The Music Department plays a central role in the life of The Grey Coat Hospital. Music is a vital part of school worship, either in assembly or at the services held at Westminster Abbey or local churches. There are also numerous performance opportunities for students including a school concert each term.
Instrumental & Vocal Tuition and Music Ensembles
We have a dedicated team of peripatetic instrumental and vocal staff who are in great demand as professional musicians and teachers. Tuition is provided on the whole range of instruments, the cost of which is subsidised by the school. There are a range of ensembles
which students who are learning an instrument are expected to join.
There is a very strong tradition of high quality extra-curricular music-making. Our choirs and ensembles meet once a week either at lunchtime or after school and work towards regular concerts, services and other performance opportunities. We expect that those students receiving instrument or vocal tuition play an active role in the musical life of the school by joining a relevant ensemble. The music department currently boasts the Year 7 Choir, Junior Gospel Choir, Senior Gospel Choir, Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, African Drumming Group, Guitar Club, Junior and Senior Orchestra, GCH Jazz, Concert Band plus other ensembles led by the students themselves.
Key Stage 3 Music
At Key Stage 3 students have one 50-minute lesson per week. Students study a wide range of topics to prepare them for GCSE Music including Keyboard Skills, the Blues, Musicals, Baroque Music, African drumming, Notation, Reggae, Film Music and Music in the Media. Students are strongly encouraged to use their own instruments for any practical tasks.
GCSE Music is made up of three key areas: Performing (30%), Composing (30%) and Listening (40%). Following the EdExcel specification, students look at the following four Areas of Study: Repetition and Contrast in Western Music 1650-1900, New Directions in Classical Music 1900-, Popular Song in Context, Rhythms and Modes in World Music. Our composition coursework is completed using the latest Sibelius software. GCSE music students receive free instrumental or vocal tuition and are expected to play a leading role in the Music Enrichment Activities.
Edexcel A-level Music is a mix of creative, practical, academic and analytical skills. It is suitable for those students who wish to extend the skills acquired at GCSE or for musicians who have achieved Grade 5 on their chosen instrument and GCSE Grade B. You will compose, listen to and analyse a wide variety of music from 1600 to the present day. We are very lucky to have strong links with professional organisations such as the Wigmore Hall. There will be opportunities for A-level students to attend events and benefit from the expertise of visiting professional musicians.
Students work towards both theory and practical music examinations from Grades from 1 to 8. Many of our students gain Grade 7 or 8 on their first instrument. The school acts as a centre for the Associated Board of the Royal School of Music but can also prepare students for Guildhall and Trinity exams.