Music is an integral part of school life at Hurst and it is viewed as a subject for all. Academic music is taught by a well-qualified team of academic and professional musicians.
We offer GCSE Music, A-level Music and A-level Music Technology. We also provide appropriate tuition by specialist teachers in the Music School.
The Music department has a long record of excellent results at GCSE and A-level. Class sizes are healthy and at the higher levels, are small enough to allow for some flexibility when selecting exam material.
Students opt to continue with classroom music before Year 8. The GSCE course starts at Year 9. Pupils receive one lesson of classroom music (in mixed ability sets) every week. The curriculum is project-based and includes equal opportunities for students to improve their performing, composing and listening skills. In addition to developing these skills further, students are also required to study 'set works' for a listening exam. The music studied for this part of the course helps them to compose two of their own contrasting pieces and perform twice as an instrumentalist and/or singer.
Below is a video of our GCSE Remove (Year 10) students recreating the drumming techniques found in their set work 'Koko' by the African group Yiri.
A-level Music is a natural extension to the GCSE course. This also requires students to compose, perform and study set works in preparation for a listening exam. As with GCSE, A-level Music includes a substantial coursework element.
Music Technology at A-level caters for those students who have enjoyed studying music at GCSE level and are interested in furthering their knowledge of popular Music. There is a well-equipped recording studio with seven workstations which run the latest professional software. Here, students can learn to record their own performances as well as write their own dance tracks. There is also a listening exam at the end of this course which is based upon a wide range of music from different periods and styles.
Below is a video of one of our Sixth Form students playing the piano.
The College has impressive facilities for music, which include:
- Dedicated Music teaching rooms
- Mac suite with composing software
- Practice rooms for individual lessons
- Music hall for concerts
- Recording studio with seven workstations running the latest professional software
- A soundproof drum room
Music beyond Hurst
The Music Department has a pedigree of preparing students for some of the best universities, colleges and conservatoires in the country.
In recent years, a number of students have also been successfully prepared for Choral Scholarships at both Oxford and Cambridge universities. This success has also been replicated in the Music Technology Department where students have progressed to study on the prestigious Tonmeister Course at the University of Surrey.
The choir made a great sound, and it was very exciting to hear my work being performed... being given the opportunity to direct the choir myself, in such an impressive chapel, was wonderful. It is the first time I’ve been inside Hurst’s Chapel and I was impressed with the acoustic – what a splendid setting for the premiere of a piece!
Malcolm Archer, former Director of Music St Paul's Cathedral, London
[Speakinig in 2015 about music he composed for Hurst to celebrate 150 years of the Chapel's consecration]