Aims & Objectives
Academic music at Sunningdale focuses on three main areas:
Performance plays a major role in the curriculum. All boys have access to pianos and keyboards in lessons and learn basic keyboard technique. Singing is a major feature of almost every lesson, and all boys take part in both the annual School Musical and the Festival of Song, whether as soloists or as part of their form.
Listening to music is extremely important, and boys at Sunningdale are frequently exposed to all types of classical and world music as part of the curriculum. There is a particular focus on the music of the Western classical tradition.
During their music lessons boys learn the rudiments of music theory and are are able to sit the Theory examination of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music should they wish. This knowledge is then put to use in composition exercises, where the boys learn to compose and perform their own pieces.
Three quarters of boys at Sunningdale learn at least one musical instrument and, in addition to the Director of Music, there are eleven visiting music teachers teaching the full range of orchestral instruments, as well as bagpipes, drums, guitar and rock keyboard. There are various ensembles and even a pipe band and there is ample time and facilities for practice.
There is an annual musical production involving the whole school. There is also an instrumental recital every term, an annual Carol Service and the hugely popular Festival of Song. Boys are also regularly entered for public music examinations.
The School Choir is the most popular ensemble. Made up of around 25 boys, the Choir sings every Sunday in Chapel and regularly goes on tour. The recent tours to Normandy and Berlin were hugely successful. The Choir also recorded a CD that was released in 2010.