Lichfield Cathedral School

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We have a long heritage of musical excellence and we are proud to be one of 44 cathedral schools in the UK delivering outstanding music education. Music helps bind pupils into the wider life of the School through a combination of classroom teaching, instrumental and vocal tuition, playing together in ensembles and orchestras, the chance to learn from professional musicians and multiple opportunities for performance.



Music helps pupils to:

  • Develop areas of the brain involved in language and reasoning
  • Think creatively and use music as a creative stimulus
  • Learn about other cultures
  • Develop spiritually by fostering an awareness of the power of music to take the listener out of the commonplace
  • Understand the value of sustained effort and discipline to achieve excellence and the real rewards of hard work
  • Enhance social, teamwork and communication skills
  • Express themselves – improved self-esteem is a by-product of this self-expression
  • Develop performance skills that are readily transferable to other situations in school and in the workplace
  • Conquer fear and take risks – learning to deal with anxiety early in life makes it much less of a problem later

Music is embedded within the curriculum up to and including Year 9, and students can choose to continue studying Music and Music Technology at GCSE and A Level. 

Individual music lessons

Pupils can benefit from individual lessons in all orchestral instruments, plus piano, organ, guitar, recorder, saxophone, drum kit and voice. Free trial lessons are available to any pupil before committing to weekly lessons. Our excellent team of visiting music teachers are extremely experienced and regularly perform professionally. Pupils are supported to progress through ABRSM, Trinity Guildhall and RockSchool examinations.

Performance Opportunities

Pupils play in our Orchestra and ensembles including Guitar, Brasshoppers, Recorchestra, Soul Knights, Stringtacular, Clarinuts, Drumstix, Flutastic, Pizzicato Strings, Feel The Beat, Ukulellipops and Jazzbytes. Singers are encouraged to join Junior Choir, Melody Makers, Harmonics, Barbershop and Cantorum. There are plenty of opportunities to hone performance skills at whole-school events in the Cathedral and other professional venues, as well as smaller recitals and concerts.

Concerts and events are held throughout the year – examples include the Wednesday @ 1pm lunchtime recital series in the School Chapel, year group concerts for parents, whole-school concerts in the Cathedral and professional venues in Lichfield and beyond, joint concerts with other schools and fundraising performances to support local charities, as well as entry to Competitive Music Festivals and the annual House Music Competition. International tours for choirs and instrumentalists have recently visited France, Germany, Italy, Ireland and the USA.

Many of our pupils take part in external music courses including Birmingham Conservatoire Junior Department, National Recorder Ensemble, Stonebridge Music Courses (formerly IAPS), National Youth Music Theatre, National Youth Choir and National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain.

Pathways for musically gifted pupils

Musically gifted pupils often progress to specialist music schools (e.g. Birmingham Conservatoire, Chetham’s in Manchester) to continue developing their craft. Some will study Music or Music Technology at university, entering the music profession in a variety of capacities, including teacher, performer, producer, and talent and event management.

Former choristers will stay with the School, continue training and become Sixth Form Choral Scholars, when they rejoin the Cathedral Choir and sing with the adult members of the choir. From there, some will want to continue singing at university, so apply to be Choral Scholars at Oxford, Cambridge and other universities such as Durham, Exeter, Bristol, Bath and York.

One of the most frequent pieces of feedback from former choristers, including those in their 80s and 90s now, is that music formed an important thread throughout their lives, regardless of their profession. One gentleman talked about how his career in industry took him all over the world, but whenever he found himself in a new country or new city, the first thing he did was to join a local choir – instant community and friendship and a thriving social scene.

LCS Music Fellow

Richard Yarr MBE is an award-winning Music and Arts producer, adjudicator and administrator. A recognised innovator in the sector, he is one of Northern Ireland's best-known Arts professionals.  Richard has substantial experience of leading local government committees, charities and consultancy projects.

A graduate of Queen's University, Belfast, Richard gained a first class honours degree in music (BMus) and an MMus from King's College London.  As a Choral Scholar at King's, he performed with the renowned Chapel Choir for weekly services, in broadcasts, recordings and on tour.

 Richard Yarr MBE and Sue Hannam

Richard is a senior producer of Arts and Music at BBC Northern Ireland, where he oversees all classical music output from the region. His work reflects he passion for new and emerging talent. In 2015 he created BBC Northern Ireland's highly popular School Choir of the Year Competition and has developed partnership schemes with the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to nurture young musicians across classical, jazz, folk and new music.