Students have various opportunities to explore and develop their interests in music at Shapwick.

From classroom lessons based on National Curriculum targets (one hour per week) in years 6 to 9, to instrumental lessons and singing, in pairs, groups or individually, to Music Technology classes.

Current instrumental tuition offered includes singing, drums, guitar, ukelele, classical piano / pop keyboards, bass as well as trumpet and other brass instruments. Other instruments are available with out-sourced instrumental teachers on request. Music Technology is available on a similar basis and covers basic sampling and sequencing skills for dance music, recording and mixing live instruments / bands and live sound engineering, potentially in preparation for further study in college.

GCSE Music is not currently on offer, however as a Year 10 option, students can choose to study Music Theory in a weekly hour long group during Enrichment at the end of the day or the lunch hour, working towards grades in ABRSM Classical or RGT Popular Music. A pass in Grade 5 Theory, combined with tuition towards an instrumental college audition at Grade 5 level, is sufficient to ensure a place on most college courses ranging from AS Level and A Level Music to Level 3 BTEC (for which the entry requirements are less stringent than for A and AS level).

A pass certificate in both Grade 5 Theory and Grade 5 on an instrument is considered as officially equivalent to a GCSE, and with 2 years of study during years 10 and 11 a dedicated music student can attain this at Shapwick. Various individually tutored guitarists have previously attained RGT Grade 5 certificates in Electric Guitar and this year a year 11 passed his Grade 5 Music Theory and audition for college with a Grade 5 piece on piano. We believe this practical approach really suits a lot of dyslexic students.

The school band is offered alongside instrumental tuition as a weekly Enrichment activity, with no commitment required, so students can drop in and try any instrument or singing, at no cost to parents, once a week for an hour. Most School Band members do choose to attend weekly, however, and work towards polished performances in concerts at Christmas and in July at the end of term. They will find that playing in a band greatly enhances and improves their musicianship and understanding of music.

For further information, please contact Nathan Williams in the Music Department