Music has a high profile at Nonsuch and plays an important role in school life. Prospective music students will find that both practical music-making and the academic study of music thrive here. The Music Department is housed in a modern, purpose built suite, situated above the school hall. Facilities are excellent, with two large recital-sized classrooms; a composition suite (complete with 25 new computers running Sibelius 7); eight practice rooms and a recording studio. In addition, the school hall is in regular use as our principle concert venue and houses our recently acquired nine-foot concert grand piano. Opportunities for extracurricular music making are plentiful. We currently run two orchestras (Symphony and Junior), three choirs (Chamber, School and Junior), Jazz Band, Concert Band, African Drumming Ensemble, Ukulele Group and Indian Ensemble. Chamber music also flourishes; current ensembles include several quartets, wind and brass groups and the award winning Vox Celestes. Opportunities are also available for sixth form students to coach lower school pupils, to establish and lead their own ensembles and bands.
Our ethos is one that promotes inclusivity and musical diversity across all year groups. As a consequence, the Music Department has a very busy concert schedule, with over thirty events taking place each year, both in and out of school. Standards are high and many of our students choose to extend their musical studies at the junior conservatories in London. At present, several are also members of prestigious youth orchestras, including The National Youth Orchestra, London School Symphony Orchestra and The National Children’s Orchestra. In addition to roles in our ensembles, students will have the opportunity to audition as a concerto soloist with the Symphony Orchestra and for lead roles in the annual school musical. The department arranges a regular series of visits to London to attend concerts, operas, musicals and recitals, all of which provide our students with frequent opportunities to experience world-class musical performances on a regular basis. Nonsuch music students regularly go on to study music at Oxbridge, Russell Group universities and the London music colleges.
In addition to the three specialist music teaching staff at Nonsuch, a team of 12 visiting peripatetic teachers provide tuition in all standard orchestral instruments, voice, guitar, drum kit and piano.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind parents/carers of the following:
- If you require general information relating to our peripatetic offer, then the Music Department will be able to help you;
- However, as stated in Appendix 1 of the Nonsuch Standard Agreement for Private Music Tuition by Peripatetic Music Teachers, the peripatetic instrumental teachers at Nonsuch are not employed by the school and so, if you have any issues concerning your daughter’s peripatetic music lessons, can we ask you to contact the teacher themselves and not the Music Department.
If your daughter is interested in having instrumental/vocal lessons then she must ask a member of staff either in the School Office or Music Office for a pink ‘sign-up’ form which provides all the necessary details.
In order to promote and maintain our excellent musical community here at Nonsuch, it will now be required of students who wish to perform in any of our school concerts (this includes the Music Teas, Young Musician Competition and GCSE and A-Level Recitals) to participate in at least one of the school’s music extracurricular activities on a regular basis. If your daughter is an instrumentalist she will be required to participate in one of the school orchestras on top of any of our other musical activities.