The Music department is at the heart of the school and is host to an enormous range of curricular and co-curricular activities designed to appeal to all ages and musical abilities.
The department is situated in a purpose-built block and consists of the following:
- A music technology room equipped with 16 computers including Apple iMacs, running Sibelius, Audacity and Garageband for teaching composition to all years
- A music library for Sixth Form work, housing music, books, CDs and a Yamaha grand piano
- Six practice and instrumental teaching rooms
- A rehearsal room used for ensemble rehearsals and chamber concerts, with a Trevor Tipple chamber organ built in 2016 and a Yamaha grand piano
- A 200 seat theatre (shared with the drama department) which is used for major concerts and musicals
- A secure instrument store
The department also has a comprehensive stock of instruments for class use, including keyboards, guitars, xylophones, djembes and small percussion, as well as a range of orchestral instruments that can be loaned to pupils who are starting lessons.
Music is compulsory for all pupils in Shells and Second Year and we follow a broad curriculum embracing composition, performance and analysis. Pupils are encouraged to create music, perform it and evaluate musical success in a wide variety of styles and traditions. Music is a popular GCSE option. We offer the Eduqas GCSE qualification and follow the OCR syllabus at A level.
The aims of the department are to:
- Inspire creativity in all pupils through the enthusiasm and example of staff and fellow pupils
- Give opportunities for all pupils to develop their own talents in an atmosphere of encouragement and enjoyment
- Develop talent naturally through our range of curricular and co-curricular opportunities
Our Music Scholars are the backbone of our department, they support a wide range of rehearsals and activities and we regularly celebrate their talents in concerts and the local press. We audition Year 6 pupils, following their success in the entrance examination, and we expect a minimum of Grade 3 standard on their first instrument. Second study instruments will be heard, but are not compulsory; ear tests, grade-appropriate sight-reading and a short interview conclude the process. Sixth Form Music Scholarships are also available.
Over the years, many Bablake pupils have gone on to music college or to university to read music. After that, some have gone onto postgraduate study or become professional musicians.
The life-blood of any Music Department is its range of co-curricular activities. The department runs the following co-curricular activities:
- Brass Ensemble
- Vocal Ensemble
- Flute Choir
- Rock School
- Senior String Ensemble
- Junior String Group
- Cello Ensemble
- Swing Band
- Wind Band
- Woodwind Group
- Recorder Group
- Percussion Group
- Two major concerts in the Autumn and Spring Terms with performances from all of the ensembles.
- Lunchtime concerts in December and March at St John's Church in the city centre.
- A summer concert with our Lower School musicians.
- A carol service in Coventry Cathedral in December with contributions from all choirs and the senior brass ensemble.
- A 'Leavers' Concert' organised by Upper Sixth students in the summer term.
- Young Musicians' concerts in the Spring Term, giving our Music Scholars and other talented pupils an opportunity to perform solo and chamber items.
The junior choir has taken part in local festivals with considerable success, most recently winning its class at the Leamington Festival. The junior choir, wind band and brass ensemble regularly represent the school in the Music for Youth regional festival in Birmingham. We regularly host the Rotary Young Musician of the Year competition for Coventry.
Many Bablake pupils play in the Coventry and Warwickshire Youth Orchestra; we have recently had pupils who are members of the CBSO Youth orchestra as well as regularly having our pupils represent the school in the National Children's Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra.