Music plays an essential part in the life of Durston House and the life of all who are truly educated. It can tell a story, shape an idea, move and inspire us. We value and support it throughout the school, encouraging all boys in their Music classes, in Music activities, and in individual musical endeavour. The chance of making music is one that a large number of boys take, choosing to learn a musical instrument on a one-to-one basis, often proving themselves very capable musicians.
Boys in Year 1 and above may learn one or more musical instruments. They attend a 30 minute lesson, during the school day, which is timetabled differently week by week, to avoid frequent clashes with subject lessons. The concentration, patience and discipline required to learn an instrument, to practise at home and to perform for an audience are building blocks for success in any aspect of a boy’s development. Self-esteem is enhanced and confidence grows. More importantly, though, a love of music is born.
Durston employs a range of talented Visiting Music Teachers (VMTs) – musicians who themselves work as conductors, instrumentalists in London orchestras, or singers at the Royal Opera House. They offer tuition in an array of instruments: piano, guitar, violin, cello, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, flute, clarinet, oboe, drums and voice. The school runs a number of ensembles in which instrumentalists are invited to play, such as the Woodwind, Strings and Brass Ensembles. Many boys are entered for music examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and are tested aurally and in performance by a specialist examiner. Durston boys have always acquitted themselves well, more often than not achieving a Merit or Distinction award. Such individual and group success is celebrated in Assembly or at times of performance, the School Concert, the informal Music Teas, Prize Day and the end-of-term Final Assemblies.