"In sculpture and painting we look at beauty and experience it; in music we ourselves become beauty." (Rudolf Steiner)
Music is an important element of the Waldorf curriculum as it awakens and nurtures the deep inner life of the child. As the main lesson curriculum follows the very specific stages of child development, so does the music curriculum.
Our music lessons embrace all Classes from I to XII, and nurture all levels of ability. Through participation in music lessons, choirs and orchestras, the pupils strengthen their self-confidence and develop, including listening, controlled breathing, balance and cultural awareness.
Our music programme aims to be inclusive of every individual, meeting their needs and fulfilling their potential, and celebrate group work at all levels. Through regular participation in all varieties of the music curriculum our pupils achieve high standards and enjoy positive experiences, which will help them take confident steps into their future.
We have three orchestras and an excellent school choir. One of the highlights of the year is our annual Carol Concert at Gloucester Cathedral, sung by all pupils in the school. We hold several orchestral and choral concerts throughout the year.
Our three orchestras perform twice a year in our New Hall, often with a visiting soloist. Jennifer Pike, BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2002, has played her violin for us on three occasions, and enjoys the spirit of involvement and engagement from our pupils of all ages.
Individual instrumental lessons are available for all students and guidance is given on appropriate starting ages for various instruments and this helps with their transition into the school orchestras.
Lower and Middle School
In the early years we use the pentatonic scale for songs and instrumental work, giving more freedom in improvisation. The pupils experience playing xylophones, pipes and lyres. As they begin to learn orchestral instruments, a 'practice' class orchestra begins in Class III.
In Class IV we learn to sight-sing and play, and everyone joins the Lower School Choir and Orchestra. This continues on through the school to Middle School where we also have djembe and guitar groups.
In Classes IX and X we combine Music with Drama to study 'Expressive Arts' which is a GCSE subject (see below). The students can work individually or in groups and the course is two years, with three controlled assessments.
We also offer the opportunity to take part in Choir Tours abroad.
Expressive Arts GCSE
A very successful programme that starts in Class IX, allowing much freedom and creativity as students combine two art forms (chosen from Drama, Music and Original Writing). In Class X pupils have the option to continue with Expressive Arts GCSE, or opt for Drama or Music GCSE, using the first year’s learned elements of music plus part of their composition and performance coursework for the Music qualification.
This is a possible pathway in Class X for pupils who will find more success with the straight music GCSE than the combined Expressive Arts GCSE. This is a very successful course for Wynstones pupils who will already have studied some composition from an early age in music and will have become skilled at instrumental performances through individual lessons and work in orchestra and in informal concerts.
AS and A2 Music
Both Expressive Arts GCSE and Music GCSE can lead into AS and A2 Music in Classes XI and XII. Again the long musical experience through Wynstones school provides a special background for our pupils to take these courses in their stride – using some of their many other performances to lead into their recitals and earlier composition experience to flourish. The general historical progress which underpins their music work in earlier years provides an excellent context and springboard for the studying of set works.
Music Ensemble Opportunities
- Symphony Orchestra
- Chamber Orchestra
- School Choir
- School Consort
- Drumming Group
- School Band
Head of Department: Caroline Thompson
View reviews and photos of previous Wynstones Concerts
Wynstones Symphony Orchestra with Jennifer Pike (Oct. 2013)