The aim of the department is to ensure that students throughout the school enjoy music and reach their full potential in the subject. The Music Department is a lively and busy place where there are opportunities for everyone, from beginners to more advanced level players, to be involved.

Music is taught to all students in Years 7-9. The Edexcel Specification is taught for GCSE, AS and A2 level. In Years 7 - 9 the work is project based such as Film Music, Blues and Jazz, African Drumming, Baroque-Romantic Music and Cover Song Project. All projects include opportunities to perform, compose, listen and appraise music. 

Marist Music Ensembles

  • Concert Orchestra
  • Reed Group
  • Flute Choir
  • Choir
  • A Cappella Group ‘Grace Notes’
  • Staff/Parent Choir
  • Guitar Group
  • String Group

Private Music Lessons

As an extension to classroom work the students have the opportunity to learn additional instruments. Lessons with visiting teachers take place during the school day. At present over 200 instrumental lessons are taught each week. All private music lessons are 35 minutes long, and run simultaneously with the academic curriculum. Girls come out of academic lessons on a 5-week rotation and will be expected to catch up on all academic work.

Music Scholarships

Music Scholarships are offered for entry into Year 7 and the Sixth Form.


The choir were regional finalists in ‘Choir of the Year 2014’. The newly formed a cappella group ‘Grace Notes’ were Youth Category finalists in ‘The Voice Festival UK 2016’ where they won ‘outstanding performance’ and ‘outstanding solo’ awards. 

Concerts Opportunities

There are opportunities for all girls to be involved fully in the life of the Music Department. A variety of concerts are scheduled throughout the year.

School Productions

The Marist put on a bi-annual musical production. In 2012 we presented "Grease" as our whole school production and in 2014 presented "The Sound of Music". We plan to produce “Calamity Jane” as our 2016 production.

Carol Service

The Carol Service is a very important annual event, at which all the School Choirs and all girls in Years 7 & 8 take part in a service of readings and carols.

Performance in the Community

We are building opportunities to perform in the local area through carol singing and we are going to be providing entertainment at the Lynwood Care Home Village Family Fete in 2016.

Lunchtime Concerts

GCSE and A Level pupils are given the opportunity to perform their performance coursework in lunchtime recitals. Music Scholars are also given the opportunity to perform in their own lunchtime concert in the Summer Term. The school has also treated to a Staff Lunchtime Concert which raised £360 for CLIC Sargent Cancer Care.

Chamber Concerts

Chamber Concerts take place each year, giving opportunities to instrumentalists and vocalists throughout the school – these are especially useful as performance preparation for Associated Board and Trinity and Guildhall examinations.

Jazz Evening

2012 saw our second Jazz Supper at Jagz Jazz Club in Ascot where the Swing Band played a fantastic selection of jazzy songs, and vocalists and instrumentalists throughout the school presented a programme of jazz standards. This event gave the students an opportunity to perform in a dinner club environment, backed by a professional jazz group.

Music Tours

2014 saw The Marist on tour in Lake Garda, Italy.  We had a fantastic time visiting Venice, Lakeside towns and Gardaland. We are visiting Barcelona in 2016.

Royal Holloway Collaboration

Thirteen girls in Years 8 & 9 took part in Opera Holloway’s 2011 Christmas production of Humperdinck’s famous opera ‘Hansel and Gretel’. Over the course of the Autumn Term, they took part in workshops both at the school and at Royal Holloway College. This culminated in two performances on 9th and 10th December in which the girls did a fantastic job of playing the roles of the gingerbread children.

Key Stage 5 (AS/A Level)

Board: Edexcel AS / A2 Level

For all who study Music, whether through strong natural desire or a spirit of academic adventure, there is the enticing prospect of:

  • Fostering a passion for, a love of, a subject which enriches and enlivens people of all cultures
  • Cultivating a deeper understanding of the diverse musical world that surrounds us
  • Developing an enquiring mind and the ability to think critically and to make informed judgements
  • Nurturing a creative imagination
  • Discovering, experiencing, understanding, sharing and expressing feelings and abstract thoughts
  • Revealing intangible aspects of human experience that are embodied in the creative arts, especially through music

Course Aims

The course provides students with two excellent opportunities to develop your performance skills, both in a solo and/ or ensemble setting. You will also have the opportunity to create two compositions and develop your aural and analytical skills through the study of a range of set works from a variety of different musical genres.

The full A- Level course is excellent preparation for higher education courses in Music and a future career in the music industry, but is equally as valuable for non-specialists as a second or third area of study. The AS level units alone can offer a broad and satisfying experience for those who want to conclude their musical studies at this point.

Course Outline

Unit 1: Performing Music – Internally assessed (30%)

Pupils can perform as a soloist and/or as part of an ensemble. Pupils can choose music in any style. Any instrument(s) and/or voice(s) are acceptable as part of a six minute assessed performance. Must be a public recital/concert

Unit 2: Composing Music – Externally assessed (30%)

Pupils will complete 2 Compositions one in response to a set brief, the other could be free or to another of the briefs. Minimum of 2 minutes each and minimum combined total of 4 minutes 30 seconds.

Unit 3: Written Exam - Externally assessed (40%) 90 minutes

  • The exam will look at the musical elements, contexts and language through set works and unfamiliar music. There are 6 Areas of Study with 2 set works in each.

    Section A of the exam comprises questions on the Areas of Study and dictation (45 marks). There are three questions linked to the set works (skeleton score and audio provided) and one short melody/rhythm, dictation exercise.

    Section B is an extended essay response comprising two essays. One is worth 15 marks and draws links between set work and unfamiliar piece and the second is a choice of three questions analysing musical elements and context of the set works

Entry Requirements

Students need to have achieved the following

  • GCSE Music (a grade C or above is required)
  • Grade 5 on their instrument
  • Grade 5 Music Theory

It is expected that all students studying Music A-Level will participate fully in a range of extra-curricular activities; ranging from school ensemble rehearsals and performances, to even creating opportunities to lead and mentor the younger musicians of the school.

Progression to A2 Music is dependent on achieving a grade C or above at AS – Level

Future Careers

Music complements all subjects and the Edexcel A-Level can lead to a degree at University or Music College where you may decide to specialise in performing, composing or music technology.

The career opportunities in the music industry are broad and extremely exciting. You may consider one of the following career paths:

  • Performance                                                    
  • Music Therapy
  • Teaching                                                                             
  • Instrument repair / restoration
  • Arts Administrator                                                          
  • Journalism
  • Publishing                                                                          
  • Sound engineering
  • Broadcasting                                                                     
  • Producing