Expectation & Excellence
established 1546


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The aim of the Department is to make music available to all students at the school and to foster a life-long interest in music-making, by encouraging active participation at all levels.

All students in Years 7 and 8 receive weekly class lessons as part of the curriculum. Work covers singing, listening, percussion and keyboard skills, improvising, composing and theory. At Year 9 students can opt to follow a GCSE course and beyond that to AS and A2 Levels.

There are many exciting opportunities to take part in ensembles and concerts, both in school, locally, nationally and even abroad!

Please do not hesitate to contact me at the school if you would like any further information. To keep up to date with even more Music Department news and views, follow POLYPHONY - the music department blog.

- Mr House, Director of Music

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Mr House Director of Music
Mr House has been Director of Music at Colyton since 1993, having previously worked in Berkshire. He is an A-Level examiner for the Edexcel and OCR boards and active as an organist and piano accompanist. His musical interests encompass sixteenth-century choral music, J S Bach and Messiaen. Other interests include walking, maps and anything Cornish!

Mrs Lester Music Teacher
Mrs Lester runs the Junior Strings, plays in the Orchestra and teaches at all levels of the curriculum. She is Principal Double Bass in the Exeter Symphony Orchestra, makes regular appearances for the Taunton Sinfonietta and is particularly keen on the music of Beethoven. She is also an avid supporter of Manchester City.

In addition to the two main members of the music staff, there are several visiting music teachers, providing over 180 individual lessons each week. Timetables for these lessons are e-mailed weekly via ParentMail.


  • Music Department Information Booklet -
  • Assisted Instrument Purchase Scheme -
  • Tuition from visiting Music Teachers [Regulations & Conditions] -
  • Tuition from visiting Music Teachers [Application Form] -



  • Spring Concert - Messiah
    7.30pm, Sat 24 March 2018
    Exeter Cathedral
  • Senior Choir Tour
    Sat 21 - Wed 25 Jul 2018

The Music Centre includes a main classroom, recital room, recording/technology room, office, instrument store and six practice rooms. This enables the structure of classwork to be flexible, assisting group improvisation and composition, as well as individual private practice.

There is a team of twelve visiting teachers who provide tuition in most woodwind, brass and string instruments, as well as the guitar and voice.  These lessons occur in school time but are arranged in addition to the main curriculum and are charged for separately.

At all levels, students are encouraged to participate in ensembles.  Group music-making is essential to musical development and many groups are run.  There are three choirs, an orchestra, a brass band, two jazz groups, guitar ensemble and numerous chamber players. 

Senior students often arrange their own groups and assist in running junior groups.  Many performances occur throughout the year, ranging from informal lunchtime concerts to large-scale events with professional soloists.  In the last two years, works performed have included Carnival of the Animals, Rodrigo Guitar Concerto, Faure Requiem, Bach Magnificat, Grieg Piano Concerto, Mozart Requiem, Bach Concerto for two violins and Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue. 

Groups frequently perform outside of school; locally in Axminster and Honiton, in the great Cathedrals of the Southwest, at national venues such as the Barbican and abroad on tours to Venice, Prague, Paris and Spain. 

Students have become members of the Devon, Dorset and Somerset Youth Orchestras, the South West Camerata, the English Schools’ Orchestra and Choir, the National Children’s Orchestra and the National Youth Choir.

The opportunities available within the curriculum are enhanced by regular workshops and masterclasses with performers of international standing.  We have welcomed the Duke String Quartet, Japanese pianist Chiharu Sakai, The Albion Brass Ensemble, John Harle, Richard Rodney Bennett, the Florestan Trio, the Manchester Camerata and composer Alec Roth.