Teamwork and Music Making at the High Ashurst Residential March 2023

Teamwork and Music Making at the High Ashurst Residential March 2023

Sutton Music Service is open-minded and passionate about engaging with and celebrating all forms of music and all abilities. Students united by a love of music attended the High Ashurst residential to build friendships and make lasting memories.

On the 10th of March, 44 young musicians arrived at High Ashurst Outdoor Education Centre in Dorking for Sutton Music Service’s annual residential weekend. This calendar highlight is for any SMS ensembles musician in year 4-8 and for many is their first time away from home without their families.

The weekend is an opportunity for the musicians to play music in the exciting setting of the Surrey Hills, make new friendships, strengthen existing ones, and develop their teamwork and problem-solving skills.


The music making took place in the form of a ‘scratch’ orchestra, with all instruments and standards welcome and included. The pupils also enjoyed developing their singing skills and exploring music from different cultures. By the end of the weekend, they were confidently singing a traditional South African song in six-part harmony.

Student leadership featured on the weekend, and we were delighted that the lead of the Sutton Music Service Youth Forum joined us- not only in a pastoral role but also as our roving social media reporter. This meant the younger students could gain an insight of how their progression through the Sutton Music Service might look as well as see the different ways in which they can participate then they are older.

On the Saturday afternoon everyone participated in an outdoor High Ropes challenge and some physical team building activities. The pupils challenged themselves by (literally) reaching new heights and finding out what they could achieve when they tried their best. As a result, they went home feeling confident, energised and inspired.

“My son said this is unique and one of the best experiences he has had this year”

“Thanks to all the staff involved. My girls loved the weekend are already looking forward to going next year”

“Thank you to all of you. My son had a wonderful weekend playing music and having fun with his friends”

Want to get involved? Count me in!

To find out more about our Ensembles and Choirs, check out our website.

Interested in joining on of our ensembles? Sign up for a free trial session for our Count Me In! Week here:

Invitations to High Ashurst 2024 will be sent out by the Ensembles, Events and Media Coordinator in Autumn 2023.