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 Music Department Extra Curricular Calendar 2023/24
(Pupils who wish to attend each ensemble do not need to register, they just turn up at the allocated time and place)




Y12 Combo MU9 MM Before school
Intermediate String Ensemble MU8/9 Lauri M/Matthew M 8.30am
GCSE/A Level Coursework MU2 MM/JT 12.25pm

Intermediate Orchestra Ensemble for orchestral instruments. (Woodwind, Brass, Strings, percussion) Grades 1-3.




Intermediate Jazz MU9 Julian Bendon Lunchtime
Classical Guitar Group T4 Mrs Reynolds 3.30-4.30pm
Improvisation Workshop MU8 Mr Lockwood After school



West Side Story, Orchestra Sectionals MU9 MM/CK Before school
West Side Story Orchestra MU9 MM/JT Lunchtime
Staff Choir Coleman Hall  MM/JT Lunchtime
School production rehearsal, West Site Story Coleman Hall  CK/JT/MM 3.30-5.30pm
Lower Brass MU9 MM 08.30am
School Choir – All years, in preparation for the Carol Service MU9 MM Lunchtime
Big Band MU8 MM After school
Thursday  Wind Ensemble (Woodwind Grade 1-4) MU1 JT Before school
String Orchestra (Grade 3+) MU1 Mrs Burke  Lunchtime
Concert Band MU9 MM After school
Music Theory MU1 Mrs Burke After school
Friday Big Band Sectionals MU9 MM 8.20am
Coursework preparations and submission MU2   Lunchtime
West Side Story rehearsals and Tech crew MU1/8/9, T4 & Coleman Hall MM After school

(There will be an update to our extra-curricular offering at the end of September)

music lessons

Please read the attached letter which outlines all the additional music lessons your child can access.  Music Lessons

Ensemble Playing

AGSB Music Department are striving to become a national leader in the delivery of music education programs by providing a safe environment, and expert guidance which enables every student to develop a deep love for, and value of music regardless of their existing skill level or future musical aspirations.

We provide opportunities to guide boys’ investigation of music as a form of self-expression both for individuals and in teams. We firmly believe that there is a place for music in every boy’s life, and that creative, tangible music-learning experiences are life changing.

The education within Music Department is based on three pillars:

  • classroom education,
  • ensemble participation with expert directors
  • private music tuition.

All three pillars interrelate to produce a holistic music education for all students.

Ensemble participation is aimed at educating the whole student and has great benefit for boys, including:

Social and emotional well-being

While we may spend many hours practicing and mastering our own instrument, the best memories of making music are always of making music with others, as an ensemble. The best way to be engaged in any activity is to share it with others. By joining an ensemble, you are joining a community of musicians. You make friends, share the joy of making music together, and peer teach each other. Within an ensemble, students make friends with like-minded musicians and forge deep, long lasting relationships.


Ensemble playing is more than the sum of its individual parts. Playing in an ensemble allows students to develop team skills, sacrificing one’s ego to benefit the team. Skills learnt include learning balance, intonation, rhythm and performance etiquette in a group setting. In an ensemble, you’re part of a team working towards a common goal. You all have to work effectively together to produce a sound people want to hear, and to do justice to the notes a composer has written on a page. If one person doesn’t pull their weight, it can affect the entire performance – so you all need to pull together and contribute to the best of your abilities, just as you would in a business environment.

Reinforcing what is learnt in private lessons

General technique is taught within one-on-one lessons but what ensemble playing can do is reinforce this technique. Even more important is that students can better understand the reason for having learned the technique thus allowing them to be more engaged and motivated to further their technique and musicianship.


You’ll need to practise your part in between sessions, as well as committing the time to weekly rehearsals. Your organisational skills will get a good boost when you have to juggle all this with your schoolwork, and it will give you good practice for handling large workloads at university and beyond.

Coping under pressure

Though enjoyable, an ensemble is a high-pressured environment because you’re required to play your instrument to a high standard, performing beautifully without making any mistakes. Your ability to overcome stage fright and put on top-notch performances will stand you in good stead and boost your confidence in other situations you may find yourself in at school, university or in a job.


It takes a lot of hard work and determination to reach a high standard on any musical instrument. You’ll need to practise religiously pretty much every day for years and continue to do so in order to maintain that high standard once you’ve attained it. Not all music practice is fun, either; scales and studies are often dull and repetitive. If you want to prove you’ve got the discipline and self-motivation it takes to see a project through to its conclusion, this is a great way to demonstrate it.

It keeps you sane

Making music with lots of other people is tremendously rewarding and very therapeutic. No matter how bad your day at school has been, you’ll soon forget about your troubles once you’re sitting down in front of your music and throwing yourself into a performance. Playing in an ensemble is an incredibly intellectually demanding exercise, and one that must command your full attention. It’s a great way of forgetting about schoolwork for a while, at the same time as still making use of (and developing) different areas of your brain. Much better and more productive than watching trash TV or going shopping, and it’ll refresh your mind ready to tackle your schoolwork with renewed vigour

The benefits of playing and performing in an ensemble, group or band is huge, with the most important being that it is fun!

When it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter where you come from, how long you’ve been playing, or whether you have the best instrument—you are all there to join together to pull off something that requires a common effort, both emotionally and technically. That doesn’t mean that everyone needs to be at the exact same level emotionally, intellectually, and technically, but rather that everyone does need to feel some level of responsibility for themselves and for one another, and be engaged.