The Music Department is a positive, encouraging environment which consists of five full-time and 27 visiting specialist instrumental teachers.
Individual tuition is available in Strings, Brass, Woodwind, Percussion and Voice, as well as Piano, Harp, Organ, Acoustic, Electric and Bass Guitar, Music Production and Music theory.
Teachers aim to give 30 lessons across the Autumn, Spring and Summer Terms. Lessons are usually of half-hour length but can be tailored to meet an individual’s needs, eg 45 minutes or an hour at the request of the pupil and her parents, or on the advice of the teacher.
It is our preference to establish fixed times for music lessons, but in Years 7, 8 and 9, this isn’t always possible due to timetable restraints. However, when part of the rota system, only half of an academic lesson is missed, and the same subject is only affected every six weeks.
Lunchtime and Coffee Concerts
The long established Friday Lunchtime Concert series offers students of all ages the opportunity to perform in formal setting. For those less confident, year group performances take place during break times, and involvement in all concerts is agreed in advance by both pupil and teacher. For more advanced students approaching higher grades or diploma exams, Coffee Concerts provide an extended platform to perform their entire programme.
Each term there are large numbers of ABRSM Exam entries, and Trinity Exams are also held once or twice each year. The School Accompanist is available to rehearse and perform for all exams and concerts as well as simply to explore pieces with those who wish to try new repertoire.
Theory and Aural
Theory lessons are offered both as free clinics and as paid one-to-one sessions in preparation for exams. Aural classes take place in small groups during break times each Wednesday morning.
The boarding school life is a busy one, with numerous demands on a girl's time. For this reason, we offer a range of different solutions to help students find time for regular practice.
The daily Breakfast Practice Club (with food delivered to the department) suits early risers, enabling them to get around 30 minutes of practice under their belt before school starts. There are supervised sessions in the evenings for younger girls, and as the Department is always open students are urged to use both moments of free time during the working day and also at the weekend.
It is often assumed that there is an advantage to getting lots of exam grades under the belt before coming to Benenden. We are delighted to recognise pupils’ achievements before they come to us, but actually of more benefit than exam certificates is when girls arrive with solid technique and reasonable theoretical understanding, as well, of course, as enthusiasm! Guidance for levels for prospective Scholars can be found in the Music Scholarships section.
Starting Music Lessons
Notice to start and cease music lessons should be actioned by completing the relevant form on My School Portal. Requests to start lessons can often be processed very quickly. In the event of a pupil wishing to stop music lessons, a term’s notice must be given, which can also be from Half Term to Half Term. Lessons are billed in arrears, except in the case of new girls whose first term of music tuition is billed in arrears.
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