From nurturing students at the start of their musical journey at QM, through to seeing our diploma and A Level musicians fly high, inclusivity and excellence is at the heart of what we offer. All girls in Years I and II experience the joys of collective singing in our inclusive choir, Cantiamo, as part of their Key Stage 3 Music curriculum. The Music Department also facilitates and supports individual excellence and those who wish to study Music vocationally - in recent years QM students have been invited to play with the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain, been personally headhunted to play in Ronnie Scott’s ‘Women in Jazz’ workshops and we have successfully supported many Choral Scholarships and Summer Residential applications for QM’s Music Scholars.
QM is a small school, where girls feel at home, yet which offers huge benefits - the team know each and every young musician and can tailor their experiences and opportunities individually based on their personal needs and goals. We have fabulous music facilities which are located at the heart of the School campus, boasting 14 practice rooms, each with pianos, and available from 07:00-21:00. St Margaret’s Chapel is also available to students as they wish, enabling them to practice or rehearse, with access to the School’s Yamaha Grand Piano and Pipe Organ. The Music Department Foyer doubles as an informal recital space and there is a well-equipped classroom including a PC suite with Sibelius software for use in composition classes, along with a separate multi-function rehearsal/teaching space in addition to the main Music building.
Delivering Instrumental Excellence
Queen Margaret’s Annual Concert Series
Funk and Soul Band
QM's Funk and Soul Band - who perform under the name The Lost Sock - provides students with an opportunity to experience being part of an exciting function-style ensemble.
Their repertoire spans jazz standards, soul classics, and more up-to-date pop numbers. Students who take part have the chance to learn how to read chord charts and hone their improvisation skills, as well as playing an active part in choosing their own repertoire and directing rehearsals.
Teacher of Percussion, Mr Dave Boston provides this lively and energetic concert favourite. The group is open to all and focuses on short-term projects in a variety of different styles including junkyard percussion, samba drumming and African djembes. A fantastic way to get involved regardless of previous experience!
A wholly inclusive and welcoming weekly concert series open to all. Students and staff alike gather to share performances, works-in-progress and all things musical in a supportive and welcoming atmosphere. The result is an eclectic and vibrant weekly display of repertoire ranging from our Y1s at the beginning of their musical journey through to our more advanced students airing their diploma preparations.
This ensemble is open to all year groups and provides experience of a range of jazz from standards, latin and big band numbers with 'guest' sixth form vocalists. Here, students are given a supportive environment to hone improvisation skills, learn to read chord charts and develop ensemble and communication skills - a firm favourite in our annual concert series!
A firm student favourite, QM's Wind Band provides a chance for our woodwind and brass players to enjoy lighter concert repertoire including Michael Buble, film music and well loved classics. Alongside a busy concert schedule, the Wind Band's highlight of the year continues to be their annual marquee performance at Speech Day.
Chamber Ensembles and Groups
The Music Department at QM has a vibrant array of smaller chamber ensembles and student led groups. These include string quartets, cello groups, wind trios and our brass group. Our musicians are at the heart of what we do, and it is to their credit that we also enjoy student led groups including rock groups and our current sixth form female barbershop - the Tone Commandments!
Musicians of Grade 4+ standard join to form our Senior Orchestra. Our students learn the discipline and teamwork necessary for orchestral musicianship through fun and supportive rehearsals working towards annual concerts performances throughout the year. Past recent repertoire includes Copland's Hoedown and Beethoven's 5th Symphony Finale alongside providing concerto opportunities for our music scholars.
Cantiamo (Junior Choir)
Cantiamo is our all-inclusive choir for Year I and II, embedded for all girls within the curriculum. It aims to unite girls by encouraging them to enjoy singing and grow in confidence through performance.
Our girls are given a practical foundation in vocal technique, score reading, and a wide experience of repertoire and vocal harmonisation. It serves as an excellent foundation for girls aspiring to join QM’s Chamber Choir.
Above all, Cantiamo aims to inspire a love of singing.
Queen Margaret's Chamber Choir is our flagship ensemble and sits at the heart of the QM community. This ensemble helps drive the school's rich choral tradition forward.
The choir leads multiple chapel services a week, including a weekly SSA anthem and regular Evensong services, both at school and beyond with past performances at York Minster and Durham Cathedral.
The girls rehearse three times a week, and the result is a dedicated and close-knit group of young singers, tackling repertoire at a high and wholly enriching standard.
QM is proud of our committed and vastly experienced team of visiting Music teachers offering individual instrumental and vocal tuition to the highest standard. Our Music staff are all highly respected performers in their own right and students are both nurtured and challenged whether working at beginner or diploma standard. Music is an important part of life at QM and most of the girls taking instrumental or singing lessons participate in one or more of the many musical ensembles and concerts on offer over the course of the academic year. We have an outstanding success rate in both ABRSM and Trinity examinations and all students have access to our accompanist and Head of Keyboard, Miss Kornas, ensuring that the music grade process is always a prepared, and therefore positive, experience. Lessons are available in the following subjects:
Piccolo Flute Oboe
Clarinet Bassoon Saxophone(s)
Recorder(s) French Horn Trumpet
Trombone Tuba Cornet
Tenor Horn Euphonium Violin
Viola Cello Double Bass
Harp Acoustic Guitar Electric Guitar
Electric Bass Guitar Piano Highland Pipes
Pipe Organ Singing
Composition Orchestral Percussion (Drum Kit)
Individual Music Theory Lessons