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A wide range of opportunities exists for those pupils wishing to get involved in the Music department, from the formality of the Chapel Choir and String Orchestra to the style and energy of the Jazz Band and Glee Club.

Fourth Form pupils receive one lesson of Music per week, which is taught in groups of ten to twelve.

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’ was recorded in the school chapel and is highly recommended.

Pupils enjoy a diverse and engaging Music course in the first year, which prepares them 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 are 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.

Instrumental Music Lessons

We have around 20 professional peripatetic teachers, all of whom are experts in their fields, who come to the school during the week to teach. Instrumental music lessons take place during the school day. There are around 250 music lessons that take place throughout the week in the Music Department on all instruments ranging from the violin to the saxophone, to the organ.

Music lessons for the Lower School are scheduled on a rotational basis, meaning that the pupils will not always be missing the same subject or break time. Music lessons for the Upper School take place during free study periods.

To find out more about our Music lesson provision email music@millhill.org.uk to enquire.

Music Awards

Music Scholarships and Exhibitions may be awarded annually. Candidates may enter for either an Academic Award or a Music Award or for both. Candidates for a Music Award who do not wish to sit the Academic Scholarship Examinations should nevertheless expect to perform at a sound level in the school’s entrance examinations. The major Music award is named the Helmore Music Scholarship.

At Fourth Form level, candidates for a Music Scholarship will normally be expected to have reached at least the standard (though not necessarily to have sat the examination) of Grade 6 in piano or Grade 5 in orchestral instrument. For a Music Exhibition one grade lower level, and or/voice, and/or composition. Two contrasting pieces will be expected and there will also be aural and sight-reading tests. Musical ability may also be taken into account in making other academic awards.

Click to read more about our values and expectations below:

Further information on Music Awards may be obtained from the Director of Musical Performance, Kevin Kyle, kk@millhill.org.uk.

Read more about all of the Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries on offer across the school here.