Music

Music is part of the fabric that makes up Felsted life and has been for many years. Felsted School has broad opportunities for musicians of all types - our main aim is that everyone who wants to be involved musically can be accommodated.

Music is a powerful, unique form of communication that can change the way pupils feel, think and act. The Felsted music programme offers opportunities for all pupils to perform and develop their musical abilities. The curriculum focuses on performance, composition and listening skills and is geared towards improving confidence, singing skills and developing creativity. It brings together intellect and feelings and enables personal expression, reflection and emotional development.

Many opportunities exist for talented musicians, including our unique partnership with the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama, with whom students can follow an integrated programme. Felsted Music Scholars lead by example and flourish within an enthusiastic and committed environment, supported by experienced and qualified full time music staff and a state-of-the-art Music School.

All pupils are involved in some way, whether it is singing in Chapel, participating in the Inter-House/League Singing Competition or through individual musical interest. Singing plays a hugely important role both in Chapel and in more informal settings. Elsewhere, the School boasts a number of Orchestras, String Ensembles and Wind and Brass Groups.

Felsted musicians are supported by a dedicated full-time staff team and over 20 visiting instrumental and vocal teachers. Tuition is available in a wide range of instruments ranging from the violin and harp through to the trombone and electric guitar!

Felsted Music School

Felsted's state-of-the-art Music School opened in September 2008 and is located on the Senior School site. Designed by Nicholas Hare and built by Jerram Faulkes, it comprises a large recital hall with room for an audience of more than 150, a recording studio, percussion suite, a dedicated drum room and two classrooms, as well as 13 teaching and practice rooms. It is also home to a Steinway Model B Grand Piano. The Prep School also has dedicated Music facilities, with practise rooms and music classrooms available.

Opportunities to Perform

Our musicians regularly receive opportunities to perform, including the wonderful annual 'Swing into Spring' event which includes many of our Prep and Senior musicians and staff. In the Prep School, concerts are held every year for each year group, allowing children to get used to performing in front of an audience.

Senior School events include the Vocal Concert, Strings Concert, Scholars Concert and Summer Concert.

Our musicians also get out and about - recent external performances have included:

  • Singing Evensong in Southwark Cathedral
  • Felsted's 450th Anniversary Service at St Paul's
  • Felsted's 450th Anniversary - Royal Visit
  • Recording film soundtrack music at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London
  • The Jazz Band performing at a local prep school
  • Jazz & Steel Band playing at Chelmsford Cathedral
  • Jazz Band, String Quartet and Steel Bands performing at Music for Youth Festival
  • Jazz Band performing for the crowd at the Essex Cricket Ground

Music Groups

Musical ensembles flourish at Felsted and include a Symphony Orchestra, String Orchestra, Wind Band, Jazz Band, Steel Bands, Senior Chapel Choir, Full Choir, Wind Quintet, Brass Ensemble, Flute Choir and chamber groups including string quartets, piano trios, jazz combos and many more. All of these ensembles have regular opportunities to perform to the School as well as wider audiences in a calendar of musical concerts and competitions and solo performances are also encouraged.

As well as providing regular music for Sunday chapel services, the Full Choir and Chamber Choir both contribute to concerts each term performing a mixed repertoire of sacred and secular works.

Felsted's Symphony Orchestra is a full-sized orchestra, which takes on major works for termly concerts. Recent performances have included ‘Bolero’ – Ravel, ‘Symphonie Fantastique’ – Berlioz, ‘Symphony in D minor’ – Franck, ‘Symphony no.5’ - Shostakovich and ‘Danse Macabre’ – Saint-Saens. The orchestra regularly accompanies our most talented musicians in concerto performances, including the Saint-Saens '‘Cello Concerto' and the Grieg ‘Piano Concerto’.

Our Jazz Band is a full Big Band which plays jazz in many different styles. In the past pupils have had professional coaching from the renowned British jazz musician, Django Bates and Tony Micelli. Recent visitors to the school include internationally renowned jazz pianist Jason Rebello and the Prince Consort.

Chamber and Solo Performance are encouraged and there are many opportunities for pupils to perform. Chamber ensembles are flexible and depend on the players we have in the school, but recently have included string quartets, piano trios, brass ensemble, flute choir and saxophone quartet. We are also invited to play outside of school. Recent performances have been at Abbess Roding Church (solo/chamber music), Colne Engaine Church (Jazz Band), White Roding (Jazz Band) and the Chelmsford Fringe Festival.

Instrumental Lessons

We offer individual lessons on the following instruments with specialist professional tutors:

WoodwindBrassStrings
Flute (inc. piccolo)TrumpetHarp
OboeFrench-HornViolin
Clarinet (inc. bass)TromboneViola
BassoonTubaCello
Saxophone
(All types - Classical and Jazz)
Double-Bass
Recorder
(All types)
GuitarsKeyboardVoice
ClassicalPianoAll voices and all styles
(Classical, Rock/Pop,
Jazz, Show etc.)
ElectricOrgan
Bass Guitar

Curriculum Music

Stewart House Ages 4-6

Stewart House pupils discover sound through percussion and singing in class music lessons.

