Music at Leighton Park

Our music department is one of the busiest places in school, catering for all musical tastes from classical to jazz, indie to rock.
Music concert
Girl playing piano

Music Department

From day one, we offer students plenty of opportunities to learn, play and perform. And we’ll give them the chance to be the driving force behind the scenes too, using our state-of-the-art digital recording studio and editing suites. Our students won first and second place in the national KS4/KS5 Independent School Association Composition Awards, where we are also national champions in the Bands competition and for A Cappella.

Yamaha Music Education Partner

We’re proud to be a Flagship Yamaha Music Education Partner, the only school in Europe to hold this prestigious status. It means we have an outstanding array of instruments and industry-standard recording software for our students to use, exclusive teaching materials and specialist training for our staff. Our students also benefit from workshops with professional Yamaha musicians.

Steinberg Certified Training Centre

We are a Steinberg Certified Training Centre, a recognition of excellence in our use of Music Technology across the department. Steinberg support our students with musical notation and music production. This partnership supports the remarkable strength in music composition in the department - with Leighton Park students winning first and second place in last years' national ISA composition awards.
Sontronics logo

Sontronics Education Partner

We partner with Sontronics, a leading British microphone specialist founded by mic designer Trevor Coley. Our students are using the same microphones as Ed Sheeran and Adele – the same ones used at the famous Abbey Road Studios and in the Radio One Live Lounge - with professional training and support to help them imagine life beyond the classroom.

Yamaha Live Lounge Sessions

National Champions - Chamber Choir performs Friend Like Me

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Eliza performs Baroque Flamenco on the harp

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Sian performs Si Mes Vers Avaient Des Ailes

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Finnbar performs Over Seas

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Austin Bursary Awards
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In addition to our main bursary fund, Leighton Park is able to make Austin Bursary Awards for Sixth Form students with particular academic ability and/or musical talent. These awards are means-tested and usually cover between 80-100% of the day fee for the two years of the Sixth Form.

Leighton Park has strength across the creative and performing arts, creating an inspiring, inclusive and vibrant learning community, with students bringing their remarkable talents to bear in performances and productions throughout the year. Watch our short video for a taste of what’s on offer.

 

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Creative Arts - Imagine Better

Student case studies

Natalia - voice

Natalia is a wonderfully talented singer, who has been singing since she was six - going on to be a member of the National Children's Choir. Natalia has fully embraced the musical opportunities on offer at Leighton Park, even taking up the drums to expand her interests. Natalia is part of our Chamber Choir, which won the national Independent Schools Assocation A Capella Award in 2023.
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Esther - violin

Since joining Leighton Park Esther has developed her skill for the violin, started practicing piano, drums, singing as well as composing her own music. As a music scholar, her dedication has inspired students and captivated audiences with her performances. With aspirations to study music at the university level, Esther's passion and potential promise an exceptional future in the world of music.
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Rebecca - bassoon

Meet Rebecca, an exceptional Year 11 student at Leighton Park School. Her love for music and skill of the bassoon have made her a standout in the school orchestra and LP Winds. Discover how Leighton Park has nurtured her musical talents, shaping her for a promising future. Subscribe for more inspiring stories from Leighton Park School.
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Eva - piano and violin

Hear Eva describe her musical journey - developing her talents to win awards, progress to Grade 7 on the Violin and emmersing herself in the co-curricular and performance opportunities at the School. We look forward to Eva progressing onto our IB Diploma Music programme.
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Alice - bassoon and singing

In this video, music scholar Alice, shares her love for learning music, her achievements with the bassoon and obtaining a prestigious diploma. Alice's dedication and talent has been fostered and celebrated by our music department and we look forward to what she will accomplish next!
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Meet our Students

Eliza

Eliza - Claire Jones Harp Ensemble

Harp - grade 8 distinction and ARSM diploma distinction

As well as the harp, I have grade 8 in piano, and grade 7s in drums and voice, the latter in both classical and rock & pop. I also love writing music and won the Independent Schools Association composition competition for my age group two years in a row. I enjoy the creative process of song writing and progressing an idea to a fully developed song. I recently recorded at Abbey Road and did a concert tour in the USA with the Claire Jones Harp Ensemble. The music staff at Leighton Park are really supportive and encouraging and offer many opportunities to participate in workshops and events.
Reuben

