Music is one of the liveliest departments in the school. All students in years 7-9 receive music lessons every week, learning basic skills in keyboard and in composition as well as learning about important genres in musical history, such as Blues and Ragtime. Lessons involve both theory and practical work, giving students the chance to develop their musical talents. From here, students are well equipped to take their GCSE in Music, which is optional in Years 10 + 11. The GCSE gives students the chance to showcase their skills in performing, as well as learning new skills in composition and music appraisal. The department also offers A Level music, which expands on the skills learnt at GCSE. Dedication is extremely important at this level, as practice and revision are key in achieving high grades.
However, the Music department doesn’t just offer curriculum lessons. Students in all years, from Lower School to Sixth Form, are offered the chance to have music tuition outside of their lessons. With a high standard of peripatetic teachers teaching everything from brass, guitar and strings to keyboard and singing, students are given plenty of opportunity to develop their skills and learn new instruments. Many students who have this tuition go on to take part in Music Festivals and to study Music at university.
Music forms an important part of extracurricular activity in the school. With a concert each term, in which students can showcase their musical talents and an annual inter-house music competition, students are encouraged to pursue their musical interests outside of timetabled lessons. The school boasts an impressive choir, consisting of students from all year groups, a Choir dedicated to Yr7 and a Sixth Form Chamber Choir, who perform at school occasions such as the end of term Church services. The school also performs an annual musical, which in recent years has included large scale productions such as Fiddler on the Roof, Sound of Music, My Fair Lady and two Gilbert and Sullivan operettas: The Mikado and Pirates of Penzance. These productions involve students from all year groups, and student musicians are encouraged to take part in the orchestra. The school has also created its own Samba and Jazz bands, giving students the chance to learn new and interesting styles of music and to experiment with sound. Led by talented teachers, the bands meet weekly to rehearse and students often find a gain in confidence from these experiences.
The newly refurbished music department includes 5 new practice rooms and a sound-proof drum room. As well as a new class room in which the school’s grand piano is kept, the department boasts a new music classroom housing brand new computer systems equipped with up-to-date music software such as Sibelius, Cubase and Guitar Pro. This enables students to gain experience in using the latest equipment, which is extremely important in developing compositional skills.
At Caistor Grammar School, Music is a subject that anyone can pursue, with dedication and hard work. The department works hard to nurture talent and to give students every opportunity to showcase their talents.