Music lessons in Years 7 to 9 focus on practical work and involve developing skills in composing, listening and performing through the study of a variety of genres. 

Year 7 explore the elements of music and the instruments of the orchestra. Year 8 investigate The Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns and discover samba music through performance and ensemble playing. Year 9 projects include Blues and Song as well as Music for Film and Advertisements. 

GCSE & A Level

At IGCSE, pupils follow the CIE course. This is a skills-based course in which composition and performance form 60% of the overall grade. Pupils perform and record a solo and an ensemble piece, as well as writing two contrasting compositions. The remaining 40% is a listening paper comprising musical genres from around the world. 

At A Level, pupils follow the OCR syllabus, which again comprises 60% composition and performance and a 40% written paper. Pupils perform a 10-15 minute recital to an audience of pupils, parents and staff, and this is recorded.  The written element of the course involves the study of Instrumental Music from the Classical Period, Popular Song from Blues through to Big Band, Religious Music of the Baroque period, and Programme Music from 1820-1910. 


Trips are a regular feature of the Department’s activities through our Culture Club series. We are able to take advantage of the world-class music that is on offer at top London venues, especially the Royal Festival Hall, including in the last year a rare performance of Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 3 in A Minor, and a complete performance of Ma Vlast, Smetana’s nationalistic cycle of tone poems which the girls are studying for A Level. Visiting musicians are invited into school regularly for performances.

European choir tours are undertaken regularly by Campion, the main senior choir, and are always very popular. In Venice and Padova in 2024, Campion will be singing Mass in St Mark’s Basilica, and giving concerts in the Salla della Carita in Padova and St George’s Anglican Church in Venice. They will also visit churches, watch fireworks on the Grand Canal, and see glass-blowing on Murano. The previous trip went to Budapest, where the choir performed a number of concerts, as well as singing Mass at St Stephen’s Basilica and a festive programme of music on the central stage at the Christmas market. 


Concerts at school take place regularly. In the Michaelmas term we hold our annual Voices by Candlelight concert, as well as an Advent Charity Concert and three carol services. The Vocal and Orchestral Concert in March is the main school concert of the year. In 2023, the programme included Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. Soloists and ensembles perform regularly on other occasions such as Open Mornings and alumnae events. Informal lunchtime concerts are held every two or three weeks.

The girls also organise their own major events. The Summer Soirée is a concert organised with Sixth Form pupils who put on ensemble pieces with girls from younger years and guest performers from boys schools. The programme often includes original compositions. The Music Captain also organises and hosts her own annual concert, which might be a formal classical concert in the Chapel, or a contemporary café-style event in the Rose Theatre. In addition to the classical repertoire, the Department also organises regular Open Mic nights, and an annual Rock Concert.

Individual Tuition

Individual tuition in almost any instrument is offered by our wide range of peripatetic teachers. Lessons take place in one of our many practice rooms, all of which have pianos. Practice rooms and times are available to all girls throughout the day, including weekends, from 7:30am until 10:00pm. Instrumentalists and singers are entered for Associated Board and Trinity Guildhall music examinations, which take place every term.


In addition to our practice rooms, we have larger tutorial and rehearsal spaces, and opportunities for collaborative music-making are plentiful and fun. Concerts take place either in the Rose Theatre or in the Chapel.

Campion is the main senior choir, comprising girls from Year 9 upwards. Membership is by audition. Campion is at the heart of the school, providing liturgical music for Sunday Mass, singing at whole school events such as Open Day, and touring abroad every 2-3 years.

Junior Campion is the junior choir for pupils in Years 7 and 8. They lead the singing at Mass once a term, and perform in concerts throughout the year. Junior Campion provides excellent preparation for the senior choir.

Davenport is the non-auditioned choir which comes together in the Michaelmas term every year to participate in Christmas celebrations.

Chorus Choir is a group of singers who specialise in contemporary music. As well as performing in school concerts, they are often invited to perform at school events and functions.

Senior Madrigal is a select choir of 16 voices who perform in school concerts and at other special events.


Senior Orchestra is comprised of girls of Grade 5 standard and above who enjoy performing a range of repertoire from Handel and Elgar to film scores by John Williams. They perform in concerts several times a year, including the school’s main annual Vocal and Orchestral Concert.

Concert Band provides an opportunity for younger musicians to learn to play together in a large ensemble, and to perform repertoire that is light and enjoyable, including film and show music. The emphasis is on music-making as collaborative and fun.

Jazz Band provides an opportunity for girls to enjoy ensemble work in a range of different styles, from blues and funk to swing and Latin. Girls learn to play tailor-made arrangements, and perform in both school and charity concerts.

Harp Ensemble is a group of harp-players who perform each Christmas.

Brass Ensemble is a group for all players of brass instruments. 

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