Music 2019-05-27T09:08:33+02:00

Tradition | Excellence | Opportunity
Founded in 1856.

The Grey Vision
Grey remains as one of the leading schools in the country, with a culture and value system that support its fine heritage. Grey is recognised for its competitiveness and excellence in academic, sporting and cultural activities, as well as for its ability to consistently produce leaders.
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Director of Music
Shawn Lyon: BMus (Musicology Hons) (UPE)
Brass and Percussion instrument tuition.
Conductor: The Grey Symphonic Wind Band, The Grey Military Band, The Grey Big Band, The Grey Orchestra. Principal Trumpeter of the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra.
Brass Section: The Centrestage All-Star Band
Click here to email Shawn Lyon.

Adele Langenhoven: BMus, BMus (Hons) (Stell)
Woodwind instrument Tuition. Piano Accompanist.
Click here to email Adele Langenhoven.

Louis Potgieter
Music Theory Component Subject Head
Click here to email Louis Potgieter.

Marliza Taylor: BMus (UCT), LRSM (London)
String instrument tuition. Piano accompanist.
Conductor: The Grey String Orchestra.
Click here to email Marliza Taylor.

Ruth Lyon: BMus (Hons) (Cum Laude) (UPE), ATCL (Trinity) (Cum Laude)(London), LTCL (Recital) (Cum Laude) (Trinity)(London)
Piano, Voice and Woodwind instrument tuition.
Piano Accompanist. Conductor: The Grey
Voices.  Quatuor- Saxophone Quartet.  Press Music Critic.
Click here to email Ruth Lyon.

Faye Eck
Music Administrator
Click here to email Faye Eck.


Music is offered in two forms:

Music as a subject – which includes band work as part of the curriculum.
Extra-Curricular Music – offered only to boys from Grade 10 upwards, who are not senior subject boys, but who wish to complete higher performance grade exams.  Extra-Curricular music can only be offered in instances where there is available teaching time.

Music tuition is not offered to boys who do not wish to participate in Grey Bands / Orchestras.

No tuition fees are charged for music whether Subject or Extra-Curricular.

An instrument hire fee applies.

Participation in Music Groups is compulsory.

Instrumental Tuition

Grey has five music teachers who offer tuition on Brass instruments, Woodwind instruments, Percussion, Strings, and Piano.  There are some part-time teachers as well.  There is not always a vacancy for a music subject percussionist each year.  Students who show the ability to handle the extra workload associated with learning a second instrument may be allowed by the Director of Music to do so, subject to available teaching time.  In order to extend the opportunity of participating in band to pianists, most of them learn another instrument, usually percussion.

Although the list of instruments taught at Grey is vast, there are some we do not offer eg: Guitar, Organ.  This does not prevent some students from taking subject music as parents may employ the services of a private teacher, who will be guided as necessary by our department re practical requirements.  It is even possible for the teacher to give lessons on the school premises if desired.  We are able to offer advice when seeking a suitable teacher.

Music as a Subject

Grade 8’s must take subject music to be accepted into the music department.  It is strongly recommended that all musicians take the subject for the first two years.  This places them in a position to make an informed choice about the possibility of continuing through to matric.  Students who do not choose music in the senior phase will nonetheless have gained very good grounding and should be able to enjoy the reward of being competent Band and/or Orchestra members for the rest of their school career.

The junior subject music classes learn to understand the basic musical language in theory.  They also receive aural training, which brings learned theoretical concepts into their hearing and listening skills, which in turn sharpens their interpretive skill to mature levels.  As these aspects form only part of the subject work, the theoretical material is not unreasonably stringent in the junior grades.  The benefits of music study on other disciplines (particularly mathematics results) are well documented the world over.  Contemporary studies show that it takes a combination of 32 mental and physical actions to produce a single note of music, and it follows that a person who has advanced musical training is greatly advantaged in many extra intellectual and co-ordination skills.

Music as an Extra-Curricular Study

Once all subject musicians have been catered for in teaching time allocations, there may be some time left, which can be allocated to non-subject musicians from grade 10 upwards.  It must be stressed that although every effort is made to accommodate everyone, such time is limited and during some years no such allocations can be made at all.  Extra-curricular musicians are accommodated on the basis that they, like all subject musicians, undertake to serve in the Grey bands/orchestras.  Anyone taking extra-curricular lessons on an instrument, must produce one Examination Board exam result each year.  In order to maintain the lesson time allocated to each extra-curricular student, he must perform some of what he has learned in May, for the Director of Music, to a satisfactorily competent standard.

Practical Lessons

Lessons take place during school time using a special rotation system that ensures that the same classes are not missed consecutively.  Special effort is made to avoid music lessons during mathematics times.  As student’s progress to the senior grades their lesson times are predominantly in time slots that do not impinge on their other subjects.  Most lessons given by part-time teachers happen in the afternoon.

The amount of lessons that a learner receives varies slightly according to grade and whether or not he is a subject musician.  Subject musicians receive between 32 and 36 lessons per annum.

