They have encouraged him to try new things, they have taught him not to fear failure, they have stretched him academically, they have given him the world of music, they have given him the confidence to perform, they have kept him grounded and they have lit the fire in his belly to compete to win.

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(Note that copies of the music timetables are available for current parents on the Parent Message Centre)

The aim of class music teaching at The Beacon is to offer each boy a wide practical experience of music through curriculum lessons and extra-curricular activities. We try to engage and inspire our boys to develop a love of music, increasing their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. The boys will perform through singing and instrumental work, create music of their own through practical work and music technology, and explore music through listening and appraisal. The recently updated syllabus has been devised so that the teaching of music has a clear sense of continuity from Reception through to the end of Year 6. In Years 7 & 8 music and drama is taught to the boys as part of a Performing Arts programme, with all boys rotating in groups across the two subjects in weekly lessons which last an hour. Performance opportunities follow on from work in class and subject based skills are delivered through various cross curricular projects.

The Music Department comprises eight practice rooms, a sound proofed drum teaching pod, recording facilities, a large class teaching room and a recently refurbished music technology suite with Apple Mac computers.

Concerts and productions are performed either in our 80 seater drama studio, called the Old Barn, or in our newly completed Spinney Theatre which seats 240. All boys from Reception through to Year 8 have music timetabled and boys are encouraged to learn an instrument, join one of the numerous music clubs on offer, or sing in a choir.

We have a strong history of boys going on to take up Music Scholarships at Independent Senior Schools and appropriate support is given to potential scholars throughout their time at the school. Over three hundred boys currently have specialist instrumental tuition offered by a dedicated team of 23 visiting music teachers. Many of the staff are professional musicians and they provide a high calibre of teaching within the department. Weekly tuition is offered across a full range of instruments and lessons are timetabled on a rota basis.

There are performance opportunities for boys of all ages and standards within a variety of ensembles including Orchestra, Wind Band, Big Band, Fanfare Brass, Saxophone Group, Junior & Senior Guitar Groups, Rock Band, Mini-Strings, Beacon Bows and the Beaconetti Strings. Music theory and music technology clubs for all age groups are also offered!

Choral singing is very strong at The Beacon and there are weekly singing clubs open to any boy who would like to sing regardless of ability from Years 1 to 4. There are also two school auditioned choirs, the 'Beacon Voices' and the 'Young Voices', who perform regularly both within school and locally at various charitable concerts and events. The Beacon Voices have a choir tour to Venice in Autumn 2016. In previous years they have undertaken other international tours to Budapest and New York and were very proud to sing for H.M. Queen Elizabeth at the Royal Albert Hall in the 'Festival of Remembrance' (their performance being broadcast worldwide by the BBC).

Click below for Music Department review video and Beacon Voices recordings:

He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (MP3, 3.62 Mb)

All Things Bright and Beautiful (MP3, 2.65Mb)

I'll Be There (MP3,3.39Mb)

Boys have the opportunity to take part in a variety of concerts and musical productions across the school year as well as competitions and music festivals outside of school. Productions in recent years have included: Oh What a Lovely War, Into the Woods Jr, Oliver, The Music Man, The Lion King and The Pirates of Penzance. 

Music at The Beacon is highly valued and it provides pupils with many positive learning skills and attributes. It is a form of communication that can help the boys develop positive self-esteem and also promotes a sense of positive group identity. They learn to participate and collaborate with others and to work creatively which can lead to a great sense of achievement and self-worth!

Liz Van Tromp
Head of Performing Arts and Director of Music