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Lord Williams's School, Thame

Amidst all the doom and gloom about music education, I sometimes have the pleasure of visiting a school where music is in full swing. This was certainly the case at Lord Williams's School, Thame where the team of three class music teachers (already an impressive sign) were able to devote a whole two days to my visit, during which I was able to work personally with every music student working for a public exam. There were about sixty of these student composers - it's a big school of course, but nevertheless, this was an impressive cohort, and the subject is just much more enjoyable when plenty of other people are involved.


I really admire anyone who is coping with the extensive composition requirement for GCSE and A-level music these days. Challenging projects are set by the exam boards (I was particularly awed this time by "compose a score for a Spy Film") and the candidates are somehow expected to create something adventurous but also musically correct at the same time. I greatly enjoyed going from screen to screen to see what was going on, and the workshop-like classroom we were working in, almost like a musical garage, hummed with industry.


How often do we need to say it: Music is a challenging, rewarding school subject which teaches multiple disciplines (theory, practice, hearing, history, digital work, social networks) all at the same time, almost without our noticing. Every school should have the pleasure. Thanks to all at LWS and partciularly to music teacher Liz Garrett for setting up this adventurous couple of days.

Pictured - Great Composers and their Woolly Hats, spotted at LWS.










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