Reuben - National Children's Orchestra

Bassoon/Contra-Bassoon Grade 7

I'm a Music Scholar in Year 7. I play bassoon and piano, and have also taught myself the saxophone and drum kit. Since starting at Leighton Park, I have really enjoyed composing. Kemme encourages me to do more than I think I can manage and I've surprised myself on what I can achieve! I'd like to try composing for a band soon perhaps. I started playing the Contra Bassoon in September and love that I can play it in the school orchestra - something that most people have never seen before. It's loud and low and rumbles nicely. My greatest achievement so far is being part of the National Children's Orchestra. One of my goals at Leighton Park is to play bassoon (or Contra Bassoon) in the band for one of the school shows. I also like to play football and rugby.
Sian signing at House Music

Sian - Graduated 2023 and now at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Singing - Grade 8 distinction and Flute - Grade 8

It was joining LP that really allowed me to discover how much I loved music. I take advantage of and create as many opportunities as I can because my favourite part of music is collaborating with other musicians. The culmination of music at LP was receiving an offer from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where I am going to do vocal studies next year. This is something that I never would have considered when I first joined LP and demonstrates how significantly it changed my life. The positive attitude and encouragement you are surrounded by is overwhelming and helps you develop hugely as a musician and as a person.
Taylor on sax

Taylor - Reading Youth Orchestra

Saxophone - grade 8, Diploma Level ATCL

My passion towards music started when I was 4. I had a trip to Los Angeles and I saw cool guys playing the saxophone. But what really made me choose the instruments I am playing now is because of my Dad and my Grandpa. They are both great fans of the saxophone. After years of hard practice I have done my Grade 8 and diploma level ATCL. Leighton Park has helped me see that music is not about chasing perfection but rather to enjoy it. Leighton Park has such great music resources with amazing instruments and music technology. This has made me even more interested in music production, and Leighton Park had also provided me with lots of performing opportunities.

Take a look inside
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Opened in January 2019, our MMC building boasts industry-standard tech and facilities – including a Yamaha Live Lounge Recording Studio.

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MMC interior of the music building

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How Music enhances education in schools

1. Enhances Cognitive Development

Music education is not just about learning notes and melodies; it significantly contributes to cognitive development in students. Engaging in music helps improve memory, attention, and reasoning skills, which are essential for academic success.

2. Boosts Creativity and Innovation

Music encourages creative thinking and innovation. It allows students to express themselves artistically, fostering a sense of originality and inventiveness that can spill over into other academic and life pursuits.

3. Improves Emotional Intelligence

Participating in music activities in school helps students develop greater emotional intelligence. They learn empathy and understanding through musical expression, which can lead to more effective communication and interpersonal skills.

4. Strengthens Cultural Awareness and Diversity

Music education introduces students to a variety of cultural traditions and perspectives, promoting an appreciation for diversity and fostering a more inclusive school environment.

5. Enhances Language and Reading Skills

Music education strongly correlates with improved language and reading skills. Learning music can help with phonetic awareness and the ability to decode and comprehend written material.

6. Encourages Teamwork and Collaboration

Music often involves group activities like bands, choirs, and orchestras, where students learn the value of teamwork and collaboration, skills that are essential in both academic and professional settings.

7. Offers Lifelong Learning Opportunities

Music education instills a love for learning and self-improvement that lasts a lifetime. It teaches students that skills can always be improved and knowledge expanded.

8. Improves Mathematical Abilities

Music and math are intricately linked. Understanding rhythm, scales, and beats can enhance a student’s ability to grasp mathematical concepts, improving their analytical and problem-solving skills.

9. Reduces Stress and Enhances Well-being

Engaging in music can be a therapeutic and relaxing activity for students. It provides a healthy outlet for stress and contributes to overall mental and emotional well-being.

10. Prepares Students for Future Careers

Music education equips students with a variety of skills that are valuable in the workforce, such as discipline, focus, and the ability to receive and implement feedback effectively.

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Shinfield Road
Reading
Berkshire, UK
RG2 7DE
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