In Years 7-9 students follow a largely practical course based on the three key activities of Listening & Appraisal, Composing and Performing. Rudiments and Theory are also taught but in support of the key activities above rather than as an end in itself. ICT is used throughout the curriculum to notate compositions, and for background research.
In Years 10 & 11 students may choose to follow the Edexcel GCSE specification which develops key skills learned in Years 7-9. Subsequently, they may choose to continue their studies to A Level, again following the Edexcel specification. Recent results at both levels have been excellent, and girls regularly progress to higher education in music, both as conservatoire students and as holders of University Choral Awards.
Rooms and Resources
The music department is based in two pleasant, airy rooms situated in the main mansion block. The main teaching room is well equipped with resources for ICT in music. There are a number of additional smaller teaching studios for individual music lessons. The Ballroom, which contains one of the school’s two concert grand pianos, can seat an audience of around fifty for recitals.
Individual Music Lessons
A talented and committed team of visiting specialists provide individual lessons across the whole range of orchestral instruments, piano, guitar and voice. Girls are prepared for the practical grade examinations of the ABRSM, Guildhall and Trinity boards, with excellent overall results.
Extra-Curricular Music Making
There is an exceptional range of opportunities for girls to involve themselves in the school’s wider musical life as instrumentalists or singers. The Senior School has three choirs, the Senior Orchestra, The Dunottar Chamber Ensemble, and the Jazz Ensemble. Additionally, the Junior and Intermediate string groups provide a graded training programme for the school’s young string players. Other instrumentalists benefit from group coaching sessions, notably percussionists and rock musicians.