Pupils are recommended to begin individual instrumental lessons in Year 1 or 2. Taster sessions are provided to help with choice.

Year 1 pupils can join the Stewart House Choir and Year 2 pupils can join Recorder Club.

Two concerts are performed every year, in which all participate. Some pupils give solos.

Singing is used as a technique for learning times tables and improving memory, and pupils take part in a league singing performance each year.

Ffrome Court Ages 7-8

All pupils learn to play a stringed instrument in class music lessons, with singing a part of curriculum lessons.

Pupils may join the Junior Orchestra, which teaches teamwork and improves skills.

Instrumental lessons are available to all, with taster sessions to help choice. Felsted Prep has its own Music School and suite of practice and performance rooms.

All pupils sing in the Full Choir and take part in the much love "League Music" singing competition. Selected children may join the Chamber Choir and/or Chapel Choir.

A concert is performed every term, in which all participate.

Cloisters Ages 9-10

All pupils in Cloisters try out brass instruments and can join the beginners Brass Band.

A full range of individual instrumental tuition is offered on site from a team of highly experienced professional musicians. Felsted Prep has its own Music School and suite of practice and performance rooms.

In class music lessons, pupils focus on composing and performing. Pupils study Film Music, African and Latin-American percussion and create electronic composition using chromebooks. Pupils learn the ukulele, and compose and perform songs from genres including The Blues and Pop music.

All pupils sing in the Full Choir and take part in the much love "League Music" singing competition. Talented voices are selected for Chapel Choir, which gives an introduction to formal services and builds repertoire. Pupils can also join the pop choir that performs biennially at the O2 arena in London.

Music Scholarships and the unique Junior Guildhall/Felsted Music Scholarships are available for entry into Year 7, offering an outstanding musical pathway for talented pupils.

Courtauld House Ages 11-12

Courtauld House has its own Orchestra, Jazz Band, Steel Bands, Percussion Group and String Ensemble, and pupils are encouraged to form their own bands and groups.

A full range of individual instrumental tuition is offered on site from a team of highly experienced professional musicians. Felsted Prep has its own Music School and suite of practice and performance rooms.

Advanced Years 7 and 8 musicians may join the Senior School Orchestra, with many getting involved in Senior School concerts also.

In class music lessons, pupils focus on composing and performing. Pupils study Film Music, African and Latin-American percussion and create electronic composition using iPads. Pupils learn the ukulele, and compose and perform songs from genres including The Blues and Pop music.

All pupils sing in the Full Choir and take part in the much love "League Music" singing competition. Talented voices are selected for Chapel Choir, which gives an introduction to formal services and builds repertoire. Pupils can also join the pop choir that performs biennially at the O2 arena in London.

Music Scholarships and the unique Junior Guildhall/Felsted Music Scholarships are available for entry into Year 7, offering an outstanding musical pathway for talented pupils.

Senior & Sixth Form Ages 13-18

Music Scholarships and the unique Junior Guildhall/Felsted Music Scholarships are available for entry into Year 9 and 12, offering an outstanding musical pathway for talented pupils.

Music can be studied at GCSE Level, A Level and as part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma. Music Technology is also offered at A Level. Instrumental playing and performance is a component of coursework.

A full range of individual instrumental tuition is offered onsite by a team of highly qualified professional musicians. All this takes place in our state-of-the-art Music School, with auditorium, practice rooms, classrooms, percussion rooms and a recording studio.

Pupils may join the Senior School Orchestra, Wind Band, Jazz Band, Funk Band and various chamber ensembles, and take part in regular concerts. Students may also participate in drama performances and shows, with opportunities for soloists.

The Full Choir is open to all, with a selective elite Choir and Choirs formed for specific events. Choral scholars support the Felsted Preparatory School Chapel Choir at their services.

All pupils take part in our much loved "House Shout‟ singing competition.

Music activities at Felsted helped me to reach my current position. While Music isn't such an obvious link to Sports Presenting, when I present on TV I'm putting on a performance of sorts.

There were plenty of opportunities to perform as a musician at Felsted and I loved every minute of it.

Sean Fletcher, Felsted 1987-92
GMB and Sky TV Presenter

Working on school concerts and being part of the Orchestra & Choir nurtured my interest in music and arts management. I even managed to set up a semi-professional ensemble whilst at Felsted.

My days at Felsted certainly gave me the bug for organising events & concerts and all the challenges that go with that.

Tom King, Felsted 1988-96
Head of Show Management, The Royal Albert Hall

Contact Information

Director of Music, Mr Peter Bennett
Telephone: 01371 822685 / Email: pgb@felsted.org

Director of Prep Music, Mr Owen Rees

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