Boarders who are musicians support each other regardless of the various instruments studied in and beyond the houses in all the music facilities available throughout the school. Our boarders make the most of our common room areas, which come equipped with a TV and games console as well as activities such as table tennis and pool. They also enjoy our spacious gardens for barbecues, games and socialising with their friends throughout the day. The boarders in each house come together to take part in healthy inter-house rivalries in sport, drama, public speaking and other academic achievement.
Boarding allows our Specialist Musicians the opportunity to participate in our extensive number of musical activities and after-school clubs, keep up with homework, strengthen friendships and avoid a late journey home. Boarding also helps them gain a sense of personal responsibility, as they are given freedom within sensible constraints; from Year 7, small groups of pupils may go into Wells, Somerset unaccompanied. The city centre is just a few minutes’ walk from the boarding school houses, with numerous shops, banks, cafes and a twice-weekly market. For more information about boarding at Wells, please visit our Boarding page.
All of our boarding houses have a piano and many of the houses have areas where their various musicians can store their instruments and practice in many different forms. Most of our houses have music practice rooms with pianos (some have four!), which boarders use regularly both individually and small groups.
Boarders can practice in the many music buildings throughout the school. Practice rooms are open early in the morning before school starts, during the school day, after school, on evenings and over weekends.
One of the many benefits and joys of receiving a musical education at Wells is the opportunity to take part in weekly orchestral and ensemble rehearsals. We currently have over 80 ensembles of varying sizes and genres. In addition, we offer a variety of music activities ranging from weekly guest seminars to extra theory and composition clubs. Our musicians are of course also encouraged to attend as many of the professional recitals given in Cedars Hall, free of charge. Why take a coach to London when we can bring the music to our pupils?
Performances are the culmination of hours of practice and training and therefore it is crucial that all our musicians are given suitable performance opportunities to enable them to learn and experience the ultimate goal of sharing and communicating their passion for music. There are more than 250 pupil performances each year, ranging from solo showcases and a lunchtime concert series to symphony orchestra and chorus concerts. For more information, please see our Specialist Music Studies page.
Being onsite makes it easier for our boarders to take advantage of more of these musical opportunities, not to mention the activities outside music, such as tennis, swimming, climbing club and fitness in our gym to name but a few!
Choristers often have early morning practice, evensong and performances over the weekends so being onsite cuts down on travel (with one particular bonus being a coveted longer lie in)! Boarding life gives them more time to have some fun together with activities outside of the choir, strengthening their friendships. The house members support Choristers and help them feel valued by going to the services – it is always heartening to see people you care about watch your performance!
From September 2021, Choristers receive 50% off of their boarding fees. For details on being a Chorister, please visit our Chorister page.
I joined Wells as a Chorister in Year 6 so I have experienced boarding life in both the Junior and Senior Schools. It’s true that chorister life can involve some long days and early starts, but we still have lots of fun and are able to join in with many house activities including house food on a Saturday night and boarder swim (my favourite!)
Boarding means you have to be independent and learn to do things yourself, like packing your games kit for the next morning. We have a lot of fun doing activities and hanging around with our friends in the boarding house.
As a Chorister you sing on most days and get experience performing. I like learning about the history of all the hymns and anthems and I have made new friends in the choir. The Chorister tea before evensong rehearsals is very yummy and helps us to have energy for services.
Being a boarding chorister is really fun. I get to spend the majority of my time with my friends. We all have the same interests which makes conversations a lot more enjoyable and easy to understand. We are also already on school site so it makes it easier to get to choir on time.
Wells Cathedral School is the only school in the UK to offer Specialist Music training as part of an all-round independent school? Find out more about Specialist Music at Wells.
It is extremely convenient to be able to walk (or run) to practice in less than 5 minutes.
It’s an exciting, wholesome experience that will stay with you and benefit you for the rest of your life.
Being a specialist music boarder has allowed me longer access to practise rooms, whether it be in the early morning or late evening.
The Graduate Music Assistants help out with evening duties in houses so are always there to help, and having practice rooms open beyond school hours is a great advantage.
It is great to have access to instruments, especially if you are an organist or a percussionist as you do not have them at home but they are there at school.
Being surrounded by other musicians helps you to develop your musical skills and settle into boarding with ease.