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Music plays a vital role in the life of the school and boys of all ages engage frequently with a vast range of performance opportunities. All boys from the nursery to the end of their time at St John’s receive curriculum music lessons in our specialist music department, with a large majority of boys opting to learn to play a variety of musical instruments. All boys leave St John’s having had the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. 

Boys perfoming to parents at one of our evening concerts


All our musicians regularly enjoy high levels of success in local music festivals and external graded music examinations. Outstanding individuals often receive music scholarships to prestigious independent Senior Schools.


St John’s has an extensive range of extra-curricular musical activities which develop, stretch and challenge the individual abilities of the boys. Numerous concerts are chronicled in The Lamb and the School Magazine. Weekly rehearsals culminate in both internal and external concerts. Recent external performance engagements have included performing for the Lord Mayor’s Show, Young Voices at Wembley Arena and Merchant Taylors’ Hall in the City of London. Boys collaborate with other Prep Schools for an orchestral afternoon at Merchant Taylors’ School and a joint concert with other schools across the Merchant Taylors’ Educational Trust to give an experience of musical life at Senior School.


The majority of pupils take advantage of the opportunity for individual tuition on a musical instrument. These instruments are available to study at St John’s on an individual basis:


Strings: Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Acoustic Guitar

Percussion: Drum Kit and Orchestral Percussion

Woodwind: Flute, Recorder, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon

Brass: Trumpet, Cornet, French Horn, Trombone, Tenor Horn, Baritone, Euphonium, Tuba.


Community engagement is at the heart of musical life at St John’s. Choirs and Brass Band players lead the switching on of the Christmas Lights at Northwood Hills annual. Soloists and chamber groups visit Emmanuel Church and boys perform regularly at a variety of residential homes. 


The extra-curricular ensembles on offer to boys are both inclusive and challenging. Here is the range of groups:


  • Wind Band

  • Concert Band

  • Brass Band

  • Advanced Brass

  • String Ensemble

  • Beginner Woodwind and Brass Ensemble

  • Beginner Strings

  • Cello Ensemble

  • Viola Ensemble

  • Recorder Consort

  • Junior Records

  • Tabla Ensemble / Indian Music Collective

  • Percussion Ensemble

  • Junior Choir

  • Senior Choir

  • Chamber Choir

  • String Trios

  • Rock Band

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