“Where words fail, music speaks. ”
- Hans Christian Anderson
Why Study Music?
Music at King's Hall is based around enjoying music in a variety of different genres, involving as many pupils as possible in performing, and giving them a solid grounding in musical theory. We believe that music plays an integral part in all of our lives, and try to educate and enthuse in equal measure.
The thriving Music department provides an eclectic mix of musical ensembles which pupils are encouraged to join, whether it is to further their musical development or simply just for fun.
Pupils are brought into contact with all styles and genres of music to give them a broad and informed understanding of how music has been developed through the centuries up to the present day.
The Music classroom contains a wide array of instruments, an interactive whiteboard and a number of computers with dedicated music software including Sibelius. As music is now so fully integrated into our technological lives, so our teaching has widened to include a stronger multimedia approach to teaching and music-making.
King's Hall has numerous and diverse musical ensembles, a number of which are flexible depending on the pupils and instruments that are available. Below is a list of musical ensembles that have been active in recent years:
Brass Ensemble, Clarinet Group, Flute Ensemble, Guitar Group, Junior String Group, Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, Piano Trio, Pre Prep Recorder Group, Rock Band, String Group, Junior String Quartet, Senior String Quartet, Swing Band, Woodwind Group, Other Chamber Music groups as appropriate.
All of the ensembles perform in the Formal Concerts throughout the year, and instrumentalists often take part in other events and special occasions such as the Remembrance Service in November.
Singing and Senior Choir
Singing is very much at the forefront of musical life at King’s Hall and we currently have three choirs in the Prep Department (Senior Choir, Rainforest Choir and Pyrland Choir) and one in the Pre-Prep (Pre-Prep Choir) allowing a continuous provision of choral singing from Years 1 through to 8.
The Senior Choir is formed of members of Years 6, 7 and 8. It regularly has between 20 and 30 members and pupils are required to audition to take part. The choir performs in the Chapel Services which are held every Thursday morning, and the choir is suitably robed in cassocks for the occasion. They also take part in the moving and powerful annual Remembrance Service in November.
Perhaps the most prestigious event that the Senior Choir undertakes is that of the candlelit Carol Service which is held every Christmas in King's College Chapel. Traditional carols, with congregational participation, are sung often alongside more modern pieces, all contributing to a suitably festive and captivating occasion.
Pyrland, Rainforest and Pre-Prep Choir
Pyrland Choir consists of the entirety of Years 3 and 4 and takes its name from the original name of King's Hall School, Pyrland Hall. The choir is featured prominently in many public occasions including the annual Carol Service.
Pyrland Choir provides an excellent and less formal musical outlet for the younger children and serves to keep singing appealing and vibrant to the younger year groups while reaffirming basic technique and providing the Senior Choir with a strong body of potential recruits.
Rainforest Choir is a lunchtime hobby choir for children from Year 5 upwards. It is not auditioned and often takes part in the annual Taunton Festival.
The Pre-Prep Choir runs as a weekly hobby and boasts over 20 members all of whom enjoy singing together and learning about what it takes to be part of a choir – a little technique and a lot of fun can go a long way! All of this also puts the children in good stead for involvement in the Prep choirs.
Tuition in all standard instruments is available and others may be provided if desired. We regularly have pupils learning the following instruments: Bass Guitar, Bassoon, ‘Cello, Clarinet, Classical Guitar, Electric Guitar, Drums, Flute, French Horn, Oboe, Piano, Saxophone, Trombone, Trumpet, Ukulele, Viola, Violin and Voice
Individual lessons last 30 minutes and pupils customarily have one a week.
If desired, pupils can be entered for Associated Board, Trinity London or Trinity Rock & Pop Examinations, although examinations are by no means obligatory - playing for fun is regarded as equally important as preparing for examinations.
We regularly have many pupils entering and performing well in music festivals and competitions, and recent years have seen great successes for King’s Hall pupils at the Taunton Festival of the Arts.