“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, and life to everything… Without music, life would be an error”


Music has a strong and proven positive influence on children’s wider cognitive development and here at The Abbey, we strive to ignite a passion for music that can last a lifetime.


Throughout the Junior School, pupils receive two class Music lessons and one singing lesson each week, delivered by a team of specialist teachers. With an emphasis on live music-making and active participation by all, the curriculum covers a wide range of musical genres and encompasses performing, composing, listening and appraising. All pupils are given the opportunity to learn to play a range of different instruments in class during their time at the Junior School including the ocarina and the ukulele. Specialist teaching rooms and instruments are used by all year groups and access is available to the Abbey Gardens Hall, Kensington Hall, The Studio and The Space for performances involving varying numbers of students. Professional lighting and sound systems are used for performances and the Lower III students have the opportunity to work with a live band in their final production here at the Junior School. Our annual Carol Service is held in the neighbouring Christ Church and we also liaise with the Senior School for periodic joint events, giving our students the opportunity to perform alongside older girls.

Supplementary to the curriculum

Curriculum Music is supplemented by practical workshops, which have included sign language with singing and World Music over recent years.  All students take part in an annual production and many other performance opportunities which are open to all take place each year.  Additionally, the Music department runs an ambitious concert programme, including regular early morning Musical Moments, Informal Recitals and Studio Sounds, Pupils’ Concerts, an annual House Music competition and many more.  We have also had the opportunity to commission a song for the Junior School by Lin Marsh and, as part of a whole school venture, one from the eminent composer Bob Chilcott.

Instrumental and Extra-curricular

The Music Department has four purpose-built practice rooms, along with a number of high-quality pianos around the school, and approximately 150 individual instrumental lessons are delivered each week by a very experienced team of 14 visiting staff, most of whom also perform professionally.  Many pupils choose to be entered for ABRSM or Trinity examinations and a number of students routinely leave the Junior School having achieved Grade 5 and above. In recent years students have performed with regional, county and national choirs and orchestras, and many have gained Music scholarships.

We have a reputation for high-quality singing and have four choirs, for different age groups, which are open to all students, in addition to our auditioned Chamber Choir for Lower III.  We have been finalists in the Barnardo’s National Choral Competition seven times over the past seven years, coming second twice, and have also performed at Symphony Hall, Birmingham on a number of occasions as part of the National Festival of Music for Youth event.  Our choirs have enjoyed great success at Woodley Festival and, further afield, at Cheltenham Festival.  Renowned choral trainers work with our singers periodically and we enter ABRSM choral exams biennially.  In addition to our choirs, we also run an extensive range of instrumental groups, including an orchestra that frequently numbers over 40 members, along with flute ensemble, guitar ensemble, clarinet and saxophone ensemble, harp ensemble,  ukulele club,  string groups, belle plates clubs, percussion clubs and activities tailored to our younger students, such as bells and boom whackers.