite at Epic Studios

10 Frequently Asked Questions When do instrumental lessons take place? In order to avoid disruption to your child s timetabled lessons, music lessons for Lower Four to Lower Five pupils take place on a rota basis, ensuring that the same lesson is not disrupted every week. For pupils learning multiple instruments, one instrument will have a fixed lesson time during a break or lunchtime, in order to minimise the impact on academic lessons. We recognise that, as pupils start work towards their GCSEs and A Levels, disruption to their lessons must be kept to a minimum. Therefore, from Middle Five (Year 10) onwards, all lessons take place outside of academic lesson time, either during breaks or lunchtime, or before and after school. Subject to individual arrangements, pupils undertaking public exams are not expected to attend lessons during academic examination periods. Instrumental teachers will post lesson timetables in the Music Department, and will endeavor to provide lesson times at least one week in advance. Where do instrumental lessons take place? Lessons will generally take place in one of the music practice rooms located in the Music Department. Select piano and percussion lessons may take place in the School Chapel or the Barbirolli Room; pupils will be informed in advanced if this is the case. How much do instrumental lessons cost and how is payment made? Visiting Music Teachers set their own rate independently of the school, and will issue copies of their contracts to new pupils. Please contact the Music Office or the teacher concerned to ascertain their current charges. Teachers will invoice parents/guardians each term, and payment should be made directly to them.

11 Is a charge made if a child is absent from a lesson? We understand that pupils may sometimes be away from school due to illness, school trips, etc.; instrumental teachers will endeavor to be as flexible as possible to accommodate pupils. Pupils are asked to give at least 48 hours notice to their teacher if they are unable to attend a lesson due to a scheduled academic trip or sports fixture, or as soon as possible if they away from school due to illness. Please note that, although instrumental teachers will try to accommodate changes of lesson due to pupil absence, where they are unable to do so, the charge for that lesson may still apply. Where pupils do not attend lessons and do not have a legitimate reason, instrumental teachers are entitled to charge for the missed lesson and are under no obligation to make up lessons missed by pupils. How much notice is needed in order to cease having instrumental lessons? Visiting Music Teachers set their own policy as to the period of notice required, but generally a minimum of one whole term s notice in writing is required if the pupil wishes to cease lessons. Can pupil instruments be stored at school? Designated storage space is available within the Music Department and pupils are welcome to store their instruments on the days that they are needed in school. Pupils should ensure that their instruments are clearly labelled with their name and that they are stored correctly on the racks provided. Norwich School does not take any responsibility for the safety or security of instruments left within the Music Department, and parents should ensure that instruments are adequately insured before bringing them into school. Pupils are asked not to leave instruments in the Music Department during academic holidays without prior permission from music staff.

12 Pupils and adults join forces to sing in the annual Choral Society concert in St. Andrew s Hall Contacts If you require a music lesson application form, or if you have any questions regarding music at Norwich School, please contact the Music Department. Telephone:

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