Pupils can learn a wide range of instruments at King Henry’s including all orchestral instruments and voice, guitar (electric and classical/acoustic) and organ. We cater for beginners right up to diploma standard. Lessons are on a rotational basis to ensure pupils do not miss excessive amounts of academic work. We employ some thirty five visiting music teachers (VMTs) who bring a wealth of experience and talent to our department. 

Many VMTs also run extra-curricular ensembles in addition to instrumental teaching. King Henry’s proudly runs one of the largest extra-curricular music programmes in the country. The emphasis is on inclusion (at all levels) and fun!

Pupils who wish to begin tuition on an instrument are advised to partake in a taster lesson first, which can be facilitated by submitting the form ‘Learning a Musical Instrument at King Henry VIII School’ to the music secretary. These lessons allow the prospective student the opportunity to get to know the teacher a little and observe a lesson in their chosen instrument (with no obligation to undertake further lessons). A simple conversation can then take place about suitability, costs and prices of hiring or buying instruments before any commitment is made to formally begin lessons.

Taster lessons are free of charge. Many of students do go on to have lessons. There are currently over 300 instrumental lessons taking place every week in the senior school music department. Parents are advised to consider strongly a child’s total ability to manage learning more than one instrument: it is better to play one instrument really well than to play two badly!

Weekly extra-curricular music rehearsals

All pupils who play an instrument are strongly encouraged to take part in our orchestras and other ensembles, whether or not they learn at school. There are many performance opportunities for all pupils of whatever standard, in either large ensembles such as the orchestras, or solos in informal concerts.

The following extra-curricular list is for 2015/16 but may change slightly for the next academic year.

(Abbreviations :  M  -  morning;  L  -  lunch break;  A  -  after school)


8.25 – 8.55 Brass Ensemble M
8.25 – 8.55 Lower School String Quartet M
8.20 - 8.55 Piano Duet Club M
1.25 – 2.05 1st Orchestra L
12.55 - 1.30 2nd Orchestra L
4.10 - 5.10 Chamber Orchestra A
4.00 - 5.00 Group Theory Lessons A


8.00 - 8.30 Year 8 Choir M
10.45 - 11.10 Sovereign Singers                   M
1.25 - 2.00 Wind Band L
4.00 - 5.00 Group Theory Lesson A
4.00 - 5.00 Big Band A


1.00 - 1.30 Piano Trio                       L
4.10 - 4.50 Clarinet Group A


8.20 - 8.55 Upper School String Quartet M
1.20 - 2.05 Sovereign Singers     L
4.00 - 5.00 Henry VIII’s 9     A
4.00 - 4.30 Intermediate Clarinet Group A


8.00 - 8.35 L.L.O – Little Ladies Only!     M
8.00 - 8.35 L.M.O – Little Men Only!     M
1.00 - 1.30 Classical Guitar Group     L
1.15 - 2.05 Blues Band L
4.10 - 5.10 Rock School A


Extra-Curricular Music Application

Please complete and return the application form below to the Head of Instrumental Studies, Mr. A. Kennedy. One of the instrumental teachers will then telephone or email you within a week or two to make all the necessary arrangements.   

Although lessons normally start at the beginning of a school term, if you decide during the course of the term that you would like your son or daughter to have lessons at school, please send us the application form and we will try to arrange lessons to start as soon as possible.

Music Tuition Form 2016

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