Music plays an integral part of the school life of Graeme College.
The Music Department has recently moved into a newly renovated music facility consisting of an Auditorium, two teaching rooms, four practice rooms and an office. There will be four full time music educators in 2016 and part time music teachers are acquired according to the instrumental needs.
Arts (Music) is taught from Grade 00 to Grade 9 and Music as a Subject is offered from Grade 10 to 12. Tuition is offered in piano, guitar, drum kit, steel pan, marimba, clarinet, saxophone and recorder. At present 30 boys from Grade 10-12 take Music as a Matric Subject. Three of the music staff, assisted by outside part time staff, cover the subject. Music requires a Grade 5 level of performance in Grade 12.
Extra-curricular Music is encouraged at Graeme. At present a pupil has a choice of Choir, Steel band and Marimba Band.
Choir attracts a large number of pupils and their singing is of a high standard. There is a Senior Choir, Junior Choir and Foundation Phase Choir. From the Senior Choir choristers are chosen to be part of an elite choir – The Leopards’ Voice. This consists of approximately 20 members. (as we say at Graeme – a ”busload”) Over the past decade both the Senior Choir and the Leopards’ Voice have received both Provincial and National recognition. The choirs perform at various school, Grahamstown and out of town functions.
It has become a trend for Senior Choristers to form chorister driven Accapella Groups. The Tshamba Choir (with VGHS girls) in 2001/2002 led to, Boys in Motion, GC7 and in 2014, the Octave.
A Steel band was started at Graeme College in 1996. Steel band is offered to pupils in the Senior School, there being a beginner band, an intermediate band and a senior band. No previous musical knowledge is required to audition for the Steel band. Graeme College has had significant success with the Steel band, having performed extensively throughout South Africa as well as undertaking an overseas tour to England.
Marimbas are offered to boys in the Junior School from Grade 4 to Grade 7. Boys are encouraged to join and no prior musical knowledge is necessary. This instrument has become very popular over the past few years. The Grade 7’s in the band perform regularly at functions both at school and in the town.
Research has shown that “playing music stimulates the development of neural pathways in the brain which are involved in reasoning, creative thinking, decision – making and problem-solving.”