The Music Department at Mountbatten is a well-equipped hive of creativity staffed by a team of enthusiastic musicians. On a walk through the Department you are likely to encounter students developing their vocal skills; preparing for one of our many concerts and performance opportunities; composing in one of our 2 Apple Mac Suites; developing their instrumental skills with one of our 17 visiting instrumental teachers or just making music with their friends.
Students can expect to do a lot of practical music making in the Lower School. They will spend time singing and playing instruments through projects developing students’ band skills to Samba and African drumming. They will also spend a considerable amount of their time learning to use Logic X, Apple’s industry standard software package. By the end of Year 9, among other exciting projects, they will have composed music for film clips and TV commercials, written a pop song and created a Club Dance remix.
There are two possible routes for studying Music in the Upper School. Those with a strong desire to develop their performing, composing and listening skills follow the AQA GCSE course in Music. Whilst those who wish to focus on technology can follow the NCFE Level 2 qualification in Music Technology.
The GCSE Music classes follow a broadly practical curriculum, in which they develop their skills in Performing, Composing and Listening. As well as using the Apple Macs to produce high quality compositions, GCSE Music students record their final performances and many of their compositions in the school’s Recording Studio.
NCFE Music Technology
The NCFE Music Technology classes follow a similarly practical curriculum, using Apple’s Logic X software to sequence their own music and the school’s Recording Studio to gain hands-on experience of recording technology. Students also explore the stylistic traits of different musical genres through listening and analysis.
The Music Department produces excellent results each year, with a long history of 100% A* to C pass rate at GCSE and a large number of students gaining A* and A grades on the legacy specification. Results for the Class of 2018 (the first cohort through the revised GCSE specification) were exceptional, with all students attaining a grade 7 or above (the equivalent of 100% A* to A). This trend has continued to date.
Facilities and Resources
Students at The Mountbatten School are fortunate to have one of the best-equipped Music Departments in the region in which to pursue their studies. In addition to the two suites of Apple Mac computers running Logic Studio and Sibelius software packages, students have at their disposal a fully functioning Recording Studio, a 180-seat concert venue, 3 purpose-built teaching rooms, a Performance Studio, a Steinway Grand Piano, and a whole host of other quality instruments.
Trips and Extra Curricular Activities
One of the real strengths of the Music Department at Mountbatten is the range of extra-curricular activities on offer. The department holds regular rehearsals, click the drop down menu for full list of ensembles:
- Junior Choir – open to all singers in Years 7 and 8
- Senior Girls’ Choir – open to singers in Years 9-11
- Boys’ Choir – open to male singers from all year groups
- Chamber Choir – open to advanced singers from all year groups, by invitation
- Mountbatten Voices – full school choir which meets in the lead up to large-scale events
- Brass Dectet – open to brass players, by invitation
- Brass Ensemble – open to all brass players
- Saxy Brass – open to all brass, and saxophone players
- Saxophone Choir – open to all saxophone players
- Clarinet Choir – open to all clarinet players
- Flute Choir – open to all flute players
- String Ensemble – open to all string players
- String Quartet – open to string players, by invitation
- Music Academy Training Orchestra – open to all beginner and early grade woodwind, brass, and string players
- Mountbatten Wind Band – open to all woodwind, brass, and percussion players – Grade 3 upwards
- Training Big Band – open to trumpet, trombone, saxophone, and rhythm section players – Grade 3 upwards
- Mountbatten Big Band – open to trumpet, trombone, saxophone, and rhythm section players – Grade 4/5 upwards, by invitation
- Rock & Blues Club – open to all rock instrumentalists and vocalists
- Acoustic Guitar Club – open to all acoustic guitarists
Various smaller ensembles also meet on an ad-hoc basis throughout the year.
There is a full series of concerts held throughout the year. Musically inclined students can expect to perform in our Autumn and Summer Concerts, as well as the annual Carol Service in Romsey Abbey in December. We hold a major Music Festival each year, which attracts entries from a significant number of students.
Music Department ensembles are in great demand in the local area and can regularly be seen performing at numerous events, such as the Romsey Show, the Mayor’s Picnic, and the Romsey Festival of Youth Music. In addition, Mountbatten ensembles have enjoyed unprecedented levels of success on both national and international stages in recent years. Our young musicians have performed at venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall, and have also performed to great acclaim at high profile events such as the TUC General Conference and the Labour Party Conference.
In July 2015, the Mountbatten Big Band was invited to perform at the world-renowned Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and have since become a regular feature at the festival, attracting a large following. They have also performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival and a number of other international venues and events.
Peripatetic Music Lessons
There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that students who learn a musical instrument achieve more highly in core subjects (English, Maths and Science) than those who do not play. At Mountbatten, we wish for every child to learn a musical instrument and to develop a life-long love of Music. Tuition is offered to students on the following instruments:
- Guitar (Acoustic or Electric)
- Bass Guitar
- Orchestral percussion
- Drum kit
- Double Bass
Lessons on other instruments may be provided by arrangement. Lessons are between 20 and 30 minutes’ duration and given mostly on a pair/small group basis, with the exception of Piano, which is taught individually.
Fees for instrumental/voice tuition are currently £95 per term. Piano lessons, due to their individual nature, are priced at £120 per term. Pupil Premium students are eligible for a reduction in music tuition fees. Please ask for details.
Theory of Music is available as a one hour, after-school class, taught in groups of up to eight students on a Monday evening, priced at £95 per term.
For further information, please contact Mrs Clare Loadman (Music Administrator) on 01794 502502.
With so many musical opportunities, it should come as no surprise that many of our students continue their musical studies at various colleges, universities and conservatoires when they leave The Mountbatten School. Mountbatten Music alumni continue to make a significant impact in the UK and international Music industry, with former students having established careers as performers, composers, conductors, studio engineers, and teachers. Notable achievements include a Mercury prize nominee (the musical equivalent of the Oscars), 5 former students in the Band of HM Royal Marines, 4 former students reaching number 1 in the iTunes Hip-hop chart, one student playing guitar with Jonas Brothers and many others achieving great success as recording artists and on the stage in the West End.
Mr Marchant is the Director of Music, you can contact him through this email with the subject line marked "FAO: Mr Marchant Director of Music".