“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without” - Confucius
The Music Department at Malvern St James delivers instrumental and vocal lessons to nearly 50% of the Senior School every week. Our 22 Visiting Music Teachers and 3 full time staff provide lessons on the entire range of orchestral and band instruments, together with contemporary rhythm section instruments and voice.
Girls have the opportunity to enter graded music exams each term (normally ABRSM, Trinity Guildhall or Rock school). Individuals have had successes with choral scholarships, diploma exams and competitions, including the Cheltenham and Worcester Music Festivals, and a number of current girls are members of county ensembles run by Worcestershire Youth Music and some are members of the National Children’s Orchestra.
There are a wealth of opportunities in the Music Department for all pupils to have lessons on any orchestral or band instrument. Tuition is also available in piano, organ, singing, guitar, bass guitar, drum kit and orchestral percussion. Other instruments can also be catered for by request (eg guzheng, erhu).
It is normal practice for singers to participate in at least one of the choirs and instrumentalists to play in the Prep instrumental Ensemble, Orchestra or Jazz Band.
Currently the following groups are offered:
Within the framework of individual music lessons, pupils are encouraged to take graded exams when appropriate (ABRSM, Trinity College, London College of Music). This includes Music Theatre and Jazz as well as the usual range of instrumental and vocal subjects. Music Theory classes are available as a weekly activity.
There is a programme of regular lunchtime concerts (‘Young Performers’ Platform’) where individuals are encouraged to perform as soloists (with or without accompaniment) and termly concerts feature the larger ensembles and chamber groups. Musical theatre productions are regularly undertaken by both Prep and Senior Schools.
A busy timetable of weekly activities operates throughout the week:
Year 7-9 String Ensemble
Senior Chamber Music Ensembles
Theory Drop-In Sessions
CASE (Clarinet and Saxophone Ensemble)
|Thursday||PIE (Prep Instrumental Ensemble)|
Senior Vocal Ensemble
YPP (Young Performers Platforms- twice termly)
“Music is an outburst of the soul” – Delius
Singing is at the heart of school life at MSJ, with hymn practice and whole-school singing in morning services. We are proud of our choral tradition and numerous students have gone on to win choral awards at Oxbridge. As well as the many Choral Evensongs and concerts, MSJ host an annual Prep School Choir Competition where local and feeder Prep and Primary Schools are invited to take part in a fun day of choral singing.
The Music Department at MSJ is a bustling and exciting environment and our termly calendars are packed with formal and informal lunchtime and evening concerts, master classes and workshops, Evensong, and evening trips to local and regional concert halls.
In addition, our musicians provide music for school functions (such as Open Days and OGA events) and church and school services. The Jazz Band gives regular concerts in conjunction with other groups and soloists at MSJ and often collaborates with neighbouring schools for large-scale events.
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