Emanuel has a rich and diverse musical tradition.
The music department is hugely ambitious for its pupils and their musical opportunities, working to become a centre of excellence for contemporary music while maintaining excellence in choral and orchestral music.
Night at the Proms concert, February 2020
The music department is hugely ambitious for our pupils and their musical opportunities. We are working to become a centre of excellence for contemporary music while maintaining our high standards in choral and orchestral music. We are offering DJ lessons, developing the KS3 curriculum so pupils benefit from a truly C21st music education, hosting careers’ talks for those keen on a future in the music industry, becoming a Rockschool examination centre, offering RSL Music Production grades and investing in the very latest technology and software. Our work is all in conjunction with the leading companies and personnel in music education.
Emanuel's music provision is top notch, offering a breadth of opportunities from the traditional to the cutting edge.Good Schools Guide 2020
Academic music & music tuition
Of the students taking A level, many wish to read music at university or at a conservatoire. Several pupils have gained choral scholarships to Oxford and Cambridge. All pupils in Years 6, 8 and 9 have class music lessons for a double period once a week of one hour and 15 minutes duration (Year 7 has one 35-minute lesson a week). Classes are divided in Year 8 to encourage small-scale ensemble work, to stretch the gifted and talented, and help the less musically experienced.
A team of 22 first-rate visiting professional music teachers delivers extra music lessons in and around the normal curriculum. Approximately 350 individual music lessons per week take place in school (including DJ-ing from January 2020). We also hold ABRSM exams at the school each term, and Emanuel became a Rockschool examination centre in spring 2020.
Special arrangements for the music scholars
We aim to stretch and challenge the elite musicians in the school. We have around 25 music scholars in the school at any one time, and there are many others who perform and play at a very high standard. A bespoke programme is organised for the scholars and other interested pupils, which includes visits, careers talks and master classes with external professionals. Music scholars are expected to attend rehearsals, which may include the chapel choir and instrumental ensembles. It is expected that all scholars will study music at GCSE.
Inaugural Rock & Pop Concert, February 2020
Concerts & co-curricular music
There are approximately 30 concerts a year including Performers’ Platforms, a major annual house music competition (including around 250 participants in variety of classes), several evensongs a year at cathedrals across the UK, at least one concert with a professional orchestra and soloists, a rock and pop concert, a “Showstoppers” concert for both Year 6 and Year 7, foundation school concerts (organised together with other schools in the United Westminster Schools Foundation), masterclasses (e.g. singing with Voces8), two evening carol services at Christmas, several ensemble concerts (orchestras and bands), music scholar concerts and meetings, and occasional external concerts at local music venues, including the Bull’s Head in Barnes and the Half Moon in Putney. The music department collaborates annually with the drama department to produce a musical (normally three or four performances). In addition, there are over 35 ensembles and choirs in the weekly schedule, including jazz ensembles, guitar groups, percussion groups, chapel choir and orchestra.
The chapel and the school’s choral tradition
Emanuel School has a long tradition of delivering high-quality music for the daily chapel services, evensongs at various cathedrals, carol services and choral concerts. There are chapel services in school every day and the chapel choir also regularly performs evensong in cathedrals around the country including St Paul’s and Westminster Abbey.
There are two ambitious carol services held near Christmas. At least one large-scale choral performance is held annually with the choir augmented by the parents’ choir. Last academic year we put on a ‘Last Night at the Proms’ with professional soloists and orchestra.
Given these regular chapel services and evensongs it is essential that candidates are happy to work within the Christian (Anglican) liturgical tradition of the school.
Pupils creative achievements, notably in art, drama and music, are exceptional.Independent Schools Inspectorate
Emanuel’s music facilities include a beautiful Victorian vaulted concert hall equipped with two grand pianos and the latest music technology and recording facilities. This venue is also used for chamber concerts, instrumental competitions and ABRSM grade examinations. The school’s chapel has a two-manual Bishop pipe organ and is where daily chapel services are held. There are three music classrooms, two of which are equipped as computer suites for music composition (Sibelius, Cubase and Soundtrap are used). Twelve practice rooms are available for tuition and rehearsal.
There is an annual music tour, normally held in the early part of the summer holiday. In recent years the choir has toured to Prague, Poland and Malta. A tour to Paris is planned for summer 2022.