The Music Department at LRGS has a large range of instrumental resources and an extensive music library. The music building provides dedicated instrumental storage and rehearsal spaces which boys are able to book for independent practice and rehearsals. Department ICT facilities and specialist computer programmes enable all students to produce high quality work.
We have been busy integrating more music technology into the lessons at all key stages and are very proud to be one of just 12 UK schools that have recently been awarded Musical Futures/Ableton Tech Champion status.
We are very pleased to also be an Associate Department of the PTI.
The curriculum music lessons include a high proportion of practical activities and aim to widen the students' personal experiences of music, as well as giving them the skills that they require to be able to access musical activities at any stage of their lives.
Mrs E Lamb, Director of Music, BA Music (1st Class Hons) Royal Welsh College of Music; PGCE in Music, Clare College, Cambridge University. Although her primary instrument is her voice, she also plays 'cello, piano and ukulele and has also performed on the electric guitar, bass guitar, double bass, treble and bass viol and assorted recorders. In school she takes great pleasure in running the both the LRGS Choir and Chamber Choir as well the Joint Vocal Group with LGGS.
Mrs S J Edmondson, BA (Hons) Creative Music Technology with Music, University of Hull; PGCE in Music, York St John College, University of Leeds. Mrs Edmondson joined LRGS in 2013, after having previously held posts both as a classroom Music Teacher and Head of Department for several years. She combines her role at LRGS with teaching the Piano and Violin both as a peripatetic teacher and as part of her own private teaching business, SJE Music. She is also an active musician performing regularly with original duo Black Pony.
Key Stage 3 Music
Boys have three lessons a fortnight in Year 7 and 8. There will be a mix of both theoretical and practical work in these lessons and rather than working with textbooks and exercise books, boys work is recorded via an online portfolio through which they chart their musical progress over the whole of Key Stage 3. They will often assess themselves and others in a positive way – challenging themselves and others to become more skilled as they move through the school.
In Year 9 boys study music as part of the Expressive Arts Carousel, which currently focuses on Music Technology, using Ableton Live. Midway through Year 9 they will be asked to take their GCSE options, of which Music is one. If they enjoy GCSE Music they may wish to move on to A-level and maybe even on to a university or music college.
Music is not entirely about pure music however. In all lessons boys will also be learning transferable skills: how to work with other people, how to give positive feedback, how to accurately self reflect on how they can improve, creative thinking skills and independent learning are just a few of these.
Music Outside the Classroom
There are many thriving musical groups within the school and it is anticipated that musical students will take an active part in these. These can change from year to year, so boys should keep an eye on the noticeboards and take up the opportunities that arise if they appeal to them. A full list of current activities is available on the Music area of the website and can be confirmed by Mrs Lamb by email.
Joint activities with Lancaster Girls' Grammar School form an important part of the school year. The Joint Orchestra meets weekly and the Joint Vocal Group, together with parents and staff perform alongside them at one of the highlights of the year - the annual Spring Concert, which this academic year will be held at Lancaster Priory church.
LRGS Music puts on regular concerts in addition to our joint activities with LGGS – usually in November and March – but the most high profile events in the calendar are led by the choir. Our traditional Nine Lessons and Carols and Founders' Day Service are two of the most significant events in the school year.
A European tour is usually undertaken regularly. The LRGS Big Band and Choir took part in an exchange to Germany in 2013 and the LRGS Big Band, Training Band and Choir toured the Costa Brava in April 2014. We have visited Altenholz, Germany for a choir exchange across both the academic years 2014-15 and 2015-16 as well as hosting their choir in 2015 and their Jazz Band in 2017 The Big Band, Jazz Orchestra and Choir toured Tuscany in 2016 and Catalonia in 2018.
Music Tuition at LRGS
We have an excellent range of music tutors at LRGS and your son may wish to continue having instrumental or singing lessons here or may wish to take up an instrument for the first time. Please see the letters below for details of these.
The completed form/parental contract should be returned by 1 July, prior to tuition starting the following September. We cannot guarantee a place with music tutors for September if forms are not received by 1 July.
It is possible to begin music tuition during the school year but only at half termly intervals. Please return completed forms to Mrs Kim Taylor in Lee House. Any enquiries please email or ring 01524 580600 ex.202.
For boys taking Music as a A-level option, LRGS offers a Music Scholarship. In order to be eligible for the scholarship, candidates will have to meet the school’s normal criteria (and admission criteria for the Sixth Form) and be passionate about their chosen instrument.
The Scholarships are worth approximately £900 over the course of the A-level, which is designed to cover the cost of music tuition by one of the school’s own visiting music tutors. Boys will receive 30 minute lessons on an instrument of their choice during the course of their studies. For boys in the Upper Sixth lessons will stop at Easter due to study leave. Any lessons in the summer term would only be provided at the parents’ request and would be need to be arranged for and paid for in advance.
As Music Scholars, students would be expected to play a full and active part in the musical life of the school as defined by the Director of Music at LRGS, including taking a full and active part in at least one ensemble (eg Big Band, choir, etc).
At the end of the Michaelmas term and in the summer term the music studies are reviewed and the school reserves the right to withdraw the scholarship if we feel that the boys are not taking full advantage of this opportunity. Parents would be contacted in advance of this decision.
Exams in Music
In Years 7 and 8 exams take place in the summer term. There is a listening and understanding paper which takes place in the main exam week. This will contribute 40% of your exam mark. You will be given a revision list for your exam before the Easter Holidays.
There will also be a solo performance that you will be required to do in the summer term before your exam. This will be marked and make up 30% of your exam mark. You will find the performance mark scheme on the VLE and on Showbie.
The last 30% of the examination mark is taken from a composition which is composed in class, in the style of coursework. A mark scheme is published in advance and can be found on VLE and Showbie.
There are no music exams in Year 9. You will instead be assessed continually throughout your carousel sessions.
Music at Sixth Form
Whether you take music as a subject or not there are of course many extra-curricular activities that you are very welcome to take part in. We look forward to seeing you in the Music Department.