Our Aim

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything” Plato

Chigwell has a thriving music department which is always buzzing with activity. We believe that with the right encouragement and guidance, at whatever level and in whatever style, the life of any child can be enriched and, perhaps, given a new dimension through music. More than half the pupils in the school regularly take part in a musical activity.

Chigwell musicians are selected for national ensembles, including National Youth Wind Orchestra, National Youth Choir, National Children’s Choir. There are a number who further their music through the Junior Departments at the Royal Academy of Music and Junior Guildhall. The Chapel Choir has a national reputation performing in a variety of well-known venues including the Royal Festival Hall and St Martin-in-the-Fields. The choir, conducted by the Director of Music, Howard Ebden are also on the dep list at St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, as well as making regular appearances at other cathedrals including, Canterbury, York Minster and Christ Church, Oxford.

There are some 360 individual instrumental lessons a week, delivered by an outstanding team of Visiting Music Teachers, many of whom have impressive performing credentials.

We believe that music should be inspirational to everyone and available to anyone. It is a core part of our offering – both academically and as a key part of our co-curricular programme. We provide appropriate motivation, direction and nurturing needed to any individual pupil and their unique demands, be it the beginner or the spectacular music scholar. Opportunities abound for all students to hear many forms of classical and popular music. Students are actively encouraged to pursue their active interest in music and contribute to the many group and solo activities which are available in our thriving department.

Our small class sizes, combined with one-to-one support and instrumental tuition delivered up to and including diploma level, provide the perfect environment for musicians of all ages to be challenged and to excel.

We believe that music should be inspirational to everyone and available to anyone. It is a core part of our offering – both academically and as a key part of our co-curricular programme. We provide appropriate motivation, direction and nurturing needed to any individual pupil and their unique demands, be it the beginner or the spectacular music scholar. Opportunities abound for all students to hear many forms of classical and popular music. Students are actively encouraged to pursue their active interest in music and contribute to the many group and solo activities which are available in our thriving department.

Our small class sizes, combined with one-to-one support and instrumental tuition delivered up to and including diploma level, provide the perfect environment for musicians of all ages to be challenged and to excel.

Pupils taking Music GCSE and A Level are taught the Pearson Edexcel syllabus which has three main focuses: performing, composing and the study of set works. Performing and composing are assessed by controlled assessment (coursework), and the set works are examined through written listening examinations. Music study ranges from the Bach, Purcell, Beethoven; Music from Queen; Afro-Celt Sound System; and the music from the film Star Wars and the Musical Wicked.

The A Level course (AQA) combines musical analysis, harmony and counterpoint, composing, performing, and listening and appraising. Our sixth form music students tend to be of a high standard of ability on their instrument(s) or voice (usually a minimum of Grade 7 standard on their principal study at the beginning of the course); choral specialists, orchestral and jazz musicians alike are able to express themselves fully within the specification.

Sixth form music students often take a leading role in the development of musicians lower down in the school, and are often able to inspire the next generation of outstanding musicians.

Our results in public examinations are consistently outstanding. Every year, students go on from Chigwell to study Music at a higher level and, ultimately, to pursue Music as a career.

In everything we do, we provide the scaffolding for pupils to build and go beyond, whether it be in performance, composition or musical analysis. Pupils are always encouraged to work beyond their immediate means, to attain higher lesson by lesson. Group work can be streamed by ability where necessary.

Extra theory and performance classes are offered weekly, with some going on to carry out optional HPQ qualifications and complete further advanced study towards Oxbridge. For everyone there is the opportunity to stretch themselves in one of the many ensembles. Some of which have student conductors and directors.

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Music scholarships are offered each year at 11+ and sometimes at 13+ and 16+ and these make a substantial contribution to school fees. In return, scholars are expected to play a full role in the performing life of the department. There are currently a number of scholars who attend the Junior Departments of the Guildhall School of Music and Royal Academy on Saturdays.

Mr Howard Ebden B.A., P.G.C.E
Please feel free to contact me:
by email: [email protected]
or by telephone: 020 8501 5745