At Chesham Prep we aim to provide every child with the opportunity to discover music for themselves, to explore diverse musical worlds and to embark upon their own individual journey in ways which are appropriate and stimulating.
The Department boasts a wide range of musical activities which can be accessed by the pupils in addition to their basic diet of classroom music lessons.
Instrumental players are invited to participate in the school orchestra after approximately one year’s tuition or after their grade 1 examination should they choose the exam route. All are welcome whether they receive tuition in or out of the school setting. The orchestra work together each week after school on a varied repertoire of material arranged and differentiated to cater for the individual needs and level of the players. The first term of the year is dedicated to training and rehearsal without the pressure of performance while the remaining two terms both involve performance platforms for parents, peers and friends to enjoy the orchestra’s endeavours.
Recorder tuition is provided for all children in Year 2 and pupils can opt to continue with the instrument in a group context further up the school if they wish.
Many children in Year 5 and above choose to team up with peers in order to form their own bands. Some work on cover versions of pop material while others prefer to create original composition. A timetable is organised throughout the week when pupils make use of the music areas during lunch and break sessions. When possible these bands go on to perform in assemblies or at regular evening concerts.
There are many opportunities for individual year groups to demonstrate what they have been learning throughout the year, including afternoon performances from every Year group in the Junior School and a full musical production given by Year 4 in the Spring term.
During the Spring and Summer terms, the Senior School begin work for the end of year senior production. This show involves all pupils in Years 6-8. The pupils participate in the chorus, band, drama, lighting, make-up or sound aspects of the production which never fails to round off the year in great theatrical style.
Over recent years the choral work at CPS has flourished and we now enjoy extra-curricular vocal training from Year 1 to Year 8 in addition to the singing that goes on in classroom music lessons. The Junior Choir for Years 1 and 2 children is open to all pupils with no audition requirement. These singers meet once a week to rehearse.
Year 3 also perform in London’s O2 arena in a large ‘Young Voices’ concert with over 7000 other children from school’s around the country, learning the appropriate performance skills within class music lessons.
Continuing up the school, the Training Choir caters for Years 3-8. The children continue to develop their choral skills and prepare for concert platforms at various stages of the school year. Again, no audition is required to be a member of this group.
Finally, the Concert Choir selects children from Years 5-8 and these children go on to greater challenges and exacting standards of choral excellence are striven for. These pupils rehearse three times a week; two early morning sessions and one rehearsal after school. The Concert Choir perform every term; they are involved in school concerts and events, and have performed in both local and national festivals and charity fund raising events. They have also been invited to perform at weddings and other celebratory occasions.
Children can begin to take additional individual / small group instrumental lessons form Year 3 upwards dependent on individual suitability. Strings, woodwind, brass and percussion are available as well as guitar, percussion and vocal lessons at this point. The school has a very strong team of instrumental / vocal teachers who visit each week and are involved in soirees, concerts and ensemble teaching throughout the year.
Chesham Prep has a purpose built music suite with a generous class teaching space flexible enough to be transformed into a more intimate performing area for concerts held each term. In addition, the suite has a keyboard / music technology room and two additional practice rooms adjacent to the main teaching space. Four further practice rooms are available for individual and group tuition. The Adlington Hall and Sports Hall are used as our larger assembly venues for events involving the choirs and orchestra.
Click here for the Music Curriculum