Music thrives at Ilkley Grammar School due to a combination of the enthusiasm of the pupils, the dedication of the staff and the support of the whole school. The subject is taught at Key Stage 3 right through to A2 level with many pupils going on to colleges and universities to take music further. Results are good and in particular GCSE classes have often achieved 100% A*-C grades. Extra-curricular music is a big part of the department's work with something happening each day at lunchtime. There is a Samba Band, a flute group, two clarinet groups, a saxophone group, a guitar ensemble, a brass group, Showstoppers, Training Orchestra and Senior Orchestra. These groups are often run by one of our instrumental teachers and they perform in the two main concerts of the year.
The department consists of two full time music teachers and a group of visiting instrumental teachers employed by the school. Almost 200 pupils have an instrumental lesson each week on a range of instruments from keyboards to violin. The music department uses modern computer hardware and software to give the pupils a truly professional approach to composition, improvisation and learning. This method is very inclusive and encourages both gender groups to achieve. Pupils in Year 7 can be seen composing short orchestral pieces and in Year 9 pupils will write music to an actual film on the computers. KS4 pupils benefit from the use of composition and notation software as used by professional composers and publishers.