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Music Co-curricular

Pride, participation and progress are at the heart of music-making at Colfe’s. We offer a wide and varied programme of co-curricular music, involving students throughout the whole senior school.

Concerts and Competitions
Performances range from formal end of term concerts to relaxed platform concerts where students sign up to perform and share their progress. We also work closely with the Drama department and put on regular joint shows; recent productions include Grease, Into the Woods and Bugsy Malone. Pupils have the opportunity to perform in fantastic venues, including Southwark Cathedral, the Leatherseller’s Hall, and St Alfege Church, Greenwich, which recently hosted our stirring rendition of Bob Chilcott’s large-scale choral work Circlesong. At the end of the Autumn term, the choir sings in our annual Carol Sevice at St Mary’s Church Lewisham, which is always a highlight of the musical calendar. Music-making is also part of Colfe’s history. Every year we sing for the Election Day service for the Leathersellers’ Livery Company, which has governed the school since 1652, in addition to performing at the Colfe’s Founder’s Day Service, which celebrates our 17th-century founder, the Revd Abraham Colfe. The academic year concludes with the House Music competition, where students from all year groups come together to represent the house in an exciting and hotly anticipated evening of musical entertainment and healthy rivalry!

Instrumental/Vocal Music Lessons
Musicians at Colfe’s are busy. On average, approximately 125 hours of individual music lessons taught by 20 visiting instrumental/vocal teachers, take place every week. Individual tuition can be arranged for orchestral, jazz, vocal and pop music. Lessons take place during the day on a weekly rotation so that you don’t miss the same academic lesson every week. Our teachers are all very experienced performers. At the end of the autumn and spring terms we run ABRSM exams in school, which give pupils a clear goal to aim for.

Year 7 Music Scheme
Colfe’s offers a unique Music Scheme for all pupils in Year 7 to promote active participation and regular performance opportunities for all, regardless of previous musical experience. A number of  Year 7 pupils receive free group instrumental tuition on a variety of instruments from the double bass to the flute throughout the year. These pupils attend weekly rehearsals for the Year 7 Band and all pupils are invited to join the Year 7 Choir. At the end of every term, pupils perform in a special Year 7 concert where parents and staff are invited to celebrate their progress and success. Many pupils continue their music lessons beyond Y7 and go on to join one of our many musical ensembles.

Pupils at Colfe’s have the opportunity to perform in a range of musical ensembles across several styles. Ensembles are led by musical specialists and repertoire is carefully selected to both challenge and inspire students.

Current ensembles on offer include:

  • Senior Choir
  • Chamber Singers (SSA)
  • Barbershop (TTBB)
  • Brass Group
  • Wind Band
  • Swing Band
  • String Quartet
  • String Orchestra
  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Many more chamber ensembles

GCSE & A-Level Music
Information about these courses can be found on our Academic Music page.

Music scholarships are offered at Year 7 and Year 12.

At the time of application for a music scholarship, applicants are required to submit details of instrument(s) studied, examinations passed, including Theory, and dates, and details of musical activities both in and out of school.  We would expect potential 11+ scholars to be playing at, at least, Grade 4 standard, and 16+ scholars at, at least, Grade 7.

The first stage of the assessment process is through a video submission ahead of the entrance examination. This should be submitted in the following format.

  • A single, unedited video recording of two contrasting pieces. The applicant can play both pieces on their principal instrument/voice or offer one on their principal instrument/voice and one on a second instrument/voice if they have one.A scanned copy of the music for each piece should be provided.

The Admissions team will provide instructions on how to submit the video after the application deadline has closed.

For those shortlisted for the second stage of assessment, this will involve attending a live audition with the Director of Music (including sight reading and aural tests). The audition will conclude with a short interview to discuss the applicant’s musical interests and opportunities available at Colfe’s. Applicants will be assessed on musicality, potential and enthusiasm as well as excellent technique. Applications for the music scholarship will progress only if the applicant’s performance in the entrance examination has met the standard required to be considered for a place at Colfe’s. You will be told if your child has been shortlisted for the second stage after the entrance examination has been sat.

Information on how to apply is available in our Admissions section.

How to apply

Find out more about how to apply for Colfe's School. Our main entry points are at ages 3, 4, 11 and 16.