Music is a key part of daily life at Hampton Court House. Whether in the classroom, in individual lessons or in school performances, we believe that an understanding and love of music is beneficial to all students.
We believe that listening to music or playing a musical instrument is not just good for the brain, but also makes us more emotionally responsive and sensitive people. Through sharing music, singing and playing together we can learn important values of community, teamwork and discipline.
At Hampton Court House we aim to provide our students with a broad and rigorous understanding of the music. Be it a Mozart opera, a Beethoven sonata or a Beatles tune, we treat all music with an equal openness and eagerness to learn. We seek to introduce our students to all avenues of music and then encourage them to pursue their particular interests to the highest degree.
Our standards are uniformly high across the board, and we employ only the finest professional musicians to teach our private music lessons. Students are taught that healthy, efficient practice results in excellence, and our regular school concerts provide a showcase for their hard-work and enthusiasm.
Concerts and Events
We seek to give our students as many meaningful opportunities to perform as possible. These include:
- End of Term Concerts
- Informal Concerts for improvement and Lunch Time concerts
- Music Teachers’ Evenings for their own pupils
- The School Carol Service held at beautiful All Saints Church, Kingston, led by our fantastic Chamber Choir
We also believe that performing alongside professional musicians can be an invaluable experience for our students. We recently staged a full performance of Benjamin Britten’s community opera Noye’s Fludde, which saw student soloists and the entire Middle Years perform alongside professional opera singers and a professional chamber orchestra. The performance was given a glowing review by Susan Elkin from the stage, which you can read here.
The school also has its own Monday Night Recital series, where we invite some of the most exciting musicians in the world to give intimate concerts in our beautiful 18th century gallery. Guest musicians will collaborate for part of their sets with our talented students.
Middle and Upper Years
Students at Hampton Court House continue to study music up to the age of 15. From Year 5 to Year 10 classroom teaching is aimed towards developing appreciation of a plethora of musical periods and styles. Lessons are taught in an exciting way that seeks to cater for experienced musicians as much as keen enthusiasts and those who do not play an instrument.
Whilst aiming to provide a thorough introduction to the world of music, we are particularly encouraging of students who wish to research and share their own findings. Homework is thus often project-based, with students given ample freedom to pursue their own paths of aural discovery.
Some of the topics studied recently include:
- Instruments of the Orchestra (Year 5)
- Folk Music and the Tradition of Song (Year 5)
- Italian Opera; Opera Buffa (Year 6)
- The Beatles (Year 7)
- Sounds of the Sea; the Life and Work of Benjamin Britten (Year 7)
- W. A. Mozart and his Concerti (Year 8)
- Music for Film (Year 8)
- The History of Dance Music (Year 8)
- J. S. Bach (Year 9)
- The History of Popular Song (Year 9)
- Contemporary Opera (Year 9)
- The Romantic Period (Year 10)
- Hip Hop and Politics of Race in Music (Year 10)
Early and Lower Years
Music lessons in the Early and Lower Years introduce children to the diversity of sounds. Our aim is teach children how to listen, feel and enjoy different music activities. It is to be fun and playful and will be thought in a close connection to movement. Our goal is to develop inner hearing from the very beginning. Singing is the most natural form of expression, and is used to teach children how to practically use all of the elements learned in class. Each lesson integrates listening, playing on the school instruments, aural practice, musical games and singing songs.
Through listening to the greatest works of music from the earliest age, children will gain insight into the depth and diversity of music. They will have opportunity to regularly enjoy performances by their music teacher, after which they will be encouraged to express what they have heard in words or drawings. We have regular visits from our instrumental teachers so that children can hear, try and explore different instruments up-close.
We encourage children to learn and use proper music terminology. The Understanding Music Theory syllabus – which enables children to read music and introduces them to the foundation of Music History – is at the core of music lessons at Hampton Court House.
Instrumental Tuition at Hampton Court House
Our teachers provide world-class instrumental tuition to our pupils. We have carefully selected a team of professional musicians, who provide unique learning experience to our students. All of our peripatetic teaching staff have performing careers and are specifically chosen for their experience in teaching children and teenagers, as well as their ability to inspire and connect with them.
Directors of Music
Aleksandra is responsible for the provision of music for Year 4 and below. She teaches individual piano lessons and is charge of coordinating Instrumental and Voice tuition. She also coordinates the Lunch Time concerts, Music Teachers’ Evenings, the End of Term Concerts and the Lower Years’ Concerts.
Kieran is responsible for academic music for Year 5 and above, as well as teaching a small number of voice and theory students. He conducts the HCH Chamber Choir and recently conducted the school’s first ever opera production, Noye’s Fludde. He is the co-ordinator for school events such as the Carol Service, the End of Term Concerts and the Monday Night Recital Series.
Key Members of the Music Department