Skip to content ↓
Russian
Spanish
Chinese
ParentsPupilsStaff

The Music Department

There is a strong tradition of musical excellence, both instrumental and choral in the life of the School. The Director of Music, Mr Rayner, leads a department of 3 full time music teachers. There is a team of visiting music teachers (VMTs). Please see more about our VMTs and our individual singing or instrumental lessons. 

Pupils can participate in music at Farringtons School in many different ways: singing in the choir; playing in the orchestra; entering House competitions or local competitions.

Our Music Suite houses four practice rooms (all of which are furnished with pianos) which are used for individual music tuition and practice sessions. The classrooms are well equipped with a range of instruments and music technology facilities. All students in Years 7 and 8 receive free timetabled tuition on a brass instrument.

We also encourage musicians to perform regularly in Chapel, concerts and various musical events.

Our full time music staff are:

Mr N Rayner             Director of Music                    nrayner@farringtons.kent.sch.uk

Mrs S Walker            Junior School Lead                 swalker@farringtons.kent.sch.uk

Mrs P White              Music Teacher                         Pwhite@farringtons.kent.sch.uk

 

Learning through practical work lays the foundation for pupils who wish to choose the subject at GCSE or A Level.

Clubs and Activities

Everyone at Farringtons School is welcome to join one or our music clubs and activities, whether they learn an instrument or not. Group music making is fun and enjoyable. It enriches us and is often a stress reliever.

There are many clubs that take place. In the Junior School there is a Choir, a String Ensemble and an Orchestra and, in the Senior School, two Choirs, one Middle School, “VoxBox” and one Chapel Choir, “Farringtons Singers”  - all years and other ensembles such as rock bands and instrumental ensembles. Many groups form to help with GCSE and A level performances.

We also offer help with Theory and help with accompaniments for practical exam.

Music plays a significant part in the life of the School where all Year 7 and Year 8 students learn the trumpet, trombone, clarinet or saxophone as part of the normal school curriculum. These lessons are taught in groups of up to 15 for a double lesson per week and up to 3 half terms each year for every student.

Learning through practical work lays the foundation for pupils who wish to choose the subject at GCSE or A Level.

Concerts and Performances

We have concerts every term in both the Junior and the Senior Schools. They take place towards the end of every half term in the chapel straight after school (Juniors) and Ferens Hall at 7pm (Seniors). All students who are able are invited to take part. Our year 7 and 8 class instruments always perform. It is a delight to hear and encourage those at the start of their musical journey as well as those who have been performing for some time.

At Christmas, there are school plays and Nativities in the Junior School. Both schools have a large carol service where the whole school attends. These are very special events and involve a great many students. Last year’s Junior Carol Service featured over 3 choirs and the Senior School Carol Service Choir had over 80 members.

The Junior School has plays with music for each year group and there is Senior School production before Easter. Recent shows have included Oliver, The Wizard of Oz and Bugsy Malone. This year we are performing Fame.

Music Scholarships are available for pupils entering Year 7. Music scholars are expected to set high standards that inspire other pupils. Read more about our Music Scholarship...

KS3 

We would like all pupils to be able to read, write and perform their own music within the stimuli of the Scheme of Work. In Years 7 to 9, pupils receive a music experience that covers the basics of notation, composition and performance. This is achieved with keyboards and computers using the Sibelius music notation software on a suite of 15 computer workstations. These are used from the start of year 7. We actively encourage the use of other instruments within class lesson if a pupil is able to do so.

Every Year 7 and 8 pupil learns the trumpet, trombone, clarinet or saxophone as part of the normal school curriculum. These lessons are taught in groups of up to 15 for a double lesson per week and up to 3 half terms each year for every student.

Having a heavy emphasis on traditional notation, we cover rhythm, pitch, making melody and adding harmony. We go on to cover alternative notations but never move far away from the idea that every student should be able to compose and play their own music as a solo or ensemble at whatever level they are able.

There are two lessons per week in addition the instrumental tuition mentioned above in Years 7 and 8 and one lesson per week in Year 9.

These are just some of the areas we cover:

 Rhythm and Pitch

The Voice

Pentatonic Music and Folk Music

 Form and Structure

Extending tunes to make longer music

Medieval Music

  The Brass family and Fanfares

  Programme Music

  Caribbean music

  Irish Dance music

  Ground Bass and Variations

  Jazz and 12 bar Blues

 The Viennese Waltz

Film Music

GCSE

All year 9 students receive information about the GCSE music course within a specific scheme of work during the time just before they are asked to make their GCSE choices.

We use the OCR 9-1 GCSE course J536

Please follow the link to find out more about what can be studied 

Course Layout

GCSE students perform for a recording every half term and are expected to take a full part in the musical life of the school by being part of the music concerts and shows. They are expected to be receiving tuition on an instrument or voice and to be practicing regularly.

Ideally student should already be able to sing or be learning an instrument as performance takes 30% of the course. Starting an instrument at this stage will disadvantage the candidate.

The course is divided into 30% performance (including descriptive writing), 30% composition (including descriptive writing) and 30% listening exam of 90 minutes, answering questions based on a range of Areas of Study selected from both the Western and non-Western traditions. 

AS/A Level

We would accept students who have taken the GCSE course either in Farringtons School or another school, usually having achieved at least a B grade. There is sometimes a special consideration for students who have not taken a GCSE or are coming into the school from abroad or who have studied equivalent courses. Please contact the school if you would like further information.

We use the OCR H143 (AS level) and H543 (A level) syllabus

Please follow the link to find out more about what can be studied 

Course Layout

As with GCSE, A level students are expected to be receiving instrumental or singing tuition and take a full and active part in the musical life of the school, taking a full part in the concerts and shows of the Music department.

The AS and A Level Music courses extend the GCSE skills of performing, composing and listening, in ways which emphasise their interdependence.

Performance is assessed by way of a videoed recital of a minimum of 6 minutes for AS and 9 minutes minimum for A level. Candidates are also required to submit a portfolio of composition with briefs set both by the learner and those set by the exam board in each years. They will study music from a range of styles and musical periods being able to answer short essay style questions together with an aural recognition exam.