Grades 10 to 12: Twice per 8 school days
Grades 8 and 9: At least twice per 10 days on rotating cycle
Extra-murals: At least once per 5 days.  More frequently as and when possible.

Practice Guidelines

There can be no doubt that it is better to practice more often in shorter sessions than to practice seldom in long sessions.  A routine 20-minute session during which determined and focused work is done is guaranteed to produce a fine musician.  Among the many benefits that music study teaches is that endeavour pays off, no matter how inertly good or talented you are at whatever you are doing.  Parents may rest assured that a constant effort is being made by music teachers to discover the things that drive their boys and to help them to harness this to their benefit, but we cannot do this alone and we appeal to parents to assist their sons in planning and setting aside time to work and progress as an instrumentalist.

Subject Music in the Classroom

Due to the largely practical nature of the subject, a musician’s after hours “homework” tasks consist almost entirely of his practice regimen on his instrument.  In order to assist students in having time to practice, the music knowledge/ theoretical aspect of the subject is covered during music class time.  There is ample time during school hours to cover this aspect of the music course and homework tasks are kept to a minimum.  The content of this subject teaches understanding of music as a language in itself, as a medium of art, a medium of entertainment as part of an industry, and as a part of history and man’s social development.  The most creative students will emerge capable of being able to compose music as well.

Musical Instrument Hire

Grey High School is well stocked in certain instruments only, mostly the large and costly type. The instruments we do have are available for hire.

Students who play an instrument from the following list, with few exceptions, have their own instruments:

  • Trumpet
  • Clarinet
  • Flute
  • Alto Sax
  • Tenor Sax
  • Violin

The Grey music staff is able to offer good advice to anyone wishing to buy an instrument.

External Examinations

Music Examinations with External Examining Bodies

The Music Department prepares all candidates for Performance Grade Examinations offered by internationally recognized external examining bodies.
The Examining body most frequently used is Trinity College London.


Grey Music Groups

The unprecedented variety of bands offered by the Grey Music Department avails the luxury of being able to employ each band for occasions to which they are best suited and most appropriate, and every effort is made to accept engagements for each band along this general guideline.

As the Grey bands share sections of personnel, the attempt is made to pre-plan the spread of annual fixtures among the bands in order to avoid periods of over commitment which tend to produce below par results.

Each music group strives to maintain the highest possible standard of performance, and members are required to maintain their individual playing standard accordingly.  A player who is not coping as a band/orchestra member may be taken out of the music group until his standard improves sufficiently.  Band and Orchestra repertoire is chosen not only for its entertainment value but also to provide technical challenge and educational relevance.

Practical music tuition is not offered either as a subject or as an extra-mural basis to students who do not wish to serve in the school\’s bands as required.

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Grade 8 and 9 Information

Practical Music

Individual music tuition on the candidate’s chosen instrument/s.
Ensemble work – rehearsal and performance in bands / orchestras / vocal groups.

Music Class

Basic music theory. Elementary theory concepts.
Aural training, to bring what has been learned to the discretion of the ear.
Music listening and discussion across the widest possible selection of music styles, both historical and modern.

Grade 10, 11 and 12 Information

The music curriculum in the senior grades follows the same content headings each year, with concepts becoming increasingly more challenging each year.  The study of music is by no means restricted to that of the so-called classical styles.  In addition to these particular attention is also paid to, inter alia, jazz, rock, ethnic styles.

Practical Music

  • Individual music tuition on the candidate’s chosen instrument.
  • Ensemble work – rehearsal and performance in bands / orchestras / vocal groups is also required by the syllabus.

Aural Training

  • Bringing concepts learned both in theory and in instrument practice to the ear.
  • The development of the ear’s discrimination in these concepts.

Theory of Music

  • Understanding the scale structure building blocks of music, the key signatures that pertain to each, and the sound interval structure of each scale form.
  • Knowledge of transposition of tonalities as required by different instruments, and between clefs.
  • Knowledge of rhythm and its grouping patterns in different time signatures.
  • Chordal knowledge and understanding and practice of the procedures that are generally used to compose music well.
  • Harmonic analysis, and the ability to explain the devices used by any composer of any style of music.
  • Melodic construction.  The skills needed to write successful melodies of various bar structures, to determine the best way to harmonize a melody, and to combine a melody with a countermelody.  Additionally setting melody to text.

Music Comprehension

  • Understanding Form, or the design of a piece of music.
  • Knowledge of compositional devices and techniques.
  • Knowledge of Genre in music.
  • Critical listening to music with the aims of understanding music styles and recognizing the salient features thereof.  The conveying of mood and character are important and the timbre of instruments in combination is of particular interest.

Musical Instruments

A broad knowledge of the above

Music Industry

  • The Law of Intellectual Property and how it pertains to music
  • Producing Music
  • Royalties
  • Registering a Composition
  • Copyright/ Piracy / Counterfeit
  • Contractual Issues