Music Department Prospectus
Here at TWGGS we are very proud of our musical achievements. All our music staff are extremely committed and enthusiastic, and we endeavour to provide a first rate education for all of our pupils.
Our ethos is to provide a wide range of exciting opportunities that make music lessons a positive and active learning experience. Through leadership, support and enthusiasm, we encourage girls of all abilities to succeed. We want our pupils to enjoy music to the full, and we also aim to give them the tools to grow as individuals. As a department, we actively support the sense of community at TWGGS, encouraging links between senior girls and those lower down the school. Girls also perform their work in a safe, team-spirited atmosphere that allows them to take risks where they might not otherwise do so. Above all, we hope that the musical experiences our pupils share throughout their time at TWGGS become fond and lasting memories.
We are extremely fortunate at TWGGS to have a self-contained music facility. At present we have two main teaching rooms and 14 smaller practice rooms. With Specialist Schools' funding, we were able to provide a computer suite with Sibelius, Sonar and O Generator software. We also have a state of the art recording studio.
The school runs on a ten day timetable of hourly lessons. Currently the curriculum provision is as follows:
- Girls in year 7 receive 3 lessons a fortnight
- Girls in year 8 receive 2 lessons a fortnight
- Girls in year 9 receive 2 lessons a fortnight
At present, the Year 7 curriculum covers:
Musical Elements, Rhythm and Notation, Keyboard Skills, Singing (all of Year 7 sing in the annual Carol Service), Instruments of the Orchestra, and Medieval Music. The year culminates in the Year 7 Music Festival. This is a competition between Year 7 tutor groups, where each form plan, rehearse and stage a song from a musical. They also present their best soloist, ensemble, and composition as part of the competition.
At present, the Year 8 curriculum covers:
Gamelan Music from Indonesia, The Blues, Arranging Music (looking at chord inversions), keyboard skills and notation, and Lullabies (investigating time signatures).
At present, the Year 9 curriculum covers:
Minimalism, Song Writing, Sequencing, Music Production, keyboard skills/notation, and Music for Stage and Screen.
Instrumental music lessons at TWGGS
Many girls have instrumental tuition at some stage of their time at TWGGS. The department currently provides over 20 independent peripatetic staff and we also use the services of Kent Music. Lessons are available on all orchestral instruments and we are also able to arrange lessons on guitar (classical and electric), drums and saxophone. Girls may opt for 20 or 30 minute lessons and at present these cost £165 and £120 respectively for 10 lessons. (KM lessons are more expensive). Although girls usually miss a part of an academic lesson to receive this tuition the fortnight timetable of hourly lessons means that they miss at most, half a lesson. Additionally, the instrumental teachers operate a rota system so that lessons do not regularly coincide with same ‘academic’ subject lessons.
Extra curricular provision at TWGGSThe Music department provides an extensive range of extra-curricular activities. Pupils who receive tuition on an instrument are encouraged to participate in at least one activity. Regular attendance is expected and rewarded. All groups perform regularly as part of school concerts. Some groups perform at other events in the local community.
The following activities are considered core to the department's extra- curricular programme:
- Junior Orchestra
- Year 7/8 Singers
- Year 8/9 Singers
- Junior Chamber Choir
- Junior Flute Choir
- Junior Brass
- Junior Strings
- Junior Clarinet Choir
- Guitar Ensemble
- Various Recorder Consorts
- Aural Classes
- Senior Orchestra
- Senior Choir
- Intermediate Chamber Choir
- Senior Chamber Choir
- Senior Flute Choir
- Saxaphone Quartet
- Senior Strings
- Senior Clarinet Choir
- Jazz Choir
- Theory Class
In addition to the above, the department runs many other chamber music groups including string quartets, flute trios, piano trios, wind quartets etc. The dynamics of these groups alter according to supply and demand.
We are extremely busy, holding many concerts throughout the year. We also take part in the Pro Corda Chamber Music Competition, and this year we are reigning National Chamber Music Champions. We have also enjoyed considerable success in the National Festival of Music for Youth.
The school is a centre for the Associated Board examinations and we receive a very high pass rate. About two thirds of our entrants are awarded merits or distinctions. Many of our older girls take grades 7 and 8 and diplomas.
TWGGS is regularly represented in the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, National Youth Orchestra and National Youth Chamber Orchestra as well as West Kent and Kent County Youth Orchestras and Choirs. This year we also have a finalist in the Kent Young Musician of the Year competition.
Finally, we believe we offer all girls at the school the opportunity to receive a truly first class music education and, for girls who want to get thoroughly involved over and above the norm, an excellent range of high standard opportunities that is equal to anywhere in the South East. The Director of Music, Mrs Susan Waddington, is available to discuss the provision of music within the school at any time, and may be telephoned on 01892 520902.
Also see related pages: Curriculum and Prospectus