Departmental Information

The Music Department is housed in a purpose built suite of rooms with two fully equipped classrooms, ten practice rooms, large recital room, recording studio and a Mac Tech Suite. The department has sets of class percussion instruments, timpani, drum kits, many orchestral instruments, 12 upright pianos, 2 grand pianos, harpsichord, a large variety of electronic equipment and a comprehensive library of music.

Academic Music

All First and Second Years study music and it becomes an option in the Third Year. There are currently 43 students taking GCSE Music (OCR), 6 taking A Level Music (OCR). During the last two years 100% of A-level students attained an A*/A grade.

We have also an impressive record of success with our students gaining places at Higher Education. KES Sixth Form Students have moved on to read Music at the following Universities and Conservatoires:  Oxford, Cambridge, Royal Academy of Music, Trinity College of Music, Royal College of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, King’s College, Bristol, Surrey, Cardiff and Bath.

Opportunities to Play and Sing 

There are many opportunities for students to perform in concerts at school, in the wider community and on tour abroad. There are three main concerts each year and several recitals, workshops, master classes and other musical events. Details of events can be found on the website. 

Groups have won awards at the Music for Youth National Festival at Symphony Hall, Birmingham and we frequently have students attending the Junior Departments of London Conservatoires and performing in the National Youth Orchestra and National Youth Choir.

Instrumental Tuition 

450 students have one to one tuition at school, provided by a team of 30 visiting music teachers. Lessons are offered in all orchestral instruments, voice, kit percussion, classical and jazz piano, acoustic and electric guitar. The School is a centre for ABRSM music examinations.

Music Scholarships 

The role of a King Edward VI Music Scholar is a very special one indeed

Musicianship is gift to be nurtured and supported as it grows. Music Scholars are given the care and encouragement to develop their talents alongside performance opportunities to excel in their years with us. We are dedicated to providing a Scholars and Captains programme for our most talented musicians, to encourage them to take on a leadership role amongst their peers. Our Scholars Society meet twice a term to hear from professional musicians, discuss and debate musical issues and spark their intellectual curiosity.

Appointing Scholars at 11+, 13+ and Sixth Form

Scholarship offers are made on the basis of playing ability, potential and likely contribution to the life of the Music Department. Though there are no hard-and-fast rules, 11+ scholars are likely to have achieved at least Grade VI standard on their first instrument, 13+ scholars are likely to have achieved at least Grade VII standard on their first instrument and Sixth Form Scholars are likely to have achieved at least Grade VIII on their first instrument. It is not necessary to offer more than one instrument, though a commitment to a range of musical activities will count in the applicant’s favour.

Other Awards

  •  The JRTA Award: for string players in the Upper School
  • The Chant Scholarship: for a Sixth Form instrumentalist