Miles Davis famously said that "Good music is good no matter what kind of music it is." It is this attitude that we take as a department, to encourage and facilitate students in their pursuit of musical achievement.
The lively department consists of three members of music teaching staff, a part-time music secretary, a part-time head of strings and thirty-one visiting music staff covering all orchestral instruments as well as four singing teachers and teachers in both acoustic and electric guitars.
Music is a big part of life at Caterham School and we are pleased to outline our approach and musical 'ethos':
- We offer a great variety of opportunities for musicians, of any standard
- We embrace all styles of music
- We believe that music making should extend well beyond graded exams
- We provide 'out of school' opportunities for our musicians
In First and Second years, a carefully designed programme of study ensures that music lessons are both educational and inspiring.
Recent topics have included:
- Film music
- Instruments of the orchestra
- The Blues
- The music industry
Third Form/Year 9
A large number of our Third Year students will consider music as one of their options for GCSE. With this in mind, our programme of study ensures that they have the correct theoretical and practical experience required. Some of the areas covered at this year have included:
- World Music
- Film music
2012 saw a 100% A* to C pass rate. Our students very much enjoy the flexibility that the AQA GCSE offers.
With two successful composers on the staff, pupils gain a first-hand insight into the compositional process.
A Level Music
2012 saw a 100% A-B pass rate for A2 music. Our candidates are typically offered places at top universities or conservatoires.
Daniel Timmins BMus (Hons) – Director of Music
Adam Assen BMus- Assistant Director of Music
Adam enjoyed a diverse musical upbringing learning the piano from a young age whilst being a regular performer of Mauritian folk music on percussion and drums. He went on to study music at University of Surrey and later undertook postgraduate studies in Choral Education at the University of Roehampton. He is an experienced conductor and has toured most of Europe with choirs performing in some of the most prestigious venues. He has also worked extensively with the Prague conservatoire orchestra. He conducts a local choral society 'The Downland Chorale' in Old Coulsdon. As a composer, Adam has written a wealth of material for schools including commissioned musicals such as 'Perseus and Medusa'. University of Hertfordshire has commended his compositions specifically written for children with autism. Adam joined Caterham School after working in travel, arranging concert tours for young performers.
Helena Richards BMus (Hons) - Teacher of Music, Composer in Residence
Helena began playing the piano and 'cello at the age of five, followed closely by the harp a couple of years later. She joined the Junior Academy of Music in 1992, where she quickly developed a keen interest in composition. As a music scholar at Guildford High School from 1993-'98, she was a member of The National Children's Orchestra as well as the National Children's Chamber Orchestra. She gained a place at the prestigious Chetham's School of Music in 1998 where she frequently performed with ensembles and orchestras, as well as having many of her compositions played at school, and for the general public. Winner of the Composers' Prize in her final year, she went on to study composition at The Royal College of Music with William Mival, graduating in 2004 with a BMus honours degree. Having completed her PGCE, she began her first teaching post at Caterham as Assistant Director of Music.
Catherine Aldren GRAM(Hons), LRAM, ALCM - Head of Strings
Born in Leeds and was the only violinist in her school, gaining a place at The Royal Academy of Music where she was awarded a performing degree and two diplomas. After completing a PGCE she began her teaching career with Croydon Music Service. She then moved to Wales and taught for 2 years in the Welsh valleys where she also began conducting. She came to Caterham School 8 years ago as Head of Strings to lead and grow the string department. Catherine also teaches at The Hayes Primary School, Woldingham School and privately. She plays in various orchestras and chamber groups with tours to Prague and China. Hobbies include running, trekking and scuba diving.
Ms Lorraine Temple LRAM ACRM ProfCert DipRAM – Head of Brass
Miss Jemima Riches BMus (Hons)