We encourage all our boys to develop a love and appreciation of music. We adapt our teaching to capture their imagination whether it be Djembé drumming, a cantata performance at Christ Church Cathedral or one of our seven annual productions across all year groups.

Music features widely across the curriculum and Other Half (extra-curricular) activities. It is multicultural, with many different ensembles from the traditional orchestra, string and choir groups to folk, wind and jazz bands, guitar, strings, keyboard and music technology. We also have 14 visiting music teachers who specialise in a wide range of instruments, from bassoon and voice to drums and saxophone.

There’s plenty of opportunity to perform whether it’s at the informal termly Concert Platforms in front of a family audience, or to a full house at Abingdon School’s Amey Theatre or the opening solo in the carol concert at St Helen’s Church.

We want every boy to learn to enjoy music and to experience as wide a range as possible irrespective of their ability. For those with a particular talent, we have a comprehensive programme of music scholarship preparation with boys winning awards to their senior schools every year since 2010. We also host ABRSM exams and enter boys for Trinity exams.

If you would like further information about music at Abingdon Prep please email our Director of Music, Debbie Rose.

You can also view the music curriculum by year group.

See the latest performing arts news from Abingdon Prep.

This is an exciting and fun introduction into playing an instrument, and making music as part of ensemble. During the sessions we will learn simple rhythms on a mix of tuned and un-pitched percussion instruments.

We will also learn to read rhythm notation using a collection of mnemonics and fun musical games.

The group is run by trumpet teacher, Andy Townsend. Most of the brass section is represented, including trumpets, trombones and French horns. Brass Group played with Senior Choir on their Venice tour and they also perform at school concerts.

Chamber Choir is a small group which sings a wide range of music in two or three parts. Whilst not strictly necessary, music reading can be an advantage.

Boys sing a range of songs in different styles, extending the range of their voices and learning performance skills.

In Drum and Beat, boys practise maintaining a steady pulse on untuned classroom percussion instruments and djembes, playing African and simple Samba patterns. They perform rhythms and learn to respond to musical cues. The emphasis is very much on having fun.

In Folk Group we play folk music from all over the world – African, Indian, Chinese and British – on a variety of instruments. We mainly read from music, but play by ear also. It is suitable for boys who play flute, recorder, clarinet, saxophone, violin, keyboard, guitar, (and bass guitar) and percussion. We need one or two singers too!

Paul Wisby runs this ensemble. Whenever they play in end of term concerts, they always manage to inspire more boys to take up the instrument.

This group is led by our jazz specialist, Simon Currie. They play anything from The Pink Panther to the James Bond theme and many blues pieces. They are always a popular item in the school concerts, and the audience love to clap along.

There are no auditions for Junior Choir; the only requirement is to have a go and sing! We rehearse once a week during lunch break and enjoy a variety of songs, some of which include two part harmonies. Children have an opportunity to perform at the Christmas and Summer concerts where their enthusiasm and pride in what they have achieved always shines through.

Boys learn to play melodies on electronic keyboard and then practise adding simple rhythmic and chordal accompaniments. They experiment with using different 'voices' and start to play in time with a beat.

In Musical Fairy Tales, boys explore some well-known stories, adding songs, sound effects and short melodies on percussion instruments. 

This is run by Paul Wisby and is a popular club. Boys learn to compose using loop-based software as well as the musical notation software, Sibelius. They enjoy composing music to adverts.

This club is designed to help boys who are preparing for the grade 5 theory exam, which is required for those hoping to go onto grade 6 in their instrument.

This is run by our violin teacher, Helen Rees and our head of Music. The strings rehearse separately from the wind, brass and percussion and then come together for a whole ensemble in preparation for concerts. They play a range of music, from Star Wars to Holst’s Jupiter from The Planets.

In Recorder Club, boys play simple tunes, develop good tone and learn to tongue the notes. They also practise their aural skills, listening to one another, performing with backing tracks and as part of an ensemble. The emphasis is very much on enjoyment and having a go.

The Rock School Music Production Club combines ICT and music as well as some aspect of maths and science. Pupils learn to program drum machines, manipulate Midi and audio data and control effects and plugins.

Pupils learn to create their own songs, mix tracks in real life scenarios, and become their very own music producers.

The charge is £7.50 per pupil per session (plus cost of exam entry fees, details of which are available on request) and will be applied to each pupil’s termly account in arrears. Please note that a charge for all sessions for the term will be applied regardless of sessions attended unless a pupil has been attending a school generated fixture or event and is unable to attend the activity for that reason.

The Choir sings a range of songs spanning several genres. They perfom at a variety of occasions including the Young Voices concert at the O2 and at numerous school events such as the Carol Service and Summer Concert. The Choir has toured to Germany and Venice and sung in some beautiful churches and Cologne Cathedral. They also raise money for charity by carol singing in Oxford.

The ukulele is commonly associated with music from Hawaii where the name roughly translates as “jumping flea”. It is a perfect starter instrument, and ideal for young students wanting their first taste of learning to play an instrument. We will learn to play simple melodies, and chords, exploring music from around the world. Ukuleles will be provided for the session and there will also be opportunities to try other instruments in the Ukulele family like the Mandolin and Bass Ukulele.

The Wind Band is a newly-formed group, open to brass or wind players. We perform ‘classical’ wind band pieces and make an exciting sound!

Autumn Term Activties

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