Music School

Charterhouse has a long musical tradition. The twentieth century British composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams, was a pupil in the School’s early days in Godalming. Today, this classical tradition is now matched by contemporary opportunities.

Around half of our pupils have music lessons, and many participate in other musical activities. A number of our pupils in recent years have gone on to become professional musicians and studied music at university or music college but, more importantly, a huge number of Carthusians have retained a life-long love of music.

Our Aim

Music is a language. We know that being exposed to music can have a range of benefits, from the development of language and mathematical skills, through to performance, confidence, coordination, teamwork and relaxation.

Charterhouse’s Music School is currently split across two sites on campus. The majority of our Music facilities are based in the Ralph Vaughan Williams Music Centre, located next to the School Chapel. Additionally, a number of individual practice rooms are accessible via South African Cloister, and are separate to the main Music Department.

The Vaughan Williams Music Centre was built in the mid-1980s and is showing its age. Designed to deliver a classical music education for 500 pupils, it no longer provides the range of spaces required for a modern and varied musical programme, lacking both performance and tech-rich practice/music development spaces. As a School of over 950 pupils, it is also simply no longer big enough to meet our needs.

Our goal is to create an extension to the existing building, doubling the size of the department’s spaces, whilst also creating a range of performance and practice spaces that will truly enable our pupils to explore their 21st century musical talents and interests.

Our Plans

A new extension will more than double the current space within the Music School, alongside a complete refurbishment of the existing building. A new western facade to the building will be a critical element in ensuring the building compliments Chapel’s beauty. An undulating roof line to the new building will echo the repeating rhythm of the Chapel and mirror the geometry of the existing Music School.

Internally, the centrepiece of the new facility will be two new performance spaces, an orchestral room and rock room, both connected by a central recording studio.
Two classrooms, a music library, a tech room to facilitate digital musical composition, 25+ practice rooms, an outdoor performance space and courtyard will complete the new facility. These will ensure that our pupils are exposed to a range of musical experiences - from Mozart to computer game audio.

New build and refurbishment work: July 25 - August 26

To support the Music School project click here 

Adrian Choy (L23)

Justin Wang (L23)