Our Vision

Music is for everyone. Music is an important aspect of any society. An abundant amount of research shows that music education helps create strong schools and vibrant communities. It is our firm belief that music is innate to all humans, and therefore it is the duty of any music department to ensure that all students are afforded the opportunity to experience music in as many of its wonderful facets as possible. We aim to cultivate life-long participants, active music-makers, patrons and music listeners, making students aware of the many beneficial properties of music in their immediate life and in their futures. Music is the ‘Universal Language’ of the world and therefore we strongly and actively encourage exposure to music education throughout their time at Somerset House as this will positively contribute to them becoming well-rounded and informed young men and women, ready for the exciting challenges of an ever changing world and to become meaningful members of society.

The importance of playing a musical instrument and being involved in musical activities cannot be stressed enough. Music lessons and experiences enable children, amongst others, to:

  • express themselves through a nonverbal, creative and meaningful medium
  • form strong bonds between boys and girls of all ages through the pleasure of ensemble work, whether through singing in a choir or by playing in a school band or orchestra
  • develop his or her self-discipline through regular practice
  • develop cognitive and analytical skills, improve concentration and also train the memory
  • develop self-confidence if directed and facilitated in a positive and encouraging way

What we offer

At Somerset House Music Department music is seen as an important part of a child’s education. We offer regular class music lessons as part of the school week, where students are introduced to the enjoyment of music through active music making and learning.

We provide further opportunities to explore the exciting world of music by providing students the opportunity to play a musical instrument, get involved in a music ensemble or, in any other music-related activity offered at the school.

The task of every music teacher is to develop a love and appreciation for music from a very young age.

2017 Music Lessons and Fee structure

Class Music

All children from Grade 000 to Grade 7 have at least one general class music session per week. During these sessions they learn about the value of music, the joy of singing and making (and creating) music whilst expanding their knowledge of music.

We believe in functional learning and require of our students to apply their new skills and knowledge in various practical projects that are designed to accommodate various levels of music competency where it the content and concepts allow for it.

Choirs

The Chorus Impact study, conducted by Chorus America, found that there are strong correlations between children (and adults) that sing regularly in a choir, and the acquisition of skills associated with success throughout life. These include amongst many others, greater civic involvement, discipline and teamwork.

At Somerset House we like to give as many children the opportunity to sing in our choirs whilst maintaining a high standard of singing. We therefore offer the following vocal ensembles:

  • Grade 1 singing group – a fun activity that any Grade 1 who loves singing can join in. During the singing group children learn to sing together and are afforded the opportunity to learn the basic skills needed to hopefully pass a choir audition successfully should they want to. Informal performances help to nurture confidence.
  • Junior choir – the focus here is on beautiful singing in a more structured and disciplined environment, without losing the element of fun. The repertoire of our junior choir tends to be more advanced than the signing group. Junior Choir members are afforded the opportunity to perform regularly at concerts at – and away from – school. At the end of Grade 1, pupils are invited to audition to join the Junior Choir for their Grade 2 and 3 years.
  • Senior Choir – this is a popular part of cultural life at Somerset House and there is a big emphasis on quality singing combined with passion and pleasure. Grade 4 – 7 children formally apply to be in the Senior Choir and are invited to audition on receipt of application.
  • One of the highlight of the year is the camp at the beginning of the year where the tone for the year is set and a lot of repertoire is covered to give the boys and girls a head start.

Pupils are exposed to a wide variety of music and at times even combine movement with their singing. Performances such as a music tour, choir festivals, public performances, school concerts, eisteddfods, competitions and various assembly performances are included during the year. Choir rehearsals take place in the mornings before school starts.

Instrumental tuition

Learning to play an instrument is the ultimate gift you can give your child. It is a skill that they can carry throughout their lives and one that will bring them immense pleasure for years to come. Scientific research has shown many added benefits of learning to play a musical instrument. These include increased perseverance, coordination, mathematical ability, reading and comprehension skills, responsibility, concentration, discipline, listening skills and happiness. Tuition is offered in a wide range of instruments:

  • Clarinet
  • Electronic Keyboard
  • Flute
  • Guitar (acoustic, bass and electric)
  • Piano
  • Recorder
  • Saxophone
  • Violin
  • Vocal training

Junior Instrumental Ensembles

  • All Junior Ensembles practice during club times on a Wednesday after lunch. Any child interested in joining the ensembles may audition. The drumming circle can be joined without any audition.
  • Junior Marimba Ban
  • Junior Orchestra
  • Junior Drumming Circle

Senior Instrumental Ensembles

All ensembles practice in the morning before school, except for the beginner guitar that forms part of the club offering on Wednesday afternoons after lunch. All of these ensembles are for children who already play an instrument – except for the beginner guitar group – and is offered at no extra cost so that our pupils can experience the joy of making music together.

  • String ensemble
  • Beginner Guitar group
  • Woodwind ensemble
  • Senior Marimba Band
  • Senior Orchestra

Music Theory

Our music theory classes aim to equip pupils with a better understanding of how to read and write music. There is a big focus on practical application instead of just a pure examination preparation class. All music students are required to form part of a theory group. These classes are offered before school during the week.

How to enrol your child

Send an e-mail to Mr Graham Diesel (gradie@somersethouse.co.za) to inform him of your request to start lessons for your child and request an application form.

It is very important that you read the Terms and Conditions (part of the application form) before you make application for your child.