Music can make a huge contribution in shaping our abilities and character. We hope that you will find it fun, creative, social, develops coordination, therapeutic, expressive, relaxing, stimulates imagination, deepens cultural understanding, challenges, develops self-discipline and helps forge lasting friendships. Why don’t you join in?
Whether you are at the start of your musical journey or an accomplished musician, you may always find help and support from the Music staff. We can point you towards formal lessons or suggest masterclasses and musical opportunities both in school and outside. We share great podcasts, recommend ‘tried and tested’ self-teach tutorials on YouTube and encourage you to try fun apps. Explore the links on the Music Firefly pages!
In-School Individual Music Tuition is available on most instruments, music theory and singing. These will help you to make fast progress when combined with regular practise and can lead towards taking examinations in classical, rock and/or jazz styles. Exams earn extra points on your university application, so are worth considering once you reach Grade 6 level.
Musical groups and ensembles rehearse weekly. Your participation will help expand your skillset, tackle a variety of music and introduce you to others with similar interests. Some ensembles are based around particular year groups, campus or standard, but there is something for everyone whether you are in Year 7 or Year 13. We run a Music Tech Club for budding music producers, songwriters and composers.
Our three flagship ensembles, involve large numbers of musicians and rehearse after school:
Senior and Symphony Orchestras (Mondays)
Junior and Senior Choirs (Tuesdays)
Jazz Band and Big Band (Thursdays)
Further ensembles rehearse before and after school and at lunchtime. Full details are available on Firefly (link above). Please ask if you are unsure of how and what to join.
We organise a popular Annual Music Tour to Europe each July. The concert tour (advanced musicians) provides performance opportunities in spectacular venues, whilst the rehearsal tour allows younger musicians to play in a less pressured environment and enjoy the sites of Paris including Disneyland.
Performance opportunities vary from formal to very informal and there is truly something for everyone. Major concerts provide a platform for our regular ensembles (small and large), but there is room for students working amongst themselves to join in. Those wanting performing experience can join one of the friendly Informal Concerts, although these also attract accomplished performers too. For an advanced challenge, consider entering Berkhamsted’s Young Musician of the Year or audition for The Talent Show. Performing helps develop self-confidence and repertoire is broadened by sitting in the audience.
Look out for the Inter-House Music Competitions staged in the first half term in the academic year. These are highly enjoyable, but competitive and showcase some of our finest musicians. They are inclusive as everyone gets to join in. Another fabulous experience is the Berkhamsted Festival of Music (in January), which provides opportunities for you to try new skills as well as work with visiting experts in a range of masterclasses and events.
We also encourage our musicians to serve others and sign up to play at local care homes, the hospice and for community events in and around Berkhamsted. This helps bring the joy of music to those who most need it and is hugely satisfying.