Music is an important part of all of our lives and this is certainly the case at IST.

All students from the reception class to grade 8 study music and acquire the knowledge and skills to perform, compose and listen to music. Students can then choose to study music further at GCSE and IB level from grades 9-12.

Music is studied in a very hands-on practical way with students making use of keyboards and class percussion instruments, as well as their own instruments when appropriate. Technology is also used where appropriate and the department has use of desktop computers in addition to the students laptops.

In class lessons students are encouraged to work individually, in small groups and as a class. This promotes ensemble and social skills, and provides lots of opportunity for students to perform compositions and prepared performances. All year groups also take part in at least one large scale concert each year. There are also recitals produced by students throughout the year, rock concerts and the department benefits from a number of visits each year by professional musicians from a broad range of different styles. In recent years we have had visits father and son Indian sarod players Alok and Abhisek Lahirir, world music musicians featuring instruments such as the oud and kora, and classical instrumentalists such as the internationally reknowned violinist, Julia Fischer.


The Curriculum

Music seen as an integral part of the curriculum at IST offering pupils the opportunity to experience artistic and creative learning within the classroom.

All pupils, from Reception to Year 9, receive specialist teaching which focuses on three areas of learning :


The curriculum is organised through Creative Composition Projects that utilise the inventive skills of the pupils and help them solve problems creatively, use their imaginations and test their innovative powers. Projects usually last for several weeks and focus on a particular element of music theory (melody, harmony, rhythm etc.), which is introduced through the performance or study of a musical style, world music or extra-musical stimulus. Pupils work individually, in pairs and in groups, which emphasises the interpersonal skills of team spirit, flexibility and leadership. The curriculum is designed for the mixed-ability classroom and projects are layered so that each child can succeed in compositional decision-making as well as establish and develop individual performance skills. Music is offered in grade 9 as a two-year GCSE examination course and as an option for the International Baccalaureate in grade 11.

Instrumental Tuition

The school offers individual tuition on a wide range of orchestral and popular instruments. A team of some 7 specialist teachers visit the school weekly giving pupils instruction on instrumental skills and offering opportunities to play in ensembles. The school is a recognised centre for performance examinations by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and has an excellent pass rate.

Extra-Curricular Music

The school provides a wealth of musical opportunities for pupils to utilise their musical skills in extra-curricular clubs and performances. The school encourages music making of any kind. There are several aspiring rock bands, an Orchestra and students perform in various other ensembles and groups at school concerts. 

The orchestra meets after school on a Monday, 16:15-17:15, and new members are always welcome. Theory lessons for students wanting to take exams with the ABRSM are before school, Guitar Club is every week, and there is a possibility for students to book practice facilities for their own practice or to rehearse in groups.

Pupils participate in a wide range of performances throughout the academic year, including Christmas concerts, solo recitals, large-scale Musical Productions and performing in the wider community, such as playing and singing in the annual German school Christmas Concert.

In 2017 the IST orchestra traveled to Berlin to take part in the Berlin International Music Project and took part in the first performance of a piece written especially for the event. It is hoped to repeat this in coming years.