Although the music curriculum is delivered mainly by the academic staff, the department is fortunate to have the full assistance and co-operation of the Heads of Instruments and some 41 part-time instrumental teachers who are all actively involved in teaching performance elements of the curriculum.
All pupils in the First to Third Forms take Music, during which they are taught basic theory, composition, analysis, performance, listening and appraising skills.
The GCSE course allows for considerable development of practical musicianship skills, such as performance and composition. Pupils who opt for this course will already be learning at least one instrument or voice. In addition to the two practical components, the course also offers the chance to study a wide diversity of musical styles from the Western classical tradition to salsa and African music.
Music at A level also provides an opportunity to study European cultural heritage as well as other traditions from across the world. Great emphasis is placed upon performance, and pupils are strongly encouraged to take the extension course in Music Performance.
The second year of A level allows the pupil to specialise as either a performer or composer. Harmony and counterpoint remain an integral part of the course. Great emphasis is placed upon developing independence of thought and expression, a capacity for intellectual study, and greater personal awareness of the social and sociological factors that permeate the creation of music.
The Music Department enjoys a partnership agreement with the Royal College of Music, which gives Oundle pupils access to a wide variety of masterclasses with leading professors at the RCM, as well as opportunities to work alongside Fellows and students in concerts and workshops.
Mr Q P Thomas
Head of Department