"I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning" Plato
The aims of the Music Department are to inspire, enrich, and nurture every pupil to fulfil their musical potential in a dynamic, vibrant and exciting environment. We wish to provide the opportunity and flexibility for the leading musicians of the future to achieve their ultimate ambitions. We wish to become one of the top five non-specialist music schools in the country.
Why can a piece of avant-garde music heard on the radio be dismissed as “rubbish” by the same person who finds it “good” as the score to a horror film? This question posed in “Who needs Classical Music” by Julian Johnson focuses on judgement and it is important. The study of music informs our judgements and hones our analytical skills across the full range of subjects.
At Wellington, Music as an academic subject links all areas of scholarly life, from language to analysis, from composition to presentation. Whether you choose the MYP route or GCSE, we aim to make links between different styles and ask questions such as “How does music of the Baroque period reflect the opulence of the age?” or “If music is created using music technologies, do the elements of the art remain the same?”
The study of music supports a kaleidoscope of different skills. Academically it pushes the boundaries and opens up a whole series of techniques: if you want to compose, you can; if you want to perform, you can; if you want to listen and appreciate, you can too or if you want to explore music and research it, this is also possible.
We do have certain aims however. If you compose a piece, we feel it should be heard not just through computer speakers but by live performers. We also feel that performances should be heard in concert and not just in the practice room and they should achieve the highest possible result whatever the standard and whatever the style. We also believe that there are many styles of music and each and every style can be appreciated.
Music Technology is a flourishing subject in its own right that forms a vital role within the teaching of music at Wellington. The opportunities and facilities rival any at any school in the country.
Music at Wellington plays a tremendously important role in the life of the College and every student gets to learn a musical instrument. We provide opportunities for students to explore the many facets of music making, from being a song writer/composer to being a performer in a musical. We want them to discover their musical niche and we aim to provide the right environment for this to take place.
Our facilities are excellent and we have a wealth of musical instruments for use by our students, a professional recording studio, a number of concert venues and an increasing investment in music technology and software.
For the aspiring professional, we offer time to practise, excellent visiting instrumental teachers and the opportunity to continue at Junior Music Colleges in London for the right individual. We have our own specialist music scheme, hold master classes with visiting professional musicians (Remus Azoitei, the Maggini Quartet, Roderick Williams etc.) and perform at local performance venues (South Hill Park) and in London.
From chapel choirs to symphony orchestras, from string quartets to brass quintets, from jazz bands to rock groups, we are constantly reviewing our repertoire to challenge and inspire.
Over ten scholarships, exhibitions and choral awards are available for boys and girls aged 13 and for entry into the Sixth Form. Major scholarships of up to 10% of the fees are available each year together with a number of minor awards. These can be increased to a maximum of 85% where the financial situation of the parents makes this necessary.
Awards include free tuition on two instruments. Candidates who have potential as all round musicians and who have already reached an advanced standard on at least one instrument would be favoured. Music award-holders must have a profound personal commitment to music and be able to play a leading role in the musical life of the College.
Scholarship auditions for girls and boys at 16+ are held in November and for girls and boys at 13+ in January. For precise information, please contact the Music School office on +44 (0)1344 444201 or email the music administrator.
Students of outstanding talent can contact the music department at any time for information about scholarships. Visiting the College for an informal consultation with the Director of Music, Simon Williamson, is highly recommended.
Boys and girls who have made exceptional progress in Fifth Form are eligible to be awarded Masters' Music Scholarships.
More information about our many music scholarships available at 13+ and 16+ can be found in our Admissions section. If you would like a brochure, or to come and have an informal chat with the Director of Music, Simon Williamson, to discuss how Wellington can shape your child's future in music, please telephone +44 (0)1344 444201 or email the Music Administrator.
The purpose of this scheme is to better equip aspirant professional musicians for the highly competitive world of music at University, college and beyond. Wellington College understands that the standards required are such that anyone with ambitions to succeed in the profession must either attend a specialist music school or give adequate time and emphasis to music within the context of an all-round school with the implied restrictions on other activities.
Wellington already expects much of its music scholars in terms of excellence and the commitment of time and all of them leave us with a very high level of expertise in their chosen musical fields and a wide experience of performance both in and out of school. The establishment of the Specialist Scheme recognises the further effort and commitment required by the ambitious young performer or scholar.
The scheme gives opportunities for an extended programme of instrumental practice and the study of areas outside the normal examination syllabuses. It may require a reduction in the number of subjects studied at GCSE (usually by completing Music in a year), a reduction at AS Level and a reduced games programme. However, each course is tailored to the individual.
Boys and girls may leave the course at any time if their aspirations change, and join it at any time up to the beginning of the Lower Sixth year. There is a Specialist Music Scheme brochure explaining the opportunities available: further details may be obtained from the Music School office on +44 (0)1344 444201 or by emailing the music administrator.
There are some 15 students on the scheme.