Learning outside the classroom and from peers

It’s close to being an educational truism that in schools you learn at least as much outside the classroom as you do inside it and at least as much from your peers as you do from your teachers. All the more important therefore that the range of experience you have at school gives you opportunities to encounter the best of both. Such, I am sure, was the effect of our musicians’ voyage to St Luke’s, Chelsea for our annual lunch time concert. Just as travelling and playing elsewhere, even far away from home on tour is a formative experience for sportsmen and women, so performing in different places – whether in Petersfield, Italy or Chelsea – is integral to how our musicians develop their particular confidence and enjoyment of different places and audiences. The organ and the pulpit at St Luke’s were put to particular use, with Callum A starting proceedings with Louis Vierne’s Final from his 1st symphony for the organ and Olivia B singing Amarilli Mia  Bella (Caccini) elevated above us. Two powerful musical jewels amongst an entrancing hour. And what is one of the younger members of our musical troupe learning from the older ones?  The infectious enjoyment that results from careful preparation allowing you to enjoy performing; the ability to improvise and adapt to new people and places; and, to take a line from the great Herbert poem, that “something understood” that confirms your innate sense that making music and being generous with pleasure it brings is about as life-enhancing a thing as you can find.

By Keith Budge, Headmaster, Bedales Schools


Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.