Our aim as a department is to provide high quality musical opportunities for all boys, regardless of musical standard, and in any musical genre in which they show interest.
Each year, around 27 boys from a wide variety of backgrounds arrive at Eton as part of our Music Award programme, receiving specialist support to develop their musical talents, while at the same time enjoying the extraordinary opportunities that Eton offers academically and across the co-curricular spectrum. In addition to this, we work hard to instil and foster a love of music in boys who are at an earlier stage in their musical journey, providing a wide range of solo and ensemble performance opportunities at all levels.
The quality of academic and instrumental teaching, the huge variety of performance opportunities and our world class facilities mean that Eton is seen as an attractive alternative to specialist music schools.
For many boys, the music department becomes their second home in the school, a place where they are surrounded by others with the same passions and interests. Whether or not they go on to join the long list of notable musicians who have passed through Eton, our hope is that their enjoyment of music will stay with them in their future lives.
individual lessons taught weekly.
Each week of the academic year there are, on average, three concerts and four choral services, providing solo and ensemble performing opportunities for boys of all levels.
There are currently 53 instrumental ensembles which rehearse each week. The Symphony Orchestra has in recent years toured Poland, the Czech Republic and Spain, performing at celebrated venues including the Rudolfinum in Prague and the Kursaal in Bilbao. A second orchestra (“Sinfonia”) was formed in 2019 to provide orchestral opportunities for our up and coming musicians. Amongst other areas, Jazz is particularly popular at Eton, with recent concerts taking place in venues such as Ronnie Scott’s and Pizza Express, Dean Street.
Whatever a boy’s taste, there will be a choir or group to suit him.Tim Johnson, Precentor and Director of Music
There are seven choirs and choral groups at Eton ranging from a 200-strong chorus to small close harmony groups. Eton’s singers enjoy a wide range of solo singing opportunities as well as musical theatre productions and workshops. The Eton College Chapel choir has toured extensively including concert engagements in South Africa, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany, Latvia, India and the United States.
In addition to the opportunities provided by the department, senior boys regularly put on their own concerts, a tradition initiated by Hubert Parry.
Over half the boys at the school learn a musical instrument, with 1250 individual lessons taught weekly. The majority of our 78 teachers balance their work at Eton with successful performing careers in the music industry, with many holding positions at leading music colleges.
The large number of boys opting for music at GCSE and A Level mean that we are able to tailor our academic offering to individual boys’ musical tastes. We offer two separate courses at each level, with one leaning more towards western classical music and one towards rock, pop and jazz. Music technology forms an important part of the curriculum in all year groups.
Eton’s commitment to a world-class education is evident in the quality of its facilities. The Music Schools house two concert halls, a recording studio, three music technology suites, drum suites, a music library, and a large number of teaching and practice rooms. Beyond the Music Schools, Eton has two chapels which are home to four of the school’s seven pipe organs. The school has recently embarked on a major refurbishment of its school hall, which will see the creation of a state-of-the-art symphonic concert hall. All of our key performance spaces are equipped with Steinway or Fazioli concert grand pianos.