School Life


Music plays a major part in the life of Dorset House and the music block is housed at the heart of the school.

Pupils are encouraged to try an instrument and trial lessons are available in Year 2 for a variety of orchestral instruments.  Currently over 90% of our pupils have individual lessons with one of a team of dedicated peripatetic teachers. Indeed, many children learn more than one instrument.

Pupils take grade examinations, achieving excellent results, and the school is used as an Associated Board and LCM examination centre.

The school’s musicians regularly gain music scholarships to the senior schools of their choice or offer music as part of an All-Rounder award.

Our aim is to foster a passion and curiosity for the subject and to encourage an open mind to all kinds of music. Throughout their class lessons children are exposed to a rich and diverse range of music and musical experiences. The Kodály approach informs much of how Music is taught, especially in the beginning, with an awareness of the mantra ‘Prepare, Present, Practise’. Children are also taught relative Solfa. All areas of performance, composition and appraisal are continuously revisited and built upon.

The Music School is fortunate in being equipped with a JamClass HD suite which incorporates iPads, Alesis docks, midi keyboards and Jam Hubs – equipment which won “Best Tech in Music Education”.

The orchestra rehearses each week and plays for Friday assemblies, and the choir sings for school services as well as concerts, weddings and the RSCM Festivals. There are also other string, woodwind and brass ensemble groups and the swing band.

We also have an extra-curricular option called the ‘Band Project’ where bands learn a set to perform a gig at an external venue at the end of each term. In addition to this, individuals are encouraged to pursue their own musical interests.

The children are given regular and diverse opportunities to perform during the course of the year. There is a Christmas concert in December, a fiercely contested Inter-House music competition in Spring, which is judged by an external specialist, and a Summer concert in which every child from Years 1 – 8 takes part. Each Year group puts together a repertoire for their parents at informal concerts throughout the course of the year and pupils also perform regularly in assemblies. More senior pupils can participate in Choral and Orchestral days at senior schools. Every other year the music school is turned into a recording studio with all pupils taking part in making a CD.