The Music School is a unit within Douglas Academy where young musicians of exceptional ability can continue their general education while receiving special instrumental and vocal tuition and extra time for their musical studies.
The School was set up in 1979 by Strathclyde Regional Council in response to the Cameron Report on Gifted Young Musicians and Dancers, which recommended that specialised courses should be provided for musically gifted pupils in an existing comprehensive school. In the specialist course, while particular attention is paid to the development of a pupil's principal instrumental study, it is also the aim to provide an all round musical training, and to develop the pupil as a whole artist.
The following subjects are studied:- Principal instrumental study, second instrumental study, possibly a third study, Rudiments of Music, Harmony & Musicianship, Aural Training, History & Form. In addition there are ensemble classes and all pupils are required to take part in orchestral playing and choral singing.
Opportunities are available for performance, not only in informal recitals within the School, but in concerts outwith; music specialists also take part in joint Music School/Music Department concerts.
Music specialists are presented for the SQA Higher Music and Advanced Higher Music examinations as well as A level, and many also achieve distinction in the grade examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Opportunities exist for pupils to obtain professional performing diplomas while still at school.
Tutors are largely drawn from the staff of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the B.B.C. Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the pool of professional musicians based in Glasgow.
There are links with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where certain pupils can participate in masterclasses. There are also opportunities to hear some of the many professional music recitals and concerts in the Glasgow area.
All applicants are asked to take part in a session of interviews and auditions and the final choice is made by an independent panel and is based on an assessment of each applicant's musical potential and of their general suitability for the special course. Pupils of the Music School are regularly members of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, the West of Scotland Schools Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band, the National Youth Choirs of Scotland and Scottish Opera Concert.
Extra-curricular activities in Douglas Academy : Chamber Orchestra, Senior Choir, Chamber Choir, First Orchestra, Junior Choir, Chamber Music, Second Orchestra.
Recitals and talks given by visiting musicians have included: