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Aims & Philosophy of the Music Department

The Music Department at Queen Margaret’s aims to challenge and inspire girls through a broad range of musical experiences and opportunities inside and outside the classroom. The lively department, situated at the heart of the School, the department consists of three full time members and seventeen visiting music staff.

The opportunities for music making at QM are many and varied and our approach allows girls to experience music in a variety of ways. We offer a wide variety of opportunities for musicians of any standard; girls choosing to take individual music lessons will take part in some element of group music making during the course of the year as part of the conditions for taking lessons. In embracing all styles of music, we provide many opportunities for various forms to be learned and performed. We also believe music making should extend well beyond graded exams and seek to provide many out of school opportunities for our musicians.

Overview of Key Stage 4 Curriculum

In Years 10 & 11, girls spend their GCSE years following the Edexcel syllabus, which is composed of three core areas of the course. The Performing aspect will require girls to produce both a solo and ensemble performance, which can be recorded at any time during the course. The Composing aspect will require girls to produce two compositions or arrangements lasting two and four minutes in total. Both of these units are assessed by their teacher and are externally moderated.

The last component is the Listening and Appraising aspect, which is a ninety minute examination set and marked by Edexcel. Questions will relate to specific works which are set for each of the four Areas of Study. These are Western Classical Music 1600-1899, Music in the 20th Century, Popular Music in Context and World Music.

What makes the Department unique from those at other schools?

There are many facets that make Queen Margaret’s a special place to make music. The department prides itself on inclusivity and quality; whether rehearsing with Grade 8 standard musicians or our Year I classroom ensembles, our students are encouraged to strive for their very best and to have fun in the process. The result is a department with a strong sense of community and students that support one another and celebrate in each other’s achievements. We hope that girls leave Queen Margaret’s equipped to enjoy and make music for life, having benefited from a wide variety of musical endeavours. Some of these opportunities include concerts both in school and the wider community, workshops with professional musicians and student-led projects. In recognising that today’s musicians have a plethora of genres, styles and disciplines available to them, the department strives to encompass all music: from our strong tradition of choral excellence to embracing emerging music technology and everything in between.

To learn about the Art Department curriculum
in other Key Stages please choose a link