The Music Department is a lively and buoyant part of the school and, with over 40 performing opportunities every year, a very busy one. 

All pupils are actively encouraged during their time at school to enjoy the riches that music has to offer.  This starts in the curriculum lessons, where topics range from music from the medieval ages to hip hop and rap, and can be further enhanced by individual instrumental and vocal tuition. 

A large proportion of the pupils receive instrumental and vocal lessons taught by a highly qualified, energetic and enthusiastic team of visiting teachers each week. Lessons take place during the school day. Tuition is available in Strings, Brass, Wind (including Oboe), Percussion, Vocals, Guitar, Piano (including Jazz piano). Supervised practice sessions are available for both boarders and day pupils most evenings of the week in the music department.

The school hosts termly music examinations for the ABRSM, Trinity, Trinity Rock & Pop & the Royal Guitar Registry. Pupils are regularly invited to the high achievers concerts at the County Town Hall in Trowbridge.

Enthusing and inspiring our pupils through music, multiple performances range from regular Lunchtime Soloist Concerts to our flagship event: Cabaret.

In collaboration with the Drama Department, pupils are exposed to the full spectacle of the stage experience with professional costumes, lighting, sound and a pro-band. Taking place in a local theatre, recent shows include Beauty & the Beast (2010), Phantom of the Opera (2012) and Anything Goes (2014).

The music department enjoys strong links with Aiglon College in Switzerland where various collaborations are in their early stages.

Facilities Available

Music lies at the heart of the school with an incredibly busy an lively programme available every day of the week. The Thomas Arnold Hall, complete with state of the art lighting and sound, is utilised as a Concert Hall for a wide range of concerts both professional and pupil-led.  The department is currently in a period of development with many exciting additions planned to extend and improve the provision available. Trips, practical music making and composing skills lie at the centre of learning. Both performance spaces boast Yamaha Grand Pianos and the schools’ newest addition is a Harpsichord.

The music department is currently undergoing a programme of improvements. This will include updated music technology facilities.

Examination boards

The KS3 curriculum has been written with an emphasis on practical work. Topics include 12 Bar Blues, Musicals, Reggae where the emphasis is on learning through performing. Class sets of ukuleles, keyboards and guitars facilitate a lively curriculum. Regular trips consolidate learning, for example visiting the cinema to watch BBC Ten Pieces, concert and theatre trips for examination groups. There is special provision to extend the skills and learning of the most able musicians.

We currently offer Edexcel GCSE Music and AQA AS/A2 level. It is planned for Music Technology AS/A2 to be offered from September 2016.

Co-Curricular Activities

These take place before school, at lunchtime or after school

  • Concert Band lively ensemble of wind, brass and percussion
  • Jazz Band small ensemble who enjoy Performing at school black tie events amongst many others
  • String Ensemble playing an exciting mix of classical and more modern hits
  • String Quartet quintessentially english, they enjoy accompanying formal lunches and dinners
  • Warminster Singers Staff and pupil Choir, Year 9 upwards
  • Junior Singers this year 7 & 8 choir will be singing in a choir of 6,000 at the NEC
  • Ukulele Orchestra huge fun for beginners and more experienced players: the Headmaster is a member!
  • Rock Band headbanging and feedback abound
  • Drum Corps military style marching band run by our ex-marine Percussion Teacher
  • Concert Orchestra string ensemble and concert band combine for special concert opportunities
  • Audio, Visual and Lighting Club learning the technical  skills required to assist and enhance performances