‘To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan and not quite enough time’.

Leonard Bernstein

Music is at the heart and soul of life at Ballard with pupils from Kindergarten to Y11, Parents, Staff and Alumni enjoying the wealth of activities and performance opportunities on offer in our busy, well equipped Music School and purpose built Performing Arts Centre. Our Classical and Contemporary music pathways and inclusive policy ensure that every pupil has the opportunity to experience the enriching, rewarding and life long benefits of Music, while our extensive ensemble programme caters for all levels. The department has an excellent track record at GCSE, consistently gaining 100% A*-C, and many pupils opt to continue their music studies after leaving Ballard.

Teaching Staff

Victoria Gray

Director of Music

Ballard Music department is staffed by enthusiastic and energetic teachers, committed to making music education fun and fulfilling for all pupils. Staff with a range of specialist skills from the classical and commercial world in both instrumental and vocal work provide curriculum lessons from Pre Prep to Y11 and a full programme of ensembles. In addition, a team of 12 visiting teachers provide individual lessons on a wide range of instruments.

Our facilities include two class teaching rooms, an ensemble room, four individual teaching rooms, a computer suite equipped with a brand new Apple Mac suite and using industry standard studio software to create compositions, scores and audio tracks together with our own recording studio.


All pupils at Ballard receive specialist class music tuition on a weekly basis from Reception to Y9 and it is a popular option at GCSE level. There are numerous opportunities for accreditation on offer at every level through the Arts Award, GCSE and Rockschool qualifications.

Pre-prep (Up to Year 2)

In pre-prep, the emphasis is on an enjoyment of music making and performance through singing, movement and class instrumental lessons. In addition, pupils participate in a number of performances and productions throughout the year.

Lower Prep and Upper Prep (Years 3 to 8)

In Y3 – 8, pupils study a modular curriculum including general musicianship, composer focus, composition skills, cultural traditions and focus on performance. The emphasis at all levels is on learning through fun, practical activities. At every stage pupils will have the opportunity to work in our iMac suite using industry standard software. The year culminates with each class forming a band and performing to friends and family on the beautiful Ballard School Terrace.

In addition, Y3-5 enjoy an Expressive Arts programme combining their Music with Dance, Drama and other art forms and experiencing a range of performance opportunities, an annual musical production, workshops and theatre trips.

Senior School  (Years 9 – 11)

The emphasis of the lead up to the GCSE course is learning about different styles of music through performance, composition, listening and appraising. GCSE students are encouraged to participate fully in the extra curricular activities on offer at Ballard and take part in a number of solo and group performances, two of which are assessed for the GCSE.  They study their own instrument and produce two major compositions. They will also learn about a range of other musical genres leading up to a listening exam at the end of the course. Pupils are now also given the option of studying for the Rockschool Level 2 Music Practitioners Qualification and the Arts Award at various levels. Pupils are encouraged to participate in activities that extend their learning beyond the GCSE course and prepare them for A level and other musical paths they may follow after Ballard. Regular trips to local arts venues such as the Lighthouse theatre in Poole and The Mayflower in Southampton give pupils the chance to experience the wealth of rich talent and performance opportunities in our local area.