In addition to instrumental training the school provides a full range of complementary music studies. We believe that it is important for performers to have expert knowledge about the music that they play. This expertise might be historical, or biographical, or might involve compositional, harmonic or rhythmic skills.
All students have at least one session per week of aural training. Critical listening is something that musicians do constantly whether it's the first read-through or the fiftieth concert and here at the school we keep our students' ears and their listening-brains in excellent shape. Students also have weekly lessons in traditional music theory and harmony and by the end of their time at the school will be adept in a range of harmonic styles from Baroque through to contemporary. Musicians at the school have regular opportunities to flex their aural and harmonic muscles in our improvisation workshops.
Composing is one of the essential music activities at the school. All students have a composition lesson once a week and are encouraged to have their pieces performed in one of several composition concerts that we put on each year.
Students also learn about the history of music. Our focus is of course on the Western 'Classical' tradition but we study many other types of music in some depth — pop and rock, dance, jazz, musicals, folk music from India, Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America. Older students also examine the issues surrounding historical performance practice.
Musicians at the Menuhin School take Edexcel's GCSE exam in year 10. This syllabus covers a wide range of music styles and is very popular with the students.
Older students students take music A-level. This is a demanding syllabus (OCR) that requires a number of performances, a portfolio of harmony exercises, two compositions and in-depth study of a number of set-works. These set works include music from the Renaissance until the present day.
The music department is very proud of its results at GCSE and A-level: 95% of our students manage A* or A-grades. In 2012 every candidate at GCSE was awarded an A* grade.
The General Music teachers are
Oscar Colomina I Bosch