Music at Cordwalles is Alive and Thriving!
The last few years at Cordwalles have been very exciting as we have become our very own Department, in a wonderful environment. The previous Pre-Primary section of the school is a perfect venue for all the ‘musos’! With the massive refurbishment in 2019, this space has become even more accessible. All lessons take place in one of the five teaching spaces, and an extra four practice rooms have been created, providing an invaluable addition. Small concerts have taken place most successfully in the auditorium, an intimate and most suitable venue for specific audiences.
Whilst noisy drumming lessons may be taking place, one can still concentrate on the intricacies of a Baroque Grade 4 piano piece without being disturbed. We have two permanent staff members, as well as six peripatetic teachers offering tuition in a number of different instruments.
120 boys are now learning an individual instrument with the interest being spread and shared amongst drum kit, piano, violin, clarinet, saxophone, voice, ukulele, recorder and guitar. The more formal instruments are costly, so we are working on building up a selection for hire. Hopefully this will encourage boys to experiment more. Should the boys wish to enter exams through all the reputable examining boards: ABRSM, Trinity College London and Rock school, they are able to.
Boys in Grades 2, 3 & 4 receive a formal lesson in either ukulele, guitar or violin once a week. This has been an exciting launch and the boys are thoroughly enjoying this diversity.
The Junior primary choir meet once a week and all boys who are in Grades 2 & 3 are encouraged to join and enjoy singing and basic part singing. This is an excellent preparation for the Junior (grades 4 & 5) and Senior (grades 6 & 7) choirs which had to be split due to the high numbers and popularity. Here, boys learn to sing in soprano, alto and tenor. The standard that they have reached has been commendable, despite no auditions taking place. We believe in an all inclusive approach. The boys lead both the Easter and Christmas services, as well as the annual Combined Choirs event, which Cordwalles hosts. When possible, they have also sung at outside venues and with great success at old age homes and other schools, bringing much joy and entertainment to their audiences. A new and popular addition is the gospel choir, adding another dimension to the dynamic department
The drum line has recently taken on a new approach. No longer is it the requirement that they be proficient drummers and taking private lessons. Beginners showing aptitude and commitment may join and attend these sessions once a week.
The saxophone ensemble has grown in strength and proficiency, and has become an important part of the music department in its own right.
The violin ensemble also meet once a week and have also reached a most commendable level, able to participate in all school functions and services. This area has grown from strength to strength.
Djembe Troupe is an excellent group for boys who are perhaps not as committed in other musical areas of the school, but who are just as enthusiastic and capable. This is a very lively group of boys who meet to explore new rhythms and movement, and is a popular activity.
Due to the ‘explosion’ of guitar tuition over the past years, guitar groups have been meeting twice a week. Basic chord knowledge is necessary, but boys learn quickly and are keen to catch up too.
Pop idols has been replaced by the “C factor” and is run along similar lines, with the addition of inter-class singing competitions held during “Cultural week”.
With so many boys involved in the Music Department, we are proud of their achievements and commitment and look forward to many wonderful concerts and continued growth.
The Cordwalles Music Department 2021 offers tuition in the following:
- Drum Kit
- Folk guitar
Please note the following conditions and points of interest, which apply to the Music Tuition Programme: