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


Directors of Music

Raya KostovaBMus Hons PGADip
  • Director of Senior Music

Aleksandra TimarovMA AdvDip
  • Director of Junior Music

Key Members of the Music Department

Kieran BruntBA (Cantab)
  • Musician in Residence, Choirmaster

Related News

Annual Winter Recital, December 2021

On Wednesday 8th of December we held our annual Winter Recitals which included performances from students in Years 2 and above. Children in the Lower Years opened the concert with a diverse repertoire of French and English class songs followed by a variety of solo performances that included everything... from Bach to modern chart toppers. It was indeed a special occasion to be able to host this event after a 2 year hiatus due to the pandemic. We were delighted to see parents, students and staff joining in the pure magic of music making. Well done to all of the students involved for delivering performances of such a high level of musicianship. A huge congratulations to all pupils and our extraordinary staff team, led by Aleksandra (our Director of Music for Early and Lower Years), for putting together such a splendid event!

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Year 7 interview HCH Composer in Residence- Kieran Brunt

For their assembly on the theme of Music, some of our Y7 students interviewed composer in residence and ‘friend of the school’, Kieran Brunt. A nationally and internationally recognised recording artist and producer, Kieran is involved in both choral music and electronica. The students agreed on... four questions to ask him, which formed the basis of the assembly. At the end is a performance of a piece that Kieran wrote during lockdown which speaks to the experience of musicians and performers who were robbed of their ability to work due to the Covid restrictions.

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Nathaniel in Y8 releases a music video

A music video by Nathaniel, Y8, has been released on the Clark album

The record was released by the legendary Deutsche Grammophon label, and his tracks have already had hundreds of thousands of listens on Spotify. Well done Nathaniel!

Watch the 2020 HCH Christmas Offering with readings and carols

Students, teachers and staff would usually be gathered at our annual carol service at St Paul’s Church in Molesey. Despite this not being possible this year, I am delighted to say our Choir Director, Kieran Brunt, and Head of Art, Eve Blackwood have put together a Christmas offering for you to enjoy....

The Christmas offering features performances from members of our school choir and staff choir as well as readings from pupils and from our Headmaster, Guy Holloway. We would also like to thank Lisa Beckley, one of our vocal teachers at the school and her son Daniel Blaze who is accompanying the performances on the piano. Our pupils watched the Christmas offering yesterday with their form groups before they had their Christmas lunch.

We do hope to be able to reconvene our school choir as soon as we possibly can!

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Looking back at ‘We’re All Different Now’ an HCH original ballet in March 2018

In March 2018 students from years 5 to 11 performed in a new, original ballet choreographed by Lauren Haith with an original score by Julian Stewart-Lindsay who was Composer in Residence for HCH at the time.

Lauren remembers; ‘Julian approached me initially to discuss the idea of creating an original... piece of work for the school. It was an extremely collaborative project, Julian created the narrative and set the tone for the piece and then I workshopped movement with the students. The choreography itself took inspiration from the beautiful words Julian wrote and the music and movement were adapted in parallel. I led a number of workshops giving the dancers different instructions and stimuli to lead their movement and the choreography evolved from their improvisations and reactions.

Roberto Manes also improvised a beautiful violin solo having watched some of the rehearsals and hearing some of Julian’s compositions.’

The piece was inspired by concepts of society, conformity, individuality, longing, oppression, beauty and hope. The company also explored ideas of light and dark both figuratively and literally and how a fleeting moment can shape a reaction. Having created a loose narrative the intention was for each participant and viewer to be able to take their own story and emotive response from the work.

Here is the recording of the ballet from March 2018:

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Year 2 perform in their own online concert

Not being at the school did not prevent the Year 2 children from having their own Summer Concert today. They demonstrated their musical skills on Zoom in front of their Form Tutor and their music teacher. The children played instruments and sang songs one by one at home. They ended the concert singing... their song from last year’s Christmas Concert “12 Days of Christmas” together again. It was a beautiful and unique concert they will all remember as they prepare to start Year 3 in the autumn.

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Year 9 student releases debut single with band ‘Elastic Parade’

Snow in Year 9 is a lead vocalist in the band, Elastic Parade, supported by a local not-for-profit bands project called PowerJam. Elastic Parade have recently released their debut single ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ and plan to release two further singles this summer!
All the bands involved in PowerJam... have worked tirelessly on rehearsals and polishing their performances even with the added challenges of a lockdown and school lessons on Zoom.

We are very proud of Snow’s hard work and creativity. You can listen to ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ here

Two further releases over the summer by Elastic Parade can also be found here
or by following:

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