Pridwin places special emphasis on music education. Within the music department, boys are exposed to three tiers of music: class music, ensemble performance and individual music tuition.
Class music takes place twice a week from Grade 0 to Grade 6. During one of these weekly classes, the boys are exposed to Western music practices, such as the Orff Approach and the Music Room syllabus. Boys learn the basics of notation reading, improvisation and composition and are taught about various musical styles. They are encouraged to collaborate in small class performances, using the styles and techniques they are learning at the time.
During the second class music lesson, boys focus on music practices from the African continent. During these sessions, they receive group instruction on marimba and African drumming and learn to sing songs in a variety of African languages.
In addition to the class music lessons, optional group music theory classes are available for boys from Grade 4 upwards. These sessions are used to prepare boys to write external theory exams set by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music or Trinity College London.
The music department highly values ensemble musicianship. The school has a wide variety of ensembles, including three jazz bands, junior choir (compulsory for all grade 3 and 4 boys), senior choir, string ensembles, drum lines and brass ensembles. In addition, the school has a unique African ensemble, performing on instruments sourced from around Africa.
All ensembles perform at a variety of school functions and external festivals throughout the year. In addition to these concerts, Pridwin hosts the annual Pridwin Jazz Festival in May, a family-orientated outdoor concert featuring jazz bands from neighbouring schools and the greater Gauteng music community.
Pridwin offers individual music tuition as an extracurricular option to all boys. Specialist teachers provide individual tuition for piano, guitar, bass, drums and singing, as well as most string, woodwind and brass instruments. Group tuition is also offered for marimba and African drumming.
Music lessons take place throughout the day, with boys having rotating lesson times from Grade 2 upwards. A weekly timetable is sent out in advance so that parents, pupils and staff are aware of the new lesson times. This ensures that boys do not miss the same class every week and lessens the impact on the boys’ academic subjects.
The younger boys are given fixed lesson times before or after school until they are able to cope with the rotating timetable. The success of this system is evident in the number of boys enrolled for individual tuition – more than half of the boys at Pridwin are learning one or more instruments.
Boys get the opportunity to perform at various concerts at school, and are regularly entered for eisteddfods, examinations and competitions.
Parents may apply for music lessons here.