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Music


A collage of music activities at SGS

Stockport Grammar School provides exceptional musical opportunities for every child. We offer a diverse and inclusive programme of activities, through our curriculum and extensive co-curricular programme.

All pupils are given the opportunity to learn instruments with an outstanding team of full-time teachers and peripatetic music staff. In addition to being inclusive, we aspire to the highest level of elite music-making in our choirs, bands and orchestras. We have a significant number of pupils that have attained grade 8 and beyond. Many of our pupils also participate in regional and national music ensembles and at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music. A large number of former pupils have gone on to study Music at Oxbridge, UK conservatoires and other leading universities and pursue successful careers in music.

The activities on offer are intended to provide access for all pupils, including total beginners, in all areas of music and also pathways into music careers for those with outstanding ability. We have a large stock of musical instruments and an instrumental tuition scheme that enables all First Year pupils to have introductory lessons on instruments ranging from oboe, clarinet, saxophone, flute, bassoon, cello and double bass to the full range of brass instruments.

Read more music news and stories.

Fun, Friendly and First Class

Aims

We aim to:

  • ensure that Music at Stockport Grammar School is lively, varied and exciting
  • capture the interest and develop the skills of all pupils
  • offer playing and singing of an appropriately high standard to over one third of the school

Staff and facilities

The Music staff currently consists of three full-time teachers and a music department administrator, together with twenty three visiting peripatetic staff on all the mainstream instruments as well as instruments such as the jazz piano and electric guitar.

There is enthusiastic support from other subject teachers, many of whom take part in school music ensembles. There are three main teaching/rehearsal rooms as well as the Hallam Hall and 11 smaller practice rooms. The department has excellent computer facilities including midi keyboards and software such as Cubase and Sibelius 7.

A number of instruments, particularly large and expensive ones, are often available for loan or use in lessons and practices. There is an impressive range of percussion and keyboard instruments, including a three-manual Copeman Hart organ in the main hall and a Yamaha C8 grand piano in the Hallam Hall.


Ensembles

The four main areas of musical ensemble are choirs, orchestras, wind bands and chamber music groups, all of which are formed according to age and experience.

The regular extracurricular programme is set out in the table below. In addition to the groups listed there are also school musicals with intensive rehearsal schedules as well as aural and theory classes.

Activity Day, time Location Year Groups Teacher in charge
Brass Quartet Monday 8.30am MU2 All Mrs Johnson
Guitar Monday 1pm MU3 All Mr Girling
Chamber Choir Monday 1pm MU1 and MU2 Third Year to Sixth Form Mr Dow and Mr Newlove
Big Band Monday 4pm MU1 All Mr Evans
Theory Class Tuesday 1pm MU3 All Mr Newlove
Concert Band Tuesday 1pm Hallam Hall All Mrs Matthews
Cello Choir Wednesday 8.30am MU1 All Mr Cashell
Junior Strings
Wednesday 8.30am MU2 All Mr Cashell
Harp Trio Wednesday 8.30am MU3 All Pupil led
Junior Brass Wednesday 8.30am MU3 All Mr Moore
Junior Percussion Wednesday 12.30pm Hallam Hall All Mr Landon
String Orchestra Wednesday 1pm Hallam Hall All Mrs Matthews
 Brass Wednesday 1pm MU1 All  Mrs Johnson
Intermediate Percussion Wednesday 4pm Hallam Hall All Mr Landon
Senior Percussion Wednesday 4.30pm Hallam Hall Third Year to Sixth Form Mr Landon
String Quartet Thursday 8.30am MU6 All Pupil led
Junior Jazz Band Thursday 8.30am MU2 First to Fifth Year Mr Hamilton
Senior Jazz Band Thursday 8.30am MU1 Fifth Year and Sixth Form Mr Hamilton
Boys Vocal Group Thursday 8.40am MU3 First and Second Year Mrs Matthews
VOX Thursday 1pm MU2 First and Second Year Mrs Matthews
Wind Orchestra Thursday 1pm Hallam Hall All Mr Newlove
First Orchestra Thursday 4pm Hallam Hall All Mr Dow
Junior Woodwind Friday 8.30am MU1 All Mrs Walton
Second Orchestra Friday 1pm Hallam Hall All Mr Newlove
Chorus Friday 4pm Hallam Hall and MU1 All Mr Dow and Mr Newlove
Junior Chamber Choir Friday 4pm W6 First and Second Year Mrs Matthews

Performances

The department offers an impressive and varied range of performing opportunities through an extensive programme of evening concerts and lunchtime recitals within school and high profile appearances in the Manchester area.

Download the 2021-2022 Music Concert Schedule (pdf)

In recent years, events have included concerts at the Royal Northern College of Music, the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester Cathedral and St George’s Church, Stockport. There have been recent tours of Belgium, Salzburg, Barcelona, Rhineland in Germany, Lake Garda and Venice and the Lake District, including performances in distinguished venues such as the cathedrals of Brussels, Bruges, Cologne, Ghent, Salzburg and St. Marks’ Venice and Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake.

