Choral education is at the heart of Music at Wetherby Preparatory.
Whilst we applaud and encourage individual musical talent, we also aim to instil a firm understanding of working together within the school. Choral music serves this aim. Each boy plays an important part in the process of singing together, whether it is in a Choir, in his form class or singing a variety of rousing traditional Hymns during Friday assemblies.
Our approach to Choral education aims to inspire boys to take part in many of the vocal outlets we offer in the school community. Our goal is to build self-confidence and self-esteem in the boys, to develop focused attention, a strong work ethic, leadership qualities and poise.
Alongside opportunities to join one of three different auditioned Choirs within school, each form class has weekly Music lessons centred on choral singing. The boys are taught basic choral and vocal technique including posture, correct breathing, diction and enunciation. Each class practises traditional Hymns for Friday Assembly and through working on a variety of different choral repertoire, learns to understand the basic elements of Music Theory and notation using the Kodaly Method in Go for Bronze, Silver and Gold (NYCOS). This foundation of physical and theoretical technique translates perfectly into instrumental studies which is developed beyond the boys’ individual instrumental lessons within school and integrated into the classroom in the form of ensemble work and accompaniment.
Our extensive programme of events at Wetherby gives every boy an opportunity to perform, whether they are a singer, a cellist, or a player of the steel pans! This ranges from very informal Breakfast Concerts to formal Instrumental Competitions with external adjudicators. The Junior School Nativity and the Senior School Carol Service are particular highlights in the school calendar, alongside events such as turning on Marylebone Christmas Lights, various charity concerts, our end of year Prize Giving Ceremony and in house recitals.
individual instrumental and singing tuition
We are very lucky at Wetherby to have a fantastic team of peripatetic instrumental and vocal teachers.
They are all meticulous educators, working on basic foundations of technique and musicianship, with a particular onus on notation reading.
Individual music lessons take place during the course of the school day. Our peripatetic staff each create a rotational timetable so that boys only miss a particular period once during a half term. It is understood that the boy will retrieve missed work from class where necessary of his own accord.
Currently, we are able to offer individual tuition in:
- Guitar (Classical, Electric and Bass)
- Percussion (Drums)
Please read our Parent Handbook for more information regarding conditions of taking up instrumental or vocal lessons and helpful advice about that intimidating word ‘practice’.
The Wetherby choirs grow in number with every year that passes! Boys who wish to be part of these groups should have a fine voice, sing in tune and be able to either read music or have a good aural memory. Mr Brawn auditions boys who would like to join the choirs at the beginning of each term. Please email him if your son would like to arrange an audition.
wetherby voices, years 3-5
For boys who are interested in singing, and are willing to put effort in to learning new vocal and choral skills. We prepare them throughout the year for many exciting events and concerts.
wetherby choir, years 6-8
Provides boys with an opportunity to continue singing once they reach Senior School. Here they can continue to improve their vocal and choral skills, expand their repertoire and tackle more difficult pieces.
By invitation only. Boys from Years 5-8 are auditioned for a coveted position as a member of the Chamber Choir. They are expected to have an excellent vocal tone, and accurate intonation. Ability to sight-sing is greatly beneficial. Here they tackle advanced choral works and close harmony pieces.
Members of the Chamber Choir are expected to attend all rehearsals of either the Wetherby Voices or Wetherby Choir depending on their age and also to know all their music well in advance of rehearsals through private practice.
This group enjoys playing music ranging from classical to Coldplay. Instrumentalists of all ages and stages are welcome. We are particularly keen to have some more wind players, so do please email Mr Brawn if your son would be interested in joining the group.
Director of Music