Music Tuition & Ensembles
Music Tuition at the College is delivered by a team of seven staff, all of whom have been working with our pupils for a number of years.
Mrs Louise Craddock: Violin, Keyboard, Cello
Mrs Alison Billington: Piano and Music Theory
Miss Louise Mott: Voice
Mr Steve Smith: Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone, Oboe
Mr Jeremy Loysen: Trumpet, Trombone, Cornet
Mr Kevin Butt: Guitar, Bass Guitar
Mr Glynn Rattenbury: Drum Kit
We generally operate across three 10 week terms. Most pupils have an individual lesson of 20 or 30 minutes, whilst with Woodwind, Brass, Strings, Guitar and Voice, a 30-minute shared lesson is also available if a suitable partner exists. For specific rates for the current school year, please see the downloadable form. Timetables are displayed on the Music Notice Board and pupils are expected to check them on the morning of their lesson.
Pupils must provide their own instruments. Rental and rent-to-buy schemes are available from music shops and Devon County also has a hire scheme. Instrument purchase can be VAT free if made through the College (see Mr Cookson for details). We do have a small stock of some instruments which, if appropriate, we will lend.
The cost of lessons can be offset with a College Music Scholarship. The scheme provides a £10 voucher towards the cost of the next term of lessons, if a pupil has consistently taken part in an extra-curricular ensemble music group (see below).
To Book Lessons
Download, complete and return the application form to Mr Cookson, who will pass it on to the appropriate tutor. Lessons are organised on a rota, changing every two weeks (to match the College’s two-week timetable). Pupils starting lessons for the very first time will need to speak with Mr Cookson if they need clarification of how it all works.
Payments are due by no later than the first lesson of the term, cheques made payable to the specific tutor (NOT to the College). Some tutors accept online payments and will provide you with their bank details on request.
The College Orchestra rehearses during Wednesday lunchtimes. It is for instrumentalists who play a woodwind, brass or bowed string instrument. There are also a small number of pianists, guitars and percussionists used in some pieces. Arrangements of music in a range of styles, along with original compositions, are prepared for performance at the College’s main large concerts in December and May. The Orchestra also leads the music at the College’s Harvest and Christmas Festivals. We attend the Devon Schools Mix Festival and participate in the Devon Music Education Hub’s collaboration with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
The College Singers meet on Tuesday lunchtimes. Led principally by Miss Mott, our excellent singing teacher, the group also prepares for College concerts and festivals. There is also at least one lunchtime singing concert every year.
African Drumming takes place on Monday lunchtimes. We have a large collection of beautiful authentic Djembes (North and West African drums) as well as Ngomas (from East Africa). This is open to anyone who wants to work in a team to develop concentration and focus, whilst also having fun hitting things! It provides an opportunity for drummers to play together, as there is only ever one drummer in the College Orchestra. The music is generated by the group and performed at College concerts and occasionally at other events.
The 'Jammin' group gathers on Thursday lunchtimes. It is an improvisation group for guitarists, keyboard players and other any instrumentalist. The music is created by the players themselves, with decisions over keys, chords and structure taken by the group. Jammers also take part in College concerts.
CMAc - Chulmleigh Music Academy
At CMAc we have the time for more intensive and focussed specific ensembles to complement the Orchestra and Singers. CMAc takes place at the College on Wednesdays, from immediately after school to 5pm. In the past few years, we have been very fortunate to secure external funding through the Devon Music Education Hub (DMEH), to support instrumental and vocal ensembles for pupils in Key Stages 2 to 4, so the termly subscription is only £10 per musician.
CMAc is proving popular with our young musicians but also further afield. Earlier in the year the director of the DMEH visited and brought the heads of music services from Cornwall, Somerset and Gloucester to have a look at what we do, and feedback included, “The way things are being done at Chulmleigh is the right way. I would like to see the same in Gloucester”.
CMAC Choir is a great way for senior and primary school students to sing together and is particularly helpful for transition across the phases. It is led by Miss Tracy Mardon, an experienced choral leader who works with several other choirs in our area, and Miss Louise Mott, our singing teacher, who is also a professional opera singer.
CMAc Brass, CMAc Woodwind and CMAc String ensembles are led by our visiting instrumental staff of Mr Loysen, Mr Smith and Mrs Craddock. All of these have extensive experience and are overseen by Mr Cookson, College Director of Music. The standard of music making is definitely on the rise at Chulmleigh, in no small part owing to the positive influence of CMAc. If you are interested in becoming part of CMAc, please speak with Mr Cookson. No experience is needed for CMAc Choir but some basic instrumental skill is needed for the other groups.