Music and Drama at Godstowe
Music plays an important role in Life at Godstowe. All pupils receive one or two class music lessons each week and everyone can join the wide-ranging musical activities that take place outside class each day. In addition, there are many opportunities for pupils to receive individual vocal or instrumental lessons. Individual tuition is available from our experienced team of specialist teachers on the following instruments: violin, viola, 'cello, harp, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, French horn, guitar, piano and voice.
The Music Departments purpose-built Music School has fifteen practice rooms, each with a piano. In addition, there are two large classrooms - one fully-equipped with keyboards and computers, the other housing a wide range of percussion and ethnic musical instruments. The Music School also incorporates the Recital Hall, with a new Bosendorfer grand piano. The Music School annually hosts the regional semi-finals of the National Chamber Music Competition. The department has a wide stock of music, CDs and some orchestral instruments suitable for beginners.
More than 90% of pupils receive individual music lessons each week. In consultation with parents, pupils are prepared for Associated Board examinations, recitals and music festivals. Many candidates achieve merit and distinction even in the higher grades and in music festivals their performances are recognised with awards. In recent years, several pupils have gained places to join the National Children's Orchestra where, since 1998, three have been invited to lead. A few have joined the Junior Departments of the London Conservatoires.
Many music scholarships and exhibitions have been awarded to some of the UK's leading senior schools, including to Wycombe Abbey, Cheltenham Ladies College and Downe House.
Using a wide variety of instruments and voices, classroom music enables everyone to explore musical sounds and to find enjoyment in developing skills both as composer and performer. This programme is started in the early years and continues through to the end of Year 8.
There are numerous opportunities for individual and group performances ranging from assemblies to regular recital concerts in the Recital Hall, half-termly concerts involving the entire school to the Carol Service and end of year Leaver's Service. Group music making is encouraged at all levels. Some ensembles take part in local festivals and others have entered the National Chamber Music Competition where, in recent years they have performed in the Finals.
During the year, the orchestra and choirs are regularly invited to perform at local musical events. In recent years pupils from Year 7 have formed their own ensembles to prepare a lively and exciting programme of music for a tour of the Czech and Slovak Republics where pupils have entertained Ambassadors, Mayors and other dignitaries and have shared concerts with the Blind School of Levoca and a number of other local music groups. Anyone who is keen to share the fun of performing is always welcome.
As well as performing to others, the music department holds recitals from visiting musicians in the Recital Hall and organises trips locally and to London to concerts and shows.
|Teachers' Recital Concert||Royal College of Music Masterclass and Concert|
|Girls' Recital Concert||Scratch Youth Messiah|
|Baroque Recital Concert|
Over the year, the termly musical drama productions involve everyone in the school. Successful and colourful musical productions recently have included Oliver, Bugsy Malone, The Vackees and Ebenezer as well as productions developed by pupils and staff.
Drama is incorporated within the English Schemes of Work, with opportunities for speaking and listening arising in at least one English lesson each week. Weekly LAMDA Drama lessons are also undertaken by a large number of children as part of the enrichment curriculum (after-school programme). In addition, Godstowe has a very good commitment to Drama, with a major termly production taking place each term. Periodic visits to professional theatre productions form part of the learning experience.
In September 2013, Godstowe opened it's brand new, state-of-the-art theatre - the JK Theatre. With multi-purpose staging and spectacular lighting, each performance can go off with a bang. The large theatre is also used for concerts, after-school clubs, assemblies and parents' evenings.