Music thrives at Yarm and plays a major role in the everyday life of the School. Our many instrumental and vocal groups meet weekly and put on a variety of concerts each year as well as providing the music for key school events.
Choral groups range from the 120 strong full choir, to barbershop, music theatre, pop groups, chamber choir and a cappella groups. Instrumentally, our aim is to cater for all instruments and abilities. In addition to the larger ensembles such as symphony orchestra, string group, big band and wind band, a number of smaller ensembles meet on a weekly basis and these range from classical chamber groups to jazz and pop groups. The major biennial musical is extremely popular.
Music is as much an activity as it is an academic subject; over 250 pupils receive instrumental tuition from our talented team of visiting music teachers, Many pupils achieve Grade 8 before leaving for university and some current pupils have gained diploma status.
The New Music School
The new music school, which opened, in September houses classrooms, 10 instrumental tuition rooms, a drumming suite and a high-tech recording studio. In addition, there is a 140-seat lecture theatre cutting-edge designed retractable seating, making it a truly flexible performance venue.
The Music Recording Suite with Mac computers enables students to utilise industry standard software for their composition and performance work. Pupils with an interest in recording and sound production are able to hone their skills.
Numerous platforms for performance are created and styles are diverse. A few examples are listed below to give a flavour:
- Guys and Dolls Musical
- Choir tour to Italy, performing in many prestigious venues
- 1980’s Concert Night
- Community Christmas Concert
- Music of Stage and Screen
- Broadway Night
- Workshops with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra
- Service of Remembrance
- Performance of The Armed Man by Jenkins with the Black Dyke Brass Band
- Concerto performances
- Services of Nine Lessons and Carols
- Cathedral visits to sing Evensong
- Joint project with Tees Valley Music Services
- Solo and chamber music recitals
- Symphony and Choral Concerts including Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Haydn Symphony No 104, Vivaldi Gloria, Haydn Nelson Mass, a Celebration of British Music
- Jazz and Pop in the Dovecote
The Music School offers opportunities for children to learn any instrument of their choice. Over 200 instrumental lessons per week are taught by professional musicians. The following are catered for: Piano, Organ, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Harp, Flute, Recorder, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, Saxophone, Trumpet, Cornet, French Horn, Tenor Horn, Trombone, Tuba, Classical (acoustic) Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Drum Kit and Orchestral Percussion. Some pupils also opt for individual Music Theory tuition.
The tuition costs for 2016/17 are £15.80 per 30 minute lesson. Tutors, who are self-employed, usually charge parents in advance of the term’s lessons and pupils receive on average 10 lessons per term. Lessons take place between 8am – 5pm and pupils are placed upon a rotating timetable so that they do not always miss the same subject lesson each week. Pupils who play more than one instrument and those in Fifth Year and Sixth Form are given a fixed lesson time that might be during a lunch period, although this is only an option if and where timetabling permits.
Pupils who receive instrumental tuition are expected to contribute towards school ensembles when they reach the required standards and Masterclasses are often arranged and conducted by professional musicians of national and international repute. Group theory lessons are offered free of charge during lunchtime and Activity Lessons.
All pupils are encouraged to take performance examinations, although some pupils simply decide to learn works for enjoyment. We are currently host examiners from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, Rock School and London College of Music. Tutors pick examination syllabuses and examination boards to suit the individual. These examinations are standardised by the QCA, where the levels of Graded assessment are equal. UCAS points are awarded to pupils that achieve Grade 6 practical and higher; this being a useful tool in today’s university admission procedures.