An essential element in the education of the whole child
At Millfield Prep the Music Department tries to inspire pupils to enjoy their music making at all levels, whether that be within the classroom or leading the school orchestra. We offer excellent facilities, tuition on a wide range of instruments, a lively and positive atmosphere and endless opportunities for performance.
Music is regarded as an essential element in the education of the whole child and plays a very important part within the life of the school. All pupils from Year 3 to Year 8 have music timetabled on a weekly basis and every pupil is encouraged to either learn an instrument or sing in a choir.
Throughout pupils’ time here, the key focus is on the development of aural skills, using instruments and voice. Pupils are introduced to the concepts of pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tempo, duration, timbre, texture and beat. They also learn good singing technique, developing composition and performance skills. Music from different periods of history and different cultures are also explored.
Outstanding facilities and opportunities
There is a purpose-built Music Department where all class music lessons and individual tuition takes place. The department has twenty-two teaching/practice rooms (on two floors) which are used for individual music lessons and small group rehearsals. There are also two large classrooms which are used for group teaching, and these are well equipped with instruments, including a large number of tuned and untuned percussion, keyboards and music software. The department has a large Recital Hall within the block, which seats around 200 people, and this is used regularly for smaller concerts and recitals. The Music Department stage their larger ensemble concerts and productions in the newly refurbished Assembly Hall/Theatre.
Individual music tuition is offered on the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, double bass, harp and guitar (classical and electric), flute, recorder, oboe, bassoon, clarinet and saxophone, trumpet, cornet, euphonium, French horn, tenor horn, trombone and tuba, drum kit, orchestral percussion, piano, organ and singing.
Twenty visiting music teachers work in the department alongside 4 full time music teachers and the Director of Music.
A huge number of extra curricular activities are available to pupils on a weekly basis, including choir, guitar group, keyboard club, ukulele club, orchestra, wind band, string group, harp, flute, brass and percussion ensemble, music theory groups, aural training sessions and boarders practice sessions.
Weekly support is also offered to relevant pupils with aural training, music theory and music scholarship preparation. Pupils are currently entered for exams with The Associated Board of Music, Trinity/Guildhall School of Music, London Musical Theatre/Pop Exams and Rock School drum kit and guitar exams.
Many Millfield Prep pupils go on to achieve Music Scholarship awards each year. In the last five years pupils have gained 54 Music Scholarship Awards to independent Senior Schools and last year we prepared ten children Year 8 musicians at the School for music scholarship auditions. Seven were awarded with full music scholarships and three were awarded exhibitions.
An exciting array of opportunities to perform
All pupils are given numerous opportunities to perform both within the school and at outside venues throughout the year. There are several concerts each term where soloists have the opportunity to sing or play. These vary enormously in style from classical recitals to pop & rock concerts. The department also hosts ‘Tea & Music Concerts’ which are more informal occasions for pupils to perform in. The larger formal concerts take place once a term and feature the numerous musical groups that rehearse on a weekly basis. House Music Competitions and school assemblies are also other events in which pupils perform. School productions provide another arena for pupils to perform in and these are put on regularly either in the Recital Hall or in the Assembly Hall/Theatre. Pupils also perform at outside venues (festivals/competitions) on a regular basis and the highlight of each autumn term is always the school Carol Service which takes place at Wells Cathedral.