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 when required. Department ICT facilities and specialist computer programmes enable all students to produce high quality work.
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.
Mrs Lamb joined LRGS in 2011 from Hutton Grammar School, where she had been Head of Music for nine years. 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 the Joint Choir 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 held posts both as a music teacher and as a Head of Music at Dallam School for several years. Alongside her part-time classroom teaching, she runs a busy music teaching practice, SJE Music, teaching children and adults how to play the violin, piano and keyboard. Mrs Edmondson takes a keen interest in live sound production and is an active musician herself - you may spot her out and about performing with her function band ‘New Tricks’!
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 with a music log book and a personal scrapbook through which they chart their musical progress. 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. 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 for a career in Music.
Music is not entirely about 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 you can improve, creative thinking 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 them. A full list of current activities is available on the Music area of the website.
Joint activities with Lancaster Girls' Grammar School form an important part of the school year, most notably the joint musical, which takes place in the Lent term for Upper School pupils. The Joint Choir and Joint Orchestra meet weekly and the highlight of the year for these ensembles is the annual Spring Concert in St Peter’s Cathedral, Lancaster.
LRGS Music puts on regular concerts – 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 biennially. 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 are planning a choir exchange with Altenholz, Germany across the academic years 2014-15 and 2015-16 and the next Big Band and Training Band tour in 2016 is to Tuscany.
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.
See the letters attached (above left) for:
• Music lessons for new students at LRGS or for those who wish to start taking music tuition.
• Details of music tuition for existing music students.
• Boys who are taking music as a GCSE or A-level option.
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. Please return the forms to Mrs Kim Taylor in Lee House. Any enquiries please email or ring 01524 580600 ex.202.
For boys taking Music as a GCSE or 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 GCSE or 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 their final GCSE year and 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 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 at both GCSE and A-level 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 70% of your exam mark. You will be given a revision list for your exam as you start your revision.
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 below.
There are no music exams in Year 9. You will instead be assessed throughout your sessions and a report will be written on your progress.
40% Listening and Appraising – final exam with eight listening questions and one essay from a choice of two.
30% Composition – two Controlled Assessments submitted. Internally assessed. You will need to compose two pieces of music which link to your Areas of Study.
30% Performance – two Controlled Assessments submitted. Internally assessed. You will need to play one solo piece and one ensemble piece.
You will have already gained a lot of the basic skills needed for this course in your music lessons over the last three years at LRGS and you may be also able to back this up further with your extra curricular musical activities both in and out of school.
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.