Music is a flagship for Shrewsbury International School. The school is renowned for staging musical concerts and recitals of the highest quality.
We attract specialist music teachers from around the world who instill a love of music making within our students. Some students progress to world-class conservatory programmes and careers as professional musicians; others develop a lifelong love of singing and playing. Many simply enjoy making music on a more casual basis; an appreciation which we hope to develop through the regular, timetabled curriculum music lessons for all students from EY1 to Y9.
The curriculum as the starting point
All students from EY1 to Y9 enjoy music lessons as part of their timetabled curriculum learning, with a number of students going on to study the subject at GCSE and A-Level.
In Key Stage 2 & 3, students have either 1 or 2 class music lessons per cycle, including general music-making and singing. Year 5/6 classes also have one lesson of brass/woodwind tuition, where they are given access to an array of instrument resources, bought especially for this purpose and which has led to many students choosing to pursue the study of these instruments individually as part of the school’s co-curricular programme.
Throughout the school, students have the opportunity to express their talent and develop their skills as part of an ensemble. In addition to the many student led rock, pop and jazz groups that the students form themselves, our current formal school ensembles include:
Pre Prep Choir; Prep Choir; Prep Chamber Choir; Senior Choir; Senior Chamber Choir; Year 7/8 Choir; Harmonix (a capella group); Junior Strings; Intermediate Strings; Senior Strings; Chamber Groups; Senior Orchestra; Big Band; Jazz Band.
Some of these ensembles are by invitation or audition, requiring a minimum standard and ongoing commitment to regular rehearsals and performances.
Shrewsbury's Symphony Orchestra, Choirs, Ensembles and other groups perform regularly throughout the year as part of the school's own extensive series of Recitals, Concerts and other performances, as well as within the wider community.
Our students also enjoy regular opportunities to perform internationally, including a recent tour of America’s East coast (incorporating a series of concerts in New York and Boston), and attendance at the Primary Performing Arts Carnivals in Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Ho Chi Minh City.
Students often take the initiative in organizing ad hoc performances as part of their own rock and pop ensembles, accompanying community events. In recent years we have also been very pleased to welcome back some of our musical alumni, currently studying or graduated from some of the world’s leading musical conservatoires, to perform on Shrewsbury’s stages once more.
The popular bi-annual House Music Competition gives students from across the Senior School to take the lead and to prepare high quality, entertaining performances that they hope will earn the coveted competition trophy for their House.
Shrewsbury offers all students the opportunity to have individual instrumental or voice lessons at school. Standards of individual musicianship are high and our students regularly enjoy success in international solo competitions. The instruments we currently offer are:
Piano (Classical/Jazz); Violin; Viola; Cello; Double Bass; Flute; Oboe; Clarinet; Bassoon; Trumpet; French Horn; Trombone; Tuba; Orchestral percussion; Drum Kit; Harp; Saxophone; Guitar (Acoustic/Electric); Voice (Classical/Pop); Thai Instruments. Aural (listening skills lessons) are also offered.
The majority of lessons take place during the school day with students coming out of curriculum time on rotation to attend their lessons; instrumental lessons for senior students from year 10 upwards are timetabled outside of curriculum time. Lessons are usually 30 minutes in length and are taught by full time and visiting teachers who are all practising professional musicians.
Many of the orchestral instrument teachers work with the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra, The Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra and other professional ensembles in Bangkok. Lessons are billed separately.
Any instrumental players who wish to progress to practical grades 6+ are required to sit the ABRSM Grade 5 music theory examination. Individual theory lessons are offered as part of the school’s Instrumental programme (paid) and on a group basis as part of the school’s Extra-Curricular activities programme (free of charge and dependent upon capacity).
In addition, we now also offer Composition lessons free of charge as part of the school’s Extra-Curricular activities programme; a huge benefit to GCSE and A level students who are required to submit composition pieces as part of their assessed coursework.
In many cases it is possible to rent a school instrument for a small termly fee. Please contact the Music Department directly if you would like your child to be involved in any of the activities and/or if you would like them to receive instrumental tuition.
The Music School enjoys a beautiful space overlooking the river. It is progressive in design with teaching rooms, multiple practice rooms, a dedicated (Mac) computer suite and specialized rehearsal space, centred around an outstanding Recital Hall with Concert Grand Piano. Major performances are staged in the 600 seat Memorial Hall Auditorium, complete with with its own Steinway Grand Piano.