The music department at Portland Place School is exciting, unique and inclusive. We offer a wide range of opportunities and experiences to all students from Year 5 through to Year 13 through academic music, individual music tuition and extra-curricular activities.
There are two full time members of staff within the department who teach academic music from Key Stage 2 up to Key Stage 5. The schemes of work at KS2 and KS3 revolve around practical music-making; pupils perform and compose using keyboards, percussion, ukuleles, computers and their voices, while developing their listening skills and awareness of different styles of music. We cover a wide range of topics including Film Music, Samba, The Blues, Minimalism, Dance Music and African Drumming. Pupils enjoy their lower school music lessons and regularly perform within class and in concerts and events, both in school and around London.
Music is an option subject for KS4 and KS5 and the department has a proportionally large uptake for both. There is a dedicated ICT music suite where the majority of upper school lessons take place, with the students working on two different packages: Cubase 9 and Sibelius 7.5. Pupils in the lower school also use this software in their music lessons, and there is a part time specialist music technology teacher who assists students who are proficient in this area.
A large part of what makes the music department so vibrant is the amount of extra-curricular music that takes place throughout each academic year. There are many ensembles which rehearse weekly and frequent concerts and events in addition to the annual musical, staged in a west end theatre.
In addition, the department runs a separate individual music tuition timetable. Tuition is offered, from professional peripatetic staff, in a variety of instruments from the string, woodwind and brass families, and also in voice, piano, percussion and guitar. Half of all students at Portland Place School take up an instrument while they are here and thoroughly enjoy the experience. Students in Year 7 are also able to learn an orchestral instrument completely free of charge, as part of the Symphonfree scheme.
Fundamentally, the music department relishes in student participation, and the staff are fully supportive, go beyond the call of duty and encourage students of all abilities to be involved in a wide range of varied and exciting musical experiences.