The course content allows musically gifted pupils to continue studying Music for GCSE. The department has a suite of computers enabling pupils to use ‘Sibelius’ music notation software, the Music School has excellent facilities for both the practical and academic study of Music.
In addition to curricular music, visiting teachers offer individual lessons in most instruments including voice, and pupils are regularly entered for ABRSM or Trinity practical and theory examinations. There are opportunities to participate in a wide range of musical activities such as Chapel Choir, Symphony Orchestra, String Orchestra, Jazz Band, Glee Club, Shout Band, Cantate, Wind Band and Chamber Music. The department provides music for approximately 230 concerts and services per year which includes a Music School lunchtime recital series. The service of Nine Lessons and Carols, The Farrow Singing Competition, Instrumental Music Competition, and Music School Concerts are gala events in the school calendar. Recent Music School tours include: York, Amsterdam and Edam, and a choral residency at Canterbury Cathedral. The Chapel Choir CD entitled ‘Sing Joyfully’ and recorded in the school chapel is highly recommended.
Pupils enjoy a diverse and engaging music course in the first year, which prepares all for the GCSE Music course should they wish to take it. They perform blues collaborative compositions, compose pop songs and film music, learn to use Sibelius and Garageband software and understand basic theory and musical vocabulary. GCSE music is a popular option and pupils compose, perform and learn about Film, Pop, World and Classical music, with A-level offering an in-depth study of similar disciplines. Recent Old Millhillians have gone on to study music at Cambridge University and at music colleges across the country. Theory clubs run after school to support both instrumental, vocal and academic musical study. There are two annual composition prizes (Christmas Carols and The Gundry Prize) and a range of concert trips throughout the year.