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The School provides tuition in stringed instruments, piano and guitar to over seventy boys and girls aged between 8 and 19.

 

At least half of each day is devoted to musical studies. Pupils receive two one-hour lessons each week on their first study instrument and half an hour on their second study instrument. Each pupil has a practice target to meet within each timetabled day and supervised practice for the younger pupils is incorporated into the daily programme to ensure that proper habits of work are formed.

All pupils receive classes in composition each week and take part in composition workshops. There are regular opportunities for compositions to be performed. Classical improvisation classes, choral singing, aural training and general music studies are essential ingredients of the music curriculum. To awaken awareness for good posture and the correct use of muscles, a specialist teacher provides training in the Alexander Technique. The Director of Music regularly monitors all areas of the pupils’ musical progress and towards the end of each term all the instrumental staff hold instrumental assessments.

Pupils have regular opportunities for solo performance, and pupils also work together in chamber music, with the string orchestra and as accompanists. Concerts are given every week within the School and at a wide variety of venues throughout the United Kingdom. Concert tours abroad have included the Menuhin Festival at Gstaad in Switzerland, China, India, France, Germany, Turkey, Holland, Tunisia and the United States. The promoters pay for all expenses for these tours.

From the beginning, Yehudi Menuhin always wanted the school’s instrumental teachers to be performing musicians in order to involve the pupils with the creative touch of performance. Many distinguished musicians have taught at the School and given master classes, including Nadia Boulanger, Zakhar Bron, Nikolai Demidenko, Paul Ellison, Mauricio Fuks, Bernard Greenhouse, Gary Hoffman, John Lill, Jeremy Menuhin, Murray Perahia, Vlado Perlemuter, Itzhak Perlman, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Andras Schiff and Dora Schwarzberg. The present music staff and visiting musicians continue this tradition of excellence.

During the past few years pupils from the School have been the winners, or amongst the finalists, in nearly all major competitions open to pupils of school age. These include the Wieniawski, Sarasate, Menuhin Young Violinist, Shell/London Symphony Orchestra, Audi Junior Musician, BBC Young Musician, Tunbridge Wells International Young Artists, and Royal Overseas League Competitions. Pupils have also won major awards such as the Parikian, Suggia, Martin Musical, Musicas Fund and Ida Carroll Awards.

After graduating from the School, pupils continue their musical training with some of the best teachers in the world, mostly at Conservatoires in the UK or overseas. After nearly 50 years the School now has an extensive list of illustrious former pupils who are involved in the music profession. These include the violinists Tasmin Little, Nigel Kennedy, Nicola Benedetti and Alina Ibragimova; cellists Colin Carr and Paul Watkins; pianists Melvyn Tan, Kathryn Stott and Paul Coker; the Endellion, Vellinger and Belcea Quartets.