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Music

Music-making plays an important role to the positive, dynamic and high-achieving ethos of the school

Music

About Our Music Department

All pupils are encouraged to participate in a wide variety of extra-curricular musical activities, some highly competitive, and others open to all. Curricular music at all levels is centred on practical work and creativity, coupled with an expectation of all pupils to develop acute listening skills and a solid understanding of music literacy. Results in certificate music are consistently outstanding, from National 5 to Advanced Higher level and a significant number of pupils have pursued music at university and music college level. Some former pupils now have highly successful careers as professional musicians.

Commitment and enjoyment are key messages the music department strive to develop in our young musicians, whether in their 1:1 instrumental lessons, classroom music-making or as part of an ensemble or choir. Pupils are encouraged to develop responsibility for their own learning and to work towards the best they can achieve, at whatever level they are working.

Many of our musicians perform as instrumentalists or singers in National Ensembles, from the National Youth Choirs of Scotland to the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland and Great Britain. The High School of Glasgow Chamber Choir were winners of the 2013 BBC Songs of Praise School Choir of the Year, whilst the Pipe Band won the Freestyle competition of both the 2015 & 2016 Scottish Schools' Pipe Band Championships

One third of the entire school take instrumental or vocal lessons during the school day, and a large team of in-house specialist music tutors work hard with the pupils to develop skills in a wide variety of instruments, including all traditional Scottish musical instruments.

Pupils are expected to participate in a wide variety of extra-curricular ensembles and have the chance to perform regularly, both in and outwith the school environment. Singing is seen as integral to the development of all young musicians, who are encouraged to join one of many choral ensembles that rehearse on a weekly basis during the school session.

Recent venues for the annual choral concert have included Paisley Abbey, St Mary’s Cathedral in Glasgow, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Memorial Chapel at the University of Glasgow.

Staff

Mrs Sarah Stuart (Director of Music)
Mr Raymond McKeown (Head of Instrumental Music)
Mr Lachie Birch (Percussion Adviser)
Miss Gillian Daly (Head of Keyboard)
Mr Bernard Docherty (Head of Strings)
Mrs Claire Mitchell
Mrs Jane Tierney
Mr Frikki Walker

Curriculum Information

The course is designed to serve not only the needs of those pupils who intend to become professional musicians, but also those who wish to pursue a serious interest in music as part of a general, liberal education.

The course is designed to develop skills in the following areas:

  • Performing Skills
  • Understanding Music (Listening and Literacy)
  • Composing Skills

Pupils will perform on two instruments, or one instrument and voice, at a minimum level of Grade 3 on both. Listening skills are developed though the study of different genres of music, from Vocal & Instrumental Music to World Music, including traditional Scottish music styles. Composing and literacy skills are developed through short written tasks, and pupils will complete one or more substantial musical compositions.

The course, which follows on from National 5 Music, is designed to develop skills in the following areas:

  • Performing Skills
  • Understanding Music (Listening and Literacy)
  • Composing Skills

Pupils will perform on two instruments, or one instrument and voice, at a minimum level of Grade 4 on both. Listening skills are developed though the study of different musical styles, from Renaissance Music to Popular Music Styles. Composing skills are developed through two set composing projects, centring around pupils’ own musical interests.

This course is designed for pupils who have a serious passion and interest in developing their musical skills to the highest level. It also provides a platform for those who are considering studying music at university or music college, intending to become professional musicians.

Pupils will develop skills in:

  • Performing 
  • Understanding Music (Listening & Literacy)
  • Composing

There is a strong emphasis on performing and analysis, and pupils will perform on two instruments (or one instrument and voice) at a minimum of Grade 5 level. Pupils will have already passed, or be working on Grade 5 music theory.

Acute listening skills are developed through the study of a series of specific musical works which highlight the development of musical genres, such as the symphony and vocal music development, from Renaissance song to popular song.

Students will complete two substantial compositions during the course of the year, focusing on their own musical interests and study.

The following specialist music tutors offer instrumental /vocal tuition:

Specialist Tutors:

Strings

  • Mr Bernard Docherty (Head of Strings) (Violin/Viola)
  • Mrs Fiona Osborne (Violin)     
  • Mrs Betsy Taylor (Cello)                
  • Ms Lynette Eaton (Double Bass)                   
  • Mr Andrew Robinson & Mr Sasha Savaloni (Classical Guitar)
  • Mr Neil Dunnachie (Electric and Bass Guitar)
  • Miss Pippa Reid-Foster (Clarsach)

Piano

  • Miss Gillian Daly (Head of Keyboard)
  • Mr Robert Melling (Piano)
  • Mrs Lynda Norris (Piano) 

Voice

  • Mr Paul Keohone (Voice) 
  • Miss Alison McNeill (Voice)

Wind

  • Mr Raymond McKeown (Head of Instrumental Music) (Clarinet/Saxophone)
  • Ms Laura Bailie (Flute)
  • Ms Michelle McCabe (Flute)
  • Ms Hazel Cropper (Oboe)
  • Mrs Rebecca Whitener (Clarinet/Saxophone)
  • Ms Anthea Wood (Bassoon)
  • Mr Kevin Price (Trumpet)
  • Mrs Christine McGinley (French Horn/Trombone)
  • Mr John Whitener (Tuba)

Percussion

  • Mr Lachie Birch (Percussion Adviser & Drum Kit/Percussion Tutor)

Pipes & Drums

  • Mr Gordon Lawrie (Bagpipes)
  • Mr Gordon Brown (Pipe Band Drumming)
  • Mr William Jordan (Drum Majoring)