Music | Cheam School
play icon

Meet Tim Bennett, Head of Performing Arts & Director of Music

We are privileged to be working in a supportive environment where the Arts are valued and encouraged, with excellent resources and facilities.  We have an outstanding reputation for our music, with a vibrant calendar of events, dynamic teachers, and a wealth of pupil talent both chorally and instrumentally. Our aim is to encourage all children to develop their musicianship through Kodály principles. We offer specialist individual tuition on a range of instruments and organise a varied programme of Ensembles and Choirs. We strive to build confidence through performance with an exciting calendar of events.

We cherish the time and resources available and strive to use these to the maximum, inspiring every pupil at Cheam and supporting valuable projects and children within the local community.

Class Music

Class Music teaching lies at the heart of the music education offered at Cheam.  Music is taught to all pupils up to Year 7 as part of the balanced curriculum. We strive to make our lessons fun and practical and focus primarily on developing the musicianship of every child.

Our teaching is guided by the pedagogical philosophy of Zoltan Kodály.  This approach uses singing as the basic means of working with our pupils and teaches the skills of musicianship and music literacy through children’s songs, singing games and activities

Instrumental Lessons | 18 Specialist teachers | 350 players

  • We have 18 specialist Instrumental and Singing teachers, who offer a very wide selection of instrumental tuition, and we work hard to maintain this profile and choice. Children can learn anything from the piano to bagpipes!
  • There are currently 350 children learning instruments. Every child receives a timetabled 30 min lesson each week and the timetable rotates through the entire school day.  The emphasis is on encouraging all the children to enjoy playing and acquire the necessary technique and skills to perform with musicality and confidence.
prev next
prev Previous

Choirs & Ensembles

Cheam is definitely a ‘singing school’. This enthusiasm for singing develops partly from our Kodaly based curriculum, but also, because singing is encouraged and enjoyed by all. It is perceived as fun and cool! Nothing gives greater pleasure then hearing the whole school singing a hymn at full blast accompanied by the organ in Chapel during our main Saturday Service.

Every Year Group has its own Choir. All the Choirs perform regularly in Concerts, Saturday Services and the Junior and Senior Carol Services. The Chapel Choir sings Evensong annually at Winchester Cathedral, which is a very special and poignant occasion.

Division Music

The academic year starts with preparations for Division Music that takes over in the Sports Hall. There are four categories.  Each of the four Divisions must organise and rehearse a Pop Band, offer a star soloist, put forward a complete Orchestra and then sing a House Song.

The Orchestra

After Division Music we select our main School Orchestra.  This will often be around 60 + players of Grade 2/3 and above.  We are proud of our Orchestra and have high expectations of both their rehearsal technique and performance.

Other Ensembles

Alongside the Orchestra we have a full selection of other ensembles.  The programme varies from year to year to respond to the skills and abilities of the students. We currently have:

  • Pop Bands and Jazz Band
  • Scherzo Strings (Junior Strings)
  • Wacky Wind (Junior Wind)
  • Flute and Brass Groups
  • Guitar Ensemble

Assemblies and Concerts

There are so many varied performing opportunities for soloists, Choirs and Ensembles. We have a full programme of Concerts throughout the year. Often these are organised by instrumental teachers and this term we have a special Singing Pupil Concert. Every term we organise an ABRSM Exam Concert to offer candidates the chance to showcase their pieces before their forthcoming exams.

Music Scholars

We invite musically talented children in Year 7 to start our Music Scholarship programme.  They meet once a week on Monday afternoons during games and have extra time and support developing their musicianship and performance skills.  We build up repertoire and prepare a programme for possible future auditions. It is all about enthusiasm and passion for music and the dedication and desire to be a great Ambassador for the Department. We are often very successful and over the last few years our pupils have won Scholarships and Exhibitions at Abingdon School, Bradfield College, Dauntseys, Eton (3 awards in last three years!), Marlborough, Radley, Sherborne Girls/Boys, St Mary’s Calne, St Edwards and Wellington College.

We have 18 specialist Instrumental and Singing teachers, who offer a very wide selection of instrumental tuition, and we work hard to maintain this profile and choice. There are currently 350 children learning instruments.