an introduction to music

A brief overview from our Heads of Department

The aim of the Academic Music Department is to broaden and enhance pupils’ understanding and appreciation of music at all levels, from those pupils who do not consider themselves to be particularly musical, right through to those who hope to pursue Music in further education and beyond.

Every pupil has the chance to develop their musical talent and our music staff are here to help unlock the potential of every pupil. We encourage and support both individual excellence as well as mass participation.


In both Key Stage 3 and 4, the Music curriculum is structured around the three key skills of performing, composing and listening/appraising. In Years 7- 9, pupils enjoy regular lessons in Music and Drama each week. At GCSE level, the course presents Music in an attractive and accessible way. It enables pupils to explore different styles and genres, while encouraging them to perform and compose according to their own particular strengths and interests.

Concerts, Bands & Choirs

There is a strong choral tradition at the school and the Senior Choir and Chamber Choir lead the school in many important acts of worship, including the annual Carol Concert and Founder's Day Services at Dorchester Abbey. Our Music Tours are very popular and we have been privileged to perform in inspiring, iconic venues such as St Mark’s in Venice, Salzburg Cathedral, Barcelona Cathedral, Cologne Cathedral and St Peter’s in Rome. There are many performance opportunities within the academic year, including informal concerts, Tea Concerts, our Singing Competition, the Senior and Junior School Shows, Band Night and the Rock and Pop Concert to name but a few.

Individual Tuition

Many pupils have individual lessons in which they have the opportunity to prepare for Associated Board and Trinity Guildhall examinations in a variety of instruments and singing, as well as Music Theory. We have a dedicated team of highly experienced and friendly peripatetic teachers who also help with coaching various ensembles including the Junior and Senior Orchestras, Concert Band, String Group, Chamber Music, Jazz Ensemble and the Senior Choirs. Musicianship classes are offered on a weekly basis for those pupils intending to take Grades 6 – 8.