Year 7 Instrumental Programme
In 2013, Wilson's School introduced a unique instrumental programme to form part of the Year 7 music curriculum. In addition to a weekly classroom music lesson with Ms Burton, Dr Clayden or Mr Lissimore, every Year 7 student receives specialist tuition on a wind instrument or specialist vocal tuition. As a crucial part of our music curriculum, these lessons are free to the students. Every student begins the programme as an absolute beginner, having never received formal tuition as a singer or on the instrument he is assigned.
At the beginning of the school year, the Year 7 cohort is introduced the range of instruments on offer
Students are provided with weekly tuition, the loan of an instrument and the necessary tutor book entirely free of charge. Every student is provided with the opportunity to learn one instrument from a range including: voice; trumpet; trombone; French horn; flute; clarinet; oboe. This hugely successful programme is supported by a generous grant from the Humphrey Richardson Taylor Trust. Please read through these questions and answers about the Year 7 Music Programme:
In 2013, Wilson's School introduced a unique music programme for every Year 7 student. The centrepiece of the programme is free
specialist instrumental tuition on a wind instrument or free specialist vocal tuition. Every student begins the programme as an absolute beginner,
having never received formal tuition as a singer or on the instrument he is assigned.
Pathway A (Voice)
Every week, each student's schedule includes:
A 30-minute vocal lesson, with a specialist vocal coach, as part of a group of four students
1 hour of classroom music with a specialist member of staff, as part of a group of twenty-two students
All students in Year 7 receive either a sectional rehearsal, full wind band rehearsal, whole year group singing rehearsal, or specialist tuition to
augment the music curriculum during the Wednesday afternoon sessions.
This is in addition to their hour-long academic lesson of music, and their 30-minute vocal lesson
Each year, approximately 24 students in Year 7 follow this pathway.
Pathway B (Wind Band)
Every week, each student's schedule includes:
A 30-minute instrumental lesson on either trumpet, trombone, French horn, flute, clarinet, oboe or bassoon, with a specialist instrumental
teacher, as part of a group of four students
All students in Year 7 receive either a sectional rehearsal, full wind band rehearsal, whole year group singing rehearsal, or specialist tuition
to augment the music curriculum during the Wednesday afternoon sessions.
This is in addition to their hour-long academic lesson of music,
and their 30-minute instrumental lesson.
Each year, approximately 160 students in Year 7 will follow this pathway.
Frequently Asked Questions
What will my son gain from participating in this programme?
There is a clear correlation between musical proficiency and academic success; boys who study music are more likely to do well at
school. Music is an important part of Wilson's school life, and we want to involve as many boys as possible in it, irrespective of the
opportunities they have had before arriving here. Most of all, we think it will be an immensely enjoyable and rewarding experience
for the boys! This is to say nothing of the camaraderie that will develop amongst the new Year 7 cohort when they every student in
the year group joins forces to make music in two large ensembles every Wednesday afternoon.
Why have you chosen to offer tuition in these instruments?
We believe learning these instruments will put boys in a very good position to make the most of co-curricular music at Wilson's
once they leave Year 7. We have also chosen instruments that will suit the boys on the programme; all will be very able beginners
who are starting tuition relatively late in their educational careers.
What will the programme cost me as a parent?
The school will provide all of the equipment they need for the first lesson. There
may be small costs over the course of the year (for example, a replacement
clarinet reed, or some valve oil for a trumpet) which should cost no more than a
few pounds. The school has an insurance policy which enables boys to take
instruments home to practice. Year 7 parents receive detailed information about
this before the start of the academic year.
If significant damage or mistreatment of the allocated instrument occurs, the Director of Music, Ms Burton, reserves the right to request
a contribution for the replacement or repair of the instrument in question.
My son already learns an instrument. Can he continue studying this instrument as part of the programme?
Students who arrive in Year 7 already experienced instrumentalists and vocalists are strongly encouraged to continue their studies
on that instrument with one of our peripatetic instrumental teachers, alongside the lessons they will receive for free, which will teach
them a new instrument from scratch. Experienced musicians in Year 7 are also warmly invited to get involved in as much of our co-curricular music programme as they can. Ensembles particularly suitable for our most able Year 7 students include Junior Wind Band, Junior String Ensemble, Junior Choir, and Brass Ensemble.
We find that experienced Year 7 musicians are usually happiest playing music that is the right difficulty for them. For many of our very best
Year 7 players, this means the Senior Orchestra or the Chamber Ensembles; some of the biggest challenges that the School has to offer!
How will you decide which boys learn which instrument?
Boys will be introduced to the various instruments on the programme in the first week of September, under the supervision of
specialist instrumental staff. Staff will allocate instruments taking into account boys' prior musical experience and boys' personal preferences. It is vital that boys are enthusiastic about the instrument that they learn, and enjoy playing it!
For how long will the tuition be free?
Every boy will receive free tuition for one academic year, until the end of Year 7.
Will my son gain any qualification as a result of this programme?
All boys will have the opportunity to sit a Trinity music exam at the end of the year during school time. Parents will be asked to pay for exam
fees (which depend on the standard that each student reaches). Any boy who does not wish to enter the externally assessed exam will be
assessed by department staff at the end of the year to give a good indication of their standard.
Who will be teaching the programme?
Instrumental Staff: Ms L Driver (Flute); Ms H Dennis (Oboe); Mr J French (Percussion); Mr C Hann (Voice); Mr P Sanders (Clarinet);
Mr T Scaife (French Horn and Trombone); Mr J Marshall (Trumpet); Ms R Allen (Bassoon).