Our state-of-the-art Music Centre offers the very best facilities for our talented musicians

Our dedicated Music Centre is superbly equipped with the latest facilities including a specialist keyboard suite, teaching classrooms and numerous practice rooms, performance areas, a sound-proofed recording studio and a suite of computers with editing software. We also have an excellent selection of instruments including Steinway pianos and keyboards. Our Peripatetic musicians teach a number of subjects including flute, clarinet, saxophone, violin, brass, guitar, percussion, piano and singing.

Shebbear College has been awarded the Incorporated Society of Musicians’ Gold certificate in GCSE music. Over 20% of students in Year 11 chose Music at GCSE and of those pupils all achieved a GCSE grade A* to C, putting the school in the top 87 schools nationally.

‘Music is a hugely important subject in itself, for future professional careers and for wider learning in a school; it adds huge benefits to the wider curriculum, school and community life and educational opportunity. As the professional body for musicians, we are delighted to recognise this high level of achievement with this certificate’.
Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians

The certificate is supported by the ISM Trust (, the charitable arm of the Incorporated Society of Musicians. The Trust was created in 2015 to promote and support music education and music itself.

Shebbear College Steinway Initiative

To complement our new dedicated Music building we are proud to announce that we have taken delivery of our first Steinway Grand piano which has added a wonderful dimension to recent concerts and performances. More Steinway pianos are on order for the new Music department.

Department Overview

The Music Department aims to teach music in as broad and as practical a way as possible. At all times the emphasis is on developing students’ skills, knowledge and appreciation of music in a wide variety of styles and genres. Composition and performance are fundamental elements to the course as is the use of Sibelius software to support composition and music theory.

Music is introduced to pupils from Kindergarten onward and pupils of all ages can develop their abilities through the school choirs and the wide range of instruments available to them and are actively encouraged to participate in concerts and performances.


In music classes we follow a mainly practical programme of study which leads in a natural way from Junior Three classes to the GCSE course. Topics are studied in half-termly units and usually end in a performance.

Students are exposed to a wide variety of music styles from the distant past to the present day and from far off lands to British folk. Wherever possible, technology is used to enhance learning especially in the realm of composing.


Our 4th and 5th Form Curriculum Guide gives full details of all GCSE subjects – please download this document from the Senior Curriculum page.

A Level

Full details of A Level subjects can be found on our 6th Form Subjects page.

Extended Music Curriculum

Instrumental Tuition is provided by a highly qualified dedicated team of instrumental teachers. Tuition is available on all orchestral instruments, piano/keyboard, guitar and percussion/drum kit.

Each term Shebbear College hosts the Associated Board Instrumental Examinations; pupils are provided with professional coaching and accompanists in preparation for these exams.

Instrumentalists’ and singers’ work is greatly enriched by ensemble performance and by a sound understanding of the theoretical aspects of music. To that end, the Music Department aims to provide as wide a range of vocal and instrumental groups as possible.

Current opportunities for students include Lower School Choir (who sing in one or two parts), a third form choir and a senior choir which sings in four parts, Orchestra, Flute Group, Sax group, Brass Ensemble, and String Group.

There is an established schedule of performances throughout the academic year with a wide variety in formality which allows all students to gain experience and to develop self-confidence. These vary from demonstrations of work in progress to fellow classmates to informal chamber Concerts for the younger pupils, Gig Nights for the guitarists, drummers and singers to the more formal, termly concerts for the Ensembles, Choirs and Orchestras. These formal concerts provide an opportunity for our gifted and able musicians to perform solos. We also provide opportunities to perform within the local community and encourage participation in public music festivals.

These performances are not regarded as solely for the more gifted or experienced instrumentalists or singers. All forms of music at all standards are encouraged; the only criterion being that students give of their best.

In addition to our ensembles, we give our budding musicians chances to listen to and see professional musicians and ensembles perform. Recent visits by professional musicians have included the ensembles Voces8 and Festive Flutes. Opportunities are also provided for students to attend performances at other venues.

Shebbear College is an independent UK school, a co-educational day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 to 18, located in rural North Devon.