Music is taught as a timetabled curriculum subject once a week in the Novi year, with the course closely linked to the fortnightly First Year Music Assembly programme. Emphasis during this initial year is upon the presentation of a wide variety of musical subjects, as well as composition sessions using Sibelius software. This gives boys an insight into how music works, as well as the valuable opportunity to create music of their own.
After the first year, Music becomes an iGCSE option choice, with generally 20-25 boys choosing the subject in two or three sets. The iGCSE course covers composition, performance, the study of historical periods, World Music topics and a Set Work (Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto).
In the Sixth Form there are usually between four and eight boys in each year opting to take the Music Pre-U course. Here small set sizes and teaching by a range of staff means that boys are able particularly to develop and pursue their own individual musical enthusiasms, within the structured framework of a flexible course, especially in the Performing and the Composing modules. There is also a Personal Study topic which can be an Extended Essay, advanced performance or advanced composition.
Tonbridgians regularly continue their musical studies beyond school with a number of Oxbridge organ and choral awards in recent years, as well as scholarships and places at music colleges and conservatoires.