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’! The latest development is that in early 2019, we are going to be undergoing some renovations, making the block even more accessible. All lessons take place at one of the five different rooms. With the changes, we will be able to hold small concerts and practices in the middle section of the block, and three practice rooms will be created.
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.
Nearly 150 boys are now learning an individual instrument with the interest being spread and shared amongst drum kit, piano, violin, clarinet, saxophone, 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.
Boys in Grades 2, 3 & 4 receive a formal lesson in recorder and theory once a week, and from identifying them at this level we hope to promote more private instruction in woodwind instruments. In addition to recorder, boys in grades 3 and 4 are also given violin, guitar and ukulele lessons. This has been an exciting launch and the boys are thoroughly enjoying this diversity.
The Junior choir meet once a week and all boys who are in Grades 3 & 4 are encouraged to join and enjoy singing and basic part singing. This is an excellent preparation for the Senior Choir, which has 90 boys. Here, boys learn to sing in soprano, alto and tenor. The standard that they have reached has been commendable. 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.
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 and all strings 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 over 25 boys who meet to explore new rhythms and movement, and is a popular activity.
Due to the ‘explosion’ of guitar tuition over the past two years, a guitar group has been meeting once a week to combine forces! This has been most successful, and even boys who learn outside the school are most welcome to participate. Basic chord knowledge is necessary, but boys learn quickly and are keen to catch up too. These boys make up the rock guitar group and perform regularly at school events, internally and externally.
The rock band continues to “wow” audiences with their constantly changing repertoire of old and new. With the large numbers of guitarists as well as vocalists, we are spoilt for choice in our selection process.
Pop idols has continued to grow from strength to strength, and is still a highlight, although 2019 may see some changes to this old favourite.
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 2019 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: