Click on the tabs below to find out more about the different aspects of the Creative Arts at College:
Everyone, regardless of ability, is encouraged to explore their creativity and enjoy making art, and Art Club is a weekly addition to the after-school activities programme with projects such as mask making and animation. Boys can also get involved with painting the sets for the school play or entering art competitions. Above all, we aim to foster a love of art and an appreciation of the central role it plays in the developing culture of our community.
The Gate House Gallery at Elizabeth College is a student, community and international artist exhibition space, located in the old Gate House. The Gallery has an exciting programme which features up-and-coming local artists as well as internationally recognised figures and has three main aims:
- To provide opportunities for students to show their work and gain recognition for their achievements;
- To broaden horizons by bringing artists, designers and craft workers to Elizabeth College to lead projects and show their work through an international artist in residence programme;
- To build links with community groups including art teachers and schools, the local arts community and the creative industries across the world.
In addition, before the school day, every break time and after school, students can be found zooming off to rehearsals, lessons and practices. There is a steady stream of boys looking to try out new repertoire, improve their theory, work with other musicians, mentor younger boys or ask how to extend their musical experience. The Music Department enjoys lovely facilities, quite literally at the heart of the College campus, and the support of the College community makes all this activity possible. Beyond this internal the support, there is an enormously valued contribution offered by, for example, the Schools’ Music Service and the Gibson Fleming Trust Scholarship programme. Students at the College value their music-making and the time and effort they put into musical activities does them credit.
Academic Music Programme
The music curriculum at Elizabeth College is underpinned by the following key principals. Many of these principals stem from the pedagogical philosophies and methods established by Zoltan Kodály. Kodály was a Hungarian composer, music educator and ethnomusicologist, whose ideas have been applied and adapted all over the world.
- Music belongs to everyone and should be accessible by all.
- Singing and moving is a vital foundation for music education.
- Practical, sequential, developmental teaching is the most effective way to achieve music learning.
- Repertoire of quality, drawn from a range of genres, which will expand pupils’ skills, understanding and experiences will be used.
- Musicianship (the study of musical skills, theory, understanding and practice) is something everybody can work to improve, regardless of prior experience or knowledge.
What do Music lessons at Elizabeth College involve?
In a typical lesson for Year 7-9 boys will sing, move and use instruments. Boys could expect the following:
- Group singing and music making.
- Folk songs, art music and contemporary music from a range of cultures.
- Singing as a means to understanding or internalising sound, which will consequently build a good ear (know as aural skills or audiation). Good aural skills are vital to musicianship, and are more fundamental to a developing musician than, for example, skills on a specific instrument.
- Musical literacy; this is school after all! All pupils have the right to learn to read and write in traditional notation. These are visual aids to accessing musical ideas.
- Tonic solfa (do re mi etc) used to assist assigning function to pitch. Curwen handsigns accompany the solfa, and are used to reinforce the intervals and relationships between pitches. They also help kinaesthetic learners. It offers boys who have learnt alphabetic names a new perspective on pitch.
- French time names used to assist rhythmic understanding. These onomatopoeic alternatives are taught in conjunction with English names (crotchets, quavers etc) and fraction names (quarter note, eighth notes etc). They contain the same number of sounds as the rhythm being read.
- Layered music (requiring multi-tasking, and higher order processing.
- Games, challenges, listening and self-direction.
Music is compulsory for all boys in Year 7-8 and is one of the Creative Arts options in Year 9. Music qualifications are available at GCSE and A Level.
Extra-Curricular Music at Elizabeth College
There are plenty of opportunities for boys to get involved in College Groups, right from the start of Year 7. One of the outstanding features of the music groups is that they tend to see boys associated through interest, rather than through age. College Choir, for example, gives the opportunity for Year 7 boys to work alongside senior pupils, with all pupils equally reliant on the skills of each other.
The following groups run weekly at College:
- College Choir
- College Chapel Choir
- Close Harmony Group
- Guitar Club
- Wednesday Band (popular music club)
- Junior Strings
- College String Orchestra
- Snorkel Band (Junior Winds)
- Senior Wind Band
- CCF Drum Corps
In addition, College Orchestra, College Brass Ensemble and various production bands are formed and rehearse towards major College events as required.
Music Trips and Tours
A particular favourite with musicians is the annual choir tour to St Malo and surrounds in May each year. Senior Musicians’ Trips to London allow older pupils to enjoy orchestral and stage performances and vocal workshops with expert tutors. The College Choir had a wonderful time travelling to London to perform in the Zoltan Kodály Anniversary Concert in March 2017.
Individual Instrumental and Vocal Lessons
Individual lessons are available in the following:
- Brass (trumpet, horn, trombone, tuba)
- Woodwind (flute, clarinet, saxophone, oboe, bassoon)
- Strings (violin, viola, cello, double bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar)
- Percussion (drums and orchestral percussion)
Individual lessons are held weekly, these lessons are optional for all pupils and offer musical studies in addition to those available through curriculum music. Many pupils enjoy their instrumental studies throughout their time at College. Expert musicians form our extensive staff, including private teachers and staff from the Guernsey Music Service. Many boys progress through their instrumental studies through graded examination syllabi. The entry and preparation of pupils is at instrumental and vocal teachers discretion. The cost of these lessons is negotiated directly with individual teachers.
Peripatetic teachers from the Guernsey Music Service visit College weekly to deliver individual lessons to boys. Boys already receiving lessons from GMS will continue to do so while at College. All boys receiving subsidized lessons contribute to the extra curricular programme at College.
The Elizabeth College Music Department works closely with the Music Centre; we are proud of the contribution our pupils make and the commitment they demonstrate to the Centre, and encourage our musicians to get involved with the Saturday programme.
Boys in Year 7-9 take weekly music lessons on a rotating timetable, ensuring that they do not miss excessive and repeated academic classes. Boys in Year 10-11 will be assigned music lesson times fixed each week outside of class time (this may require boys to give up time at breaks, before or after school). Boys in the Sixth Form will have fixed music lesson times outside of their timetabled academic classes. Boys may use study periods for their music lessons.
For information on frequently asked questions please click here.
All students at College are given the opportunity to audition and if the acting side doesn’t appeal, helping with the technical aspects of a show can be equally rewarding. Meanwhile, for those interested in artistic design, drama also enables skills in programme and ticket design to be realised.
Drama at College enables boys from different year groups to mix in an informal atmosphere and develop friendships that might not otherwise have materialised. For the older students, it is an opportunity to lead and inspire their younger peers and show the skills of negotiation and independence that College strives to instil. Furthermore, some productions enable the College to link with Ladies’ College or Blanchelande, which once again encourages wider friendships to be developed, many of which continue to blossom post-production.
Cast and crew alike gain a tremendous amount from participating in drama and each and every production is a test of our pupils’ artistic ability and their desire to be part of a dynamic and exciting part of College life.