Music

A great deal of music goes on at Eton — playing, singing, concerts.

The majority of boys at Eton play one or more instruments. If you already play an instrument, we hope that you will continue. If not, why not start learning? Your parents will probably have written to us in advance to request lessons for you, but you can also fix things up when you arrive — ask your house master. It is best not to ‘wait until you’ve settled in’ before starting lessons: if you want to play an instrument, get started straight away. As well as the popular choices, such as piano or electric guitar, we can provide teachers for more unusual instruments, such as the accordian or didgeridoo.

You will probably have one lesson a week in each instrument that you learn; junior boys tend to have their music lessons during ordinary lessons, but on a rotating system so that you do not miss the same subject week after week.

When you practise is up to you. You may find that you can practise in your house, but you are also welcome to use any room in the Music Schools whenever it is not being used for teaching: the building is open until 10pm each day (including weekends). There are plenty of orchestras, bands, and other groups: the Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band (qualification about grade VI) and the Junior String Orchestra and Junior Concert Band (about grade IV) are the grandest. But if you are more or less a beginner you will probably soon find yourself playing in a group with other boys of about your standard, or performing in a ‘play and listen’ concert.

There are plenty of opportunities for boys who enjoy singing. You can sing in your house choir, which caters for singers of every description and tries to win a big inter-house competition in the Michaelmas half, or in the ECMS chorus, which performs a big choral work with full orchestra in the Lent. If you are a treble, alto, tenor, or bass you may get into the Lower Chapel Choir, while if you are a really good treble (an ex cathedral chorister, maybe) you could be selected for the College Chapel Choir.