Music is part of the life-blood of society. It is the soundtrack to our lives, enriching and inspiring. It gives us a cultural identity and a way of encountering and sharing with other cultures. Through it we can communicate in a way that is often more direct than words. By participating in music, students can gain an enormous sense of pleasure, pride and achievement; in some cases despite limited success in other areas.

As a subject of study, however, it encourages self-discipline, confidence, determination, teamwork and abstract analysis as well as fine motor skills.

19024_158bMusic at Crestwood College continues to grow from strength to strength. Our main problem is being able to provide for the students’ enthusiasm and desire to be involved. In addition to the curriculum lessons we have a long-standing tradition of steel bands which, over the last four years, has developed into a number of polished and professional sounding groups.

The popularity of steel bands in school is such that our Year 7 auditions typically 1/3 of all students wish to join. Panatical, our elite steel band are recognised nationally as one of the top school bands. We have made it to the national final of Music For Youth every year for the past 5 years, gaining a coveted TES Traditional and International award in 2012. Each year we also make a significant contribution to our wider community with performances outside school.

Instrumental lessons continue to flourish in piano and keyboard, woodwind, brass, guitar, violin and drums. Players are regularly involved in the Remembrance Assembly, Carol Concert, Assemblies and musicals, which have recently included “Joseph”, “Annie”, “A Swallows Tale” and “Scrooge”. 2013 will see our latest production, which will be the much-loved Lionel Bart musical, “Oliver!”.

Lessons cover music in a wide range of styles and from different places and times. Work consists of listening exercises to develop aural skills, analysis and technical vocabulary, performances to improve technical skills and composing which encourages creativity and problem solving. Resources used include voice, tuned percussion, our keyboard lab system and a suite of PC’s running Cubase music production software and Sibelius score-writing and composing software. Our GCSE results are excellent. Since 2006 only one pupil has not achieved an A*-C grade.