Music

music-at-hch

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.

Academic Music

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.

Click HERE for information about Instrumental Tuition

 

Director of Music

Joshua BorinMA (Cantab) MComp
  • Director of Music

Key Members of the Music Department

Kieran BruntBA (Cantab)
  • Musician in Residence, Choirmaster

Related News

Summer Music Recitals 2019

Pupils from Pre-Nursery to Year 1 performed in their Summer Recital on Monday 1st July. Soloists from the Early years sang and performed pieces on the recorder, violin and piano, demonstrating weeks of hard work and practise in the lead up to the concert itself. Each year group came together to sing... one piece in French and one in English which had been rehearsed and developed in their music lessons with their music teacher Aleksandra, their form tutors and their French teachers. The theme of the concert was ‘Animals in the jungle’ with pupils dressed as different animals and a colourful jungle-themed set.

On Wednesday 3rd July 2019 our pupils from Year 2 to Year 13 performed in their end-of-year recitals. Recital one was for younger years with groups from Year 2 to Year 6 singing songs as a group in both English and French. Soloists and groups performed pieces from a variety of genres with performers from different year groups coming together to create memorable performances such as the duet by Byron in Year 8 and Dorian in Year 4. The highlight of the first recital was the stirring rendition of Bjork’s famous piece ‘Joga’ by Year 5 who performed the song alongside a video that had been especially created by our Head of Art, Eve. In recital two it was the turn of our older students who each performed a solo which had been meticulously rehearsed and developed during hours of rehearsals at home and in their music lessons at school.

It was a lovely way to end the year with all our families and teachers.

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Music Making from Around the World in the Lower Years

Children in the Lower Years had a fantastic opportunity to learn about musical instruments originating from the far corners of the globe. Starting with Africa, travelling through India, China, Japan and Australia, the pupils explored a vaiety of new, exotic sounds by playing the instruments, dancing and taking part in games. It was an unforgettable day of music making at HCH.

Gamelan Workshop

The Lower Years children took part in a ‘gamelan’ – an Indonesian musical ensemble made up of mainly percussion instruments. Children engaged in the group performance and enjoyed learning about Indonesian culture and musical traditions.

‘Take me to Rio!’ Early Years Workshop

Reception and Nursery children enjoyed learning about Brazilian music and culture in the interactive workshop ‘Take me to Rio!’.

Through the fascinating story telling, children learned about animals and typical sounds they make. They were very excited to perform these rhythms on percussion instruments... and got involved in numerous musical games.

This workshop introduced children to different percussion instruments, students discovered the story of the Brazilian flag and had so much fun taking part in the carnival at the end!

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Lower Years Studying the Marriage of Figaro

Last week, Lower Years students had the opportunity to learn more about Mozart’s masterpiece “The Marriage of Figaro”. They looked at the complex relationships between the main characters and how these are translated into music.

The piece was analysed from the aspect of the social circumstances... of the time, as it openly criticises the aristocracy whose authority was determined merely by virtue of birth. Children were encouraged to discuss and compare those circumstances with the present day.

The students were surprised when they realised that they already knew the Overture for the Marriage of Figaro. They had a chance to listen to the most famous arias, such as: ‘Porgi amor’ and ‘Non più andrai’.

On Monday 20 February, the Lower Years children will have the opportunity to attend a reduced performance of The Marriage of Figaro at school along with their parents.

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Hampton Court House Carol Service

On Tuesday, students from Years 5 to 13 walked from school to St. Paul’s in East Molesey for the HCH Carol Service.

Students, teachers and parents sang traditional carols including Once in Royal David’s City and O Little Town of Bethlehem and listened to lessons read confidently by students: Alisa... (Year 10), Natasha (Year 7), Brynley (Year 12) and Avalon (Year 7). The final lesson was read by the Headmaster.

The Hampton Court House Chamber Choir sang beautifully and work performed included Gaudete!, Riu Riu Chiu, and a special arrangement of Silent Night sung in French, Mandarin and English.

A particular mention should go to soloists Matthew (Year 8) who sang the first verse of Once in Royal David’s City and Beth (Year 9) who both sang Balulalow from a Ceremony of Carols Op.28.

Year 5 performed the French carol Il est né and the Staff Choir sang Good King Wenceslas and Coventry Carol.

Thank you to all for taking part in this wonderful community event.

Sopranos: Guinevere Rees, Hope Wellspring, Saurin Dabadie, Selena Won, Daniel Eremeev, Katie Swangard, Elspeth Brooks-Smith, and Lisa Beckley

Altos: Matthew Juul, Anna Kodicek, Anais Venkatasawmy, Caroline Géhin, and Tom Lilburn

Tenors: Adrian Thieler, Graham Ainge, and James Robinson

Basses: Haydn Roberts, Adam D’Souza, and Daniel D’Souza, Alex Baldwin

Choirmaster: Kieran Brunt

Organist: Charlie Newsome-Hubbard

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