At St Gabriel's we aim to address the full range of our pupils' musical abilities and tastes. We are used to teaching groups which contain both beginners and experts, and are keen to tailor materials to suit all needs. Through our policy of adapting instrumental parts, setting extension activities in class, and offering a full range of extra-curricular music making, we hope to keep all pupils motivated, challenged and engaged in music making.
A particularly successful initiative has been to give able Year 8 and 9 pupils the opportunity to take the GCSE Music course early. They are taught as a small specialist class, learning all they need to know about GCSE theory, listening and composing, and sit the examination in the summer of Year 9.
Musicians on the Challenge & Extension programme are also invited to concerts outside school and attend workshops, for example the very successful composition day with GCSE and A Level composers workshopping their pieces with a visiting professional string quartet. We also support pupils with specialist one-to-one coaching in aspects of the subject they find difficult, and give extra input into their ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall examination preparations. All girls are encouraged to take part in concerts in school, either in the more relaxed lunchtime events and open mic sessions, or the more formal evening concerts. Musicians at St Gabriel's also share their talents in the local community, playing in the top ensembles in the area, such as Berkshire Youth Symphony Orchestra, Corelli Strings, Berkshire Youth Guitar Orchestra, Berkshire Young Voices and Youth Choir, and the Basingstoke Area Youth Orchestra, amongst others.
The Music department offers a wide range of extra-curricular clubs, including Jazz Band, St Gabriel’s Singers, Year 7 & 8 Glee Club, GCSE Music Composition; Oval Orchestra, Senior String Quartet, Rock Band, Octet, Senior Music Theory, ABRSM Aural Practice and Rock Band.