‘Whoever creates beauty by playing an instrument and generating musical harmony begins to understand from within what essential harmony is...human harmony’ Jose Antonio Abreu.
In 1974, Jose Antonio Abreu had a vision. That vision was El Systema and, over the last three decades, it has transformed the lives of thousands of young Venezuelan children by giving each of them an instrument and teaching them how to play it as part of an orchestra.
At William Perkin CofE High School, every student in Year 7 is also given an instrument and learns how to play it in a small group as part of their elective music curriculum. They join together with every other student in Year 7 to form the William Perkin Big Orchestra and learn the art of confident, collective, harmonic performance. Through learning to play their instrument, students also develop their ability to improvise, and to listen to and analyse the music they are playing so they can understand the wider context of how and why it was written. In Year 8, students draw on these skills to compose their own music using keyboards, music technology and their own chosen instrument as well as developing their instrumental performance skills.
In addition, every student learns to sing together through assemblies, communions, and the whole school choir and all perform once per term as either a singer or instrumentalist – or both.
Every student is able to access the wide range of optional extra-curricular activities and there is also a variety of individual and small group tuition available from our highly qualified instrumental and vocal tutors. Through our curriculum and optional instrumental programme, every student has the opportunity to take a nationally recognised exam and there is an extensive range of formal and informal performance opportunities throughout each year.
Twyford CofE High School became a Specialist Music College in 2005 and, since then, has established a local and national reputation for high quality music, winning several awards including BBC School Choir of the Year in 2009.
Mrs F McGonigal
Head of Music College
We will offer a wide range of instrumental lessons to our students, taught by experienced tutors in each instrument.
If you have any questions or would like to apply for instrumental lessons, please email [email protected]
As a school, we prepare for face to face practical ABRSM exams. Any students doing another exam board must be entered by parents/carers.
ABRSM Instrumental and Vocal exams
William Perkin is able to organise face to face ABRSM exams for instrumental and vocal exams. Our exams run alongside the three National ABRSM exam sessions – one session each in Autumn, Spring and Summer.
ABRSM exams are either booked publicly, at a local venue (usually Ealing Green Church Halls), or privately, using William Perkin to host private exams.
Once we have been able to confirm an exam date and venue, we are able to put candidates in contact with an accompanist who is available on our exam day. Please note that accompanists for the exam are not arranged by the school and candidates must arrange their own private accompanist.
Due to the quick turnaround to meet ABRSM’s deadlines, all candidates who are not currently having music lessons at William Perkin, must email the details for their ABRSM exam on the first day of the term they wish to take the exam.
All exam entries and queries should be emailed to [email protected]
ABRSM Digital Performance exams
William Perkin is unable to organise ABRSM digital instrumental and singing exams.
Candidates for these exams must record their performance and submit the video for assessment. The video can be submitted at any time within 28 days of booking exams.
ABRSM Theory exams
William Perkin is unable to organise ABRSM theory exams.
Grade 1 to 5 Music Theory exams are now online. These exams can be taken at any time within 28 days of booking exams.
Trinity and Rockschool exams
William Perkin is unable to organise Trinity or Rock School exams.
We encourage all our students to engage in extra-curricular activities. These include singing in choirs, playing in jazz bands or the school orchestra.
Please click here to view the latest EMS newsletter.
Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme
There is a national government scheme to help with the cost of purchasing instruments. The Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme enables pupils of local authority and academy schools to purchase instruments through their school net of VAT, provided the instrument is used as part of their musical tuition. More information about the scheme can be found here.
Please email [email protected] for more information.
Awards and Scholarships
Please see below links to information about some local and national Awards/Scholarships for supporting music and music tuition in school for your child.
For details of upcoming music events, please visit the school's News and Events page.