Prestfelde enjoys a reputation for music which is second to none in the region. Instrumentalists are encouraged to learn from an early (but still appropriate) age, and there are many groups which to allow them to experience ensemble playing almost from Day One… The school has a thirty+ piece Orchestra, Brass and String Groups, Training Band and other occasional groups. There is also the well established House Music competition which is an annual fixture in the school calendar. ABRSM exams are held at the school each term, and the sense of progression is challenging without being burdensome. On average three Prestfeldians have won music scholarships to their senior schools each year for the last 25 years.

The peripatetic teaching staff is experienced and specialised. They are led by a Director of Music who is an Oxford graduate and an Assistant whose special role is to introduce children in Little Prestfelde to music at an early age. Singing is highly prized in the school. There are two choirs and many boys and girls receive singing tuition in addition to the regular diet of class singing. It is the aim is to enthuse all children, but also to nurture special talent wherever this appears, and this ethos is reflected in high standards. Children are encouraged to perform from the start. They also learn how to listen to and appreciate music made by others. They find that as a musician they are one of a crowd, not an exception: boys sing well and with enjoyment because other boys are singing well and with enjoyment!

Prestfelde Chamber Choir conducted by Bob Chilcott in premiere of “Move Him into the Sun”             photo: Annabel Moeller

Prestfelde occasionally sends children to Music workshops, concerts and competitions, including the Final of the Woodard Young Musician of the Year biennial competition: a Prestfeldian won the award in 2012. Two former choristers from the school have recently been lay clerks in the choir of King’s College, Cambridge. The children are encouraged to be the best they can be, but above all to learn what it is to be a musician. This skill will hopefully secure them fulfillment and enjoyment for the rest of their life.