Music thrives at Worth and the core philosophy of the department is the balance of inclusion with excellence. With the right encouragement and guidance, at whatever level and in whatever style, the life of any pupil can be enriched through music.
Over 40% of the school has individual music lessons each week taught by an experienced and dedicated team of over 20 visiting music teachers covering all major instruments. While most pupils tend to have their own instruments, the School can hire out some orchestral instruments if required (there is a charge for this). The cost of music lessons for 2019-2020 is £215 per term for ten lessons.
Concerts happen regularly throughout the year, with the sublime acoustic of Worth Abbey providing an inspirational space for our gala concerts. The magnificent Whitehead Room, the original Music Room of Paddockhurst, provides a beautiful and intimate venue for chamber and solo concerts. Major choral services in the Abbey such as the Christmas Carol Service in the Autumn Term and Tenebrae in the Lent Term receive often capacity congregations.
Singing is important at Worth and the school community comes together weekly to sing congregationally in services in the inspiring surroundings of Worth Abbey led by one of our many choirs. A hallmark of our main school choir, the Worth Schola Cantorum, is that is open to all without a requirement to audition but, once members, students are expected to be committed, inspiring loyalty, confidence and an appreciation of excellence. Our choirs regularly lead Sunday services at Worth Abbey and annually at cathedrals both in the UK and abroad. Singing does not just flourish in sacred music, our Gospel Choir provides an exciting and popular opportunity for students to sing a cappella in jazz, pop and contemporary styles. Worth musicians are regularly members of the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and our alumni include a current member of the Sistine Chapel Choir and leading Choral Conductors.
Instrumental Musicians have a wealth of opportunities and each year the Music department adapts the instrumental and vocal groups that are on offer to take into account the strengths and interests of the pupils. Orchestral musicians can play in the thriving 50-strong Symphony Orchestra which includes a good number of pupils at Grade 8 standard or beyond. There are also many instrumental groups which focus on particular instrumental disciplines (such as Camerata, our String Orchestra), a wealth of chamber groups (from Brass to Clarinet, Saxophone and String groups) or students can form their own student-led groups which department supports with coaching. The department also runs a strong Jazz Band and Concert Band which perform regularly.
Rock and Pop musicians flourish through our termly “Live Lounge” open mic events held in the Performing Arts Centre theatre where they have the opportunity to perform to their peers in a supportive environment and with professional sound and lighting design. They also benefit from regular coaching sessions as an activity and Music Technology is offered as a popular activity, and is available in one-to-one lessons and at A Level.
Departmental facilities include a suite of practice rooms, a recording studio with soundproofed live room, the Coleburt Room which is department’s main rehearsal space and a well-equipped lower school classroom, a Mac suite, and a GCSE/A Level seminar room. Our practice rooms are open until 9:30pm at night and boarding students regularly make use of the facilities. Kawai and Yamaha grand pianos are located in the Coleburt Room and Whitehead Room.
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