Choir at the Spring Concert

The school chamber choir has also been featured regularly on the BBC Radio 4 Daily Service programme. There is a competitive music festival each year judged by a distinguished adjudicator, and opportunities exist for pupils to take part in musicals, such as the recent outstanding productions of Guys and Dolls, Wizard of Oz, Fiddler on the Roof and Les Misérables, Oliver and Godspell The school has also recorded a CD featuring the chamber choir, first orchestra, wind orchestra and big band.

We have had many representatives in local musical ensembles including the Hallé Youth Orchestra, the Hallé Youth Choir and the Kinder Children’s Choir. Several of our pupils have participated in national ensembles: National Youth Orchestra, National Children’s Orchestra, National Children’s Choir and the National Youth Choir.

MARS Recitals

The Monday Afternoon Recital Series has made a welcome return during the 2021-2022 academic year.

The dates for the Summer term are 9th May, 16th May and 28th June 2022.

These are free to attend and you can just turn up on the day.

Individual music lessons

Our team of highly qualified and committed visiting musicians provide specialist tuition, within a rotating timetable, to around 300 children each week. In addition there are around 250 private lessons taken outside school.

Parents that would like their son or daughter to start learning an instrument in school should fill out this form. For the 2022-2023 academic year, lessons are charged at £17.50 per half-hour lesson.

Visit the Peripatetic Music Staff page to see videos from some of the teachers.

Peripatetic music staff

Instrument Taught Name of teacher and qualifications
Violin Miss V Clarke, BMus (Hons), PGDip RNCM
Mrs C Studman, BMus (RNCM), GRNCM
Cello Mr B Cashell, BA (Hons)
Double Bass Miss R Nolan, BMus, MMus, PGCEi
Guitar Mrs C Whittaker, GMus, PGDip (RNCM)
Electric/Classical Guitar Mr P Anderson, BA (Hons), MMus
Flute Mrs J Murray, ANSM, LRAM, Cert. Ed.
Oboe Ms M Shibata, BMus (Hons), MMus MISM
Clarinet and Saxophone Mr T Evans, MMus Solo, BMus (Hons), LRSM
Mrs N Walton, GRNCM, PPRNCM
Bassoon/Flute Miss S Nixon, BMus (Hons), PGDip, PPRNCM (Dist)
Horn Mrs D Powell, BMus (Hons), PGCE
Trumpet/Cornet/Lower Brass Mr A Dallimore, GRNCM, PPRNCM
Mr D Moore, BMus (Hons), CTABRSM
Piano Mr O Hamilton, BMus (Hons), MMus
Mr K Lee, MMus, CTABRSM
Miss E Owen, BMus (Hons) RNCM, DipABRSM
Mr P Sharp, GRNCM, MMus, BMus (Hons)
Percussion Mr M Landon, BMus (Hons)
Singing Miss R Doogan, BMus, MMus, PGDip
Mrs C Mikic, BA (Hons 1st class)
Mrs K Lally, BMus (Hons 1st class)

Scholarships and bursaries

Music bursaries providing free lessons for all or part of a pupil’s school career may be available. They are offered to existing pupils who show particular aptitude and potential and who are willing to consider instruments which are less popular but have significant roles in band or orchestra.

In addition two 25% fee music scholarships are available each year for students who show outstanding musical potential.

Download more Music Scholarships information (pdf)

Download a Music Scholarship Application Form (pdf)


Subject time per 10-day cycle

  • Lower school – two lessons with additional homework
  • GCSE – five lessons with two hours of homework
  • A-level – ten lessons with additional homework

Do I have to do Music?

Music is a part of every child’s life in the school. For the first two years, all pupils have a well-structured musical education. In the First Year, pupils have the opportunity to try a large number of orchestral instruments with specialist teachers and all perform in a concert at the end of the year on a mainstream instrument. In the Second Year, each form is divided into two sets allowing pupils to work at greater depth and speed. Music becomes an optional subject in the Third Year with three lessons per fortnight allowing scope for more extensive study and preparation for GCSE.


Music further up the school

GCSE

From September 2016 Fourth and Fifth Year pupils have studied the Edexcel syllabus which comprises performing, composing and listening and appraising.

A-level

At A-level we follow the Edexcel syllabus, which we believe offers the best course, both for aspiring professional musicians and for those who will specialise in other fields. A-level musicians require a good ear, sound practical skills and an enquiring musical mind reflected in wide performance and listening experience outside lessons.

Please consult the Sixth Form Handbook (pdf) for further information


What can my musical studies lead to?

Preparation for associated board practical and theory examinations culminates in a termly visit by an examiner to the school; in recent years, 17 of our students have reached distinction level at grade eight.

A number of our recent leavers are studying music at university or conservatoire, including Oxford, Cambridge and the Royal Northern College of Music.


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