At Millfield Prep the Music Department looks to inspire pupils to enjoy their music making at all levels, whether that be within the classroom or leading the school orchestra. We offer excellent facilities, tuition on a wide range of instruments, a lively and positive atmosphere and endless opportunities for performance.

Music is regarded as an essential element in the education of the whole child and plays a very important part within the life of the school. All pupils from Year 3 to Year 8 have music timetabled on a weekly basis and every pupil is encouraged to either learn an instrument or sing in a choir.

Gifted and talented pupils are taught in a parallel programme to further their development as advanced musicians. The Edgarley Ensemble is a scholarship chamber music and general musicianship group, for selected Year 8s, to meet and enjoy learning beautiful advanced level chamber repertoire for performance. This offers exceptional opportunities as an extension to the existing programme. 

Throughout pupils’ time here, the key focus is on the development of aural skills, using instruments and voice. Pupils are introduced to the concepts of pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tempo, duration, timbre, texture and beat. They also learn good singing technique, developing composition and performance skills. Music from different periods of history and different cultures are also explored.

Outstanding facilities and opportunities

There is a purpose-built Music Department where all class music lessons and individual tuition takes place. The Department has 22 teaching/practice rooms which are used for individual music lessons and small group rehearsals. There are also two large classrooms which are used for group teaching, and these are well equipped with instruments, including a large number of tuned and untuned percussion, keyboards and music software. The Department has a large Recital Hall, seating around 200 people, which is used regularly for smaller concerts and recitals. Larger ensemble concerts and productions are held in the Assembly Hall.

Individual music tuition is offered for the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, double bass, harp and guitar (classical and electric), flute, recorder, oboe, bassoon, clarinet and saxophone, trumpet, cornet, euphonium, French horn, tenor horn, trombone and tuba, drum kit, orchestral percussion, piano, organ and singing.

Twenty visiting music teachers work in the Department alongside the Director of Music and Assistant Director of Music. Weekly support is also offered to relevant pupils with aural training, music theory and music scholarship preparation. Pupils are entered for exams with The Associated Board of Music, Trinity/Guildhall School of Music, London Musical Theatre/Pop Exams and Rock School drum kit and guitar exams.

Many Millfield Prep pupils go on to achieve Music Scholarship awards each year. In the last five years pupils have gained 54 Music Scholarship Awards to independent Senior Schools and last year, eight of our pupils were awarded full music scholarships at senior level with two being awarded exhibitions. 

A huge number of extra curricular activities are available on a weekly basis, including Junior and Senior Choirs, Guitar Group, Keyboard Club, Ukulele Club, Orchestra, Wind Band, Jazz and Blues Band, String Group, Junior and Senior Rock Bands, Harp, Flute, Brass and Percussion Ensembles, music theory groups, aural training sessions and boarders practice sessions.

An exciting array of opportunities to perform

All pupils are given numerous opportunities to perform both within the school and at outside venues throughout the year. There are several concerts each term and these vary enormouly in style from classical recitals through to Rock and Pop Concerts. House Music competitions, school assemblies and school productions provide further performance opportunities. The Department also hosts ‘Tea and Music Concerts’ which are more informal occasions for pupils to perform in. The larger formal concerts take place once a term and feature the numerous musical groups that rehearse on a weekly basis. Pupils perform externally (festivals/competitions) on a regular basis and the highlight of each autumn term is the school Carol Service which takes place at Wells Cathedral.