Music transcends everything. All of us can experience and make it in some form. As well as the obvious joy that music brings to both listeners and performers, it can be an outlet for emotion and creativity, allowing thoughts and feelings to be explored.
At Harrodian, we aim to bring the magic of music to the widest possible audience through a range of media. Where possible our extracurricular groups and trips are selected according to ability rather than age. This allows our Prep School pupils to interact with and get to know Senior and Sixth Form pupils who share the same interests and passions and contribute strongly to the School’s special sense of community.
It is our primary aim to ensure that Music in the Prep School is enjoyable yet structured and creative. In order to be a successful musician, one must foster a passion and we believe that this is best nurtured at a young age. Prep school pupils are encouraged to learn an instrument and many then go on to take regular lessons and join the Orchestra or Jazz Band. All pupils are given the opportunity to try learning an instrument through class workshops in the Lower Prep. Many then go on to take regular lessons and join the Orchestra or Jazz Band. Singing is an important part of class music lessons throughout the Prep School and the majority of pupils are involved in one of the School’s choirs.
Our music staff comprises five highly qualified teachers with a range of specialisms including composition, performance, musicology and musical theatre.
The music department regularly takes a group of musicians on an international tour. Recent destinations have included Krakow (2019), Budapest (2018), Vienna (2016), Athens (2015), Barcelona (2013) and New York (2012).
There are a variety of trips and workshops throughout the year relevant to different topics covered in class music lessons.
For more specific year-by-year information, please refer to our Harrodian Curriculum Handbooks.
Jazz Band – (Upper Prep and Senior)
Harrodian School Jazz Band features some of our finest musical talent. The band is open to pupils from the 11s upwards who are at least Grade 4 standard on their instrument. The band rehearses for an hour per week and performs regularly at School and external events.
Orchestra – (Prep and Senior)
Harrodian School Orchestra welcomes instrumental players of Grade 4 standard and above. Players are encouraged to develop a passion for orchestral music in a wide range of styles, from John Williams’ film scores to Grieg and Bizet!
Junior String Ensemble – (Pre-Prep and Prep)
Led by Lisa Hartley and Alison Holford (visiting violin and cello teachers), our junior ensemble is open to string players of all abilities and aims to develop basic ensemble playing skills through simple arrangements of fun pieces. Junior strings rehearse on Monday mornings before school and perform regularly in Prep and Pre-Prep assemblies and recitals.
Band Club (11s and 12s)
Run by Paul James (visiting guitar teacher), Band Club is open to all pupils in the 11s and 12s who would like to be a part of a band. Paul helps to bring groups together and assists with songwriting. Many bands formed in this club go on to enter (and sometimes win) our prestigious annual Battle of the Bands competition.
Training Choir - (11s and 12s)
The Training Choir is a non-auditioned, mixed group open to all pupils in the 11s and 12s. The choir sing in a range of styles from Bach to Shakira and the aim is to foster a love of group singing, developing skills in singing in parts. The Training Choir rehearses during one lunch time each week and performs in regular music assemblies and termly concerts.
10s Choir – (10s only)
This mixed group are introduced to two part singing through fun repertoire (recent songs have included music from ‘Matilda’ and ‘The Lion King’, as well as pop songs by The Killers) led by Mrs Ashe. Performances take place throughout the year but the group especially look forward to singing in their end of year Graduation Ceremony in July!
8s and 9s Choir – (8s and 9s)
This choir is open to all pupils in the 8s and 9s and we really do encourage everybody to come along and join in. In Choir, we sing a mix of repertoire, including songs from musicals and pop songs. Throughout the year we work towards multiple performances, which are a highlight of the calendar year!
Trips: there are trips throughout the year to see relevant concerts and musicals at venues such as Cadogan Hall, Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican centre.
Battle of the Bands Competition: a popular event in the School calendar, to read more about this year's BOB event and to see photos please click here.
For more information about extra-curricular Music and one-to-one instrumental / singing lessons
Director of Music: Hannah Ashe
Other teachers of Music and Music Technician/s: please select the relevant department on the dropdown menu to view our full staff list by clicking here.