We aim to raise the best musicians to a very high standard, whilst also involving every boy in enjoyable musical activity.
Over half of our pupils learn an instrument, and there are normally more than 60 Music Scholars at Harrow at any one time. We offer tuition in all orchestral instruments, as well as the piano, organ, guitar, bagpipes and singing, and prepare boys for practical examinations with the Associated Board and advanced diplomas such as the LTCL, DipABRSM and ARCO. Most musicians are involved in ensemble work through choirs, bands and orchestras; there are more than 80 concerts and productions each year, with many solo performance opportunities.
Harrow's Music Schools have specialist teaching and practice rooms, as well as a Concert Hall for chamber music. We regularly perform in a number of other buildings on the estate, including Speech Room, Chapel, the Ryan Theatre and the Vaughan Library. The School has two major pipe organs (a three-manual Walker organ in Chapel and a four-manual Harrison organ in Speech Room), several grand pianos (including a Steinway D, two Steinway As and a Fazioli), and a harpsichord. There are two recording studios and, for academic teaching, a suite of 25 computers and midi keyboards with notation and sequencing software.
Unique to Harrow is its famous Song Book, containing over 50 Harrow Songs that former or present Masters wrote specially for the School. These Songs are an important part of Harrow life and are sung by the whole School at end-of-term concerts, at House and Old Harrovian events, as well as once a year in Speech Room and every five years in the Royal Albert Hall.
Many of our music teachers are professors at conservatoires and play with London’s top orchestras. In addition to their regular teaching, luminaries such as Superbrass, Angela Hewitt, the Chilingirian Quartet, Freddy Kempf and Acoustic Triangle often offer the boys ad-hoc masterclasses.