The Merriman Music School, named after the first Headmaster of Cranleigh, is housed within the main School buildings, following purpose-renovation in 2000. Set over two floors around a central 100-seater auditorium, it now ranks among the finest music facilities of any school in the country. Situated in historic buildings directly opposite Cranleigh’s beautiful Gothic Chapel, the Music School embodies the Department’s strong philosophy of embracing the best of modern technology without sacrificing traditional disciplines.
The Clive Stevens Recital Hall forms the heart of the Music School, with tiered seating for 100, a Steinway Model B grand piano, a harpsichord and a fully computerised lighting, sound and projection system. Overlooking this, a professionally equipped recording studio enables pupils with technological interests to develop their skills. This, coupled with a dedicated music technology suite with twelve networked PC computers and the services of a full-time Head of Music Technology, ensures that Cranleigh pupils are at the forefront in their understanding of, and exposure to, this increasingly important area.
There are two classrooms for academic teaching and a recently refurbished sixth form study area. In addition to several hundred musical scores in the library, the Department subscribes to an online music library giving listening access to many thousands of recordings of a huge range of music. A fully sound insulated ‘Rock Room’ enables pupil bands to rehearse safe in the knowledge that they are not disturbing other activities in the Music School; an electronic decibel limiter ensures that they get used to safe levels of sound.
Most important of all are the extensive facilities for instrumental teaching and individual practice. The Merriman Music School boasts fourteen further rooms of differing sizes, all with good quality pianos which are available throughout the School day and each evening.
The Chapel currently houses a new two-manual Mander pipe organ. The Speech Hall is capable of seating a large audience and houses a Steinway Model D grand piano. In addition, every boarding house has a piano available for individual practice.