Head of Department: Lorraine Latin

Teacher of Music : Darragh Kilroy

We aim engender a love of music in our students, at Christ’s; we aim to nurture and encourage musical talent in all fields of music; we aim to enrich young peoples’ lives through performance and composition; we aim to prepare young people for life beyond Christ’s and to develop their general cultural awareness; we aim to develop creative skills which will bring about self-confidence and maturity, as well as the increasing ability to work collaboratively with others; we aim to engender a lifelong love of music in students; we aim to provide performance platforms and to act as ambassadors for the school; we aim to communicate that interaction with music is a fruitful and beneficial activity for all people.

There is a strong musical life at Christ's School, with opportunities abounding for a broad range of music making at all levels.

Our excellent music facilities, opened by Sir Tim Rice in 2004, include a large performance space, a plentiful range of classroom instruments including keyboards and varied percussion, three practice rooms, and outstanding music technology facilities, with Apple Mac computers running Logic Pro and Sibelius. Together with our team of highly skilled and professional classroom and peripatetic teachers and other external musical collaborators, these afford us the opportunity to support and release students to flourish and realise their musical potential. 

The Curriculum

Throughout the curriculum, we explore musical ideas, techniques and styles, through the three key areas of :

  • performing
  • composing
  • listening and appraising

Students develop their musical skills, knowledge and understanding through extensive practical music work, including 

  • whole-class, group and individual performing
  • group, pair and individual composing
  • critical engagement with a plethora of musical genres and artists, including students’ own creations and that of their peers
  • analysis of key pieces of music and set works 
  •  applying musical learning in new musical situations

Key Stage 3

Throughout Key Stage 3, students have one hour of Music per week, where they are equipped with the skills, knowledge and understanding to perform confidently, compose with understanding and increasingly develop their critical engagement with music, practising these areas and laying the ground work for choosing Music GCSE.

Key Stage 4

Students can opt to take GCSE Music in Years 10 & 11,  where we follow the Edexcel syllabus, with 150 minutes of Music per week. Students have a more individualised programme of study at GCSE and can follow many of their own creative and performance projects, alongside studying a core of set works covering an extensive range of musical genres. 

Key Stage 5 / Sixth Form

We offer A level Music at Christ’s School (Edexcel), which is a stimulating course, where students further come in to their own in their musical development. The detailed study of hugely varied set works, alongside growing students’ facility in aural skills, harmonic understanding, improvisation, composition, ensemble and solo performance make for a busy, challenging and rewarding musical and personal journey. 

A level Music students are also encouraged to run extra-curricular music clubs as part of their musical development. 


Plenty of opportunity exists at Christ’s for extra-curricular music as follows: 

Music Centre 

The department has an open-door policy at break, lunchtimes and after school, where students can come in and practise. Typically at these times, all available spaces in the department are being used by students, as well as teacher-directed rehearsals of various instrumental and vocal groups - making for a very vibrant department !

Instrumental / vocal tuition

Christ's Music department hires independent tutors offering high-quality tuition in the full range of instruments, including voice. Numbers in all areas continue to expand. The department is flexible and will aim to provide tuition in areas not currently covered if there is a need. 

Tuition is currently offered in piano, guitar (classical/jazz/rock/bass guitar), drums, recorder, flute, oboe, clarinet/saxophone, brass, singing, violin/viola, cello and double-bass. Individual tuition in the field of music technology may also be an option, although we do run after school clubs for this also.

Clubs / Ensembles

We offer a range of clubs and ensembles for students to participate in, including choir, woodwind group, string group, jazz group, ukelele club, plus ad hoc groups and, where appropriate, ensembles run by our A level Music students.


We generally host two major concerts each year, which give the chance for singers and instrumentalists to exercise their skills on the public stage. A concert at Christ's will typically contain: instrumental solos (classical, jazz, popular); vocal solos in a range of styles; the school choir; a band or orchestra; a variety of ensembles, large and small; rock groups; music technology pieces.

We also host several “At Home” concerts every year : informal, small-scale concerts designed for the playing and singing of solos and small ensembles in the more intimate environment of Christ's Music Centre.  

Further music events in recent years have included :

  • Performances by Christ's pupils as part of PTA-organized events each year  
  • Christ’s Jazz Band mini-tour of local primary schools : the band also performing in major events school during the year
  • Choral and orchestral concerts, featuring Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, Fauré’s Requiem, student compositions and solo concerto performances by our most advanced instrumentalists, accompanied by a largely professional orchestra.
  • Participation in the Nonesuch Orchestra Young Composers' Workshop, for several years, resulting in public performances of the compositions of several of our most talented young composers, who had the opportunity to work with the composer Andrew Toovey during the project. A student also performed a concerto movement with the orchestra in a public concert.
  • Partnerships with The Hermes Experiment, where pupils have had their own compositions critiqued and performed by this unique, young professional ensemble
  • Christ's annual Carol Service at Holy Trinity Church; this is a major musical event featuring choirs, orchestra and other ensembles.
  • Major music/drama productions produced have included: High School Musical; Bugsy Malone; Zorro the Musical (world schools’ premiere of this piece by Gypsy Kings and John Cameron); Oliver; Arabian Nights
  • Production of the school’s first music video (summer 2021) in collaboration with the English/Drama departments, and involving pupils and staff from across the school community in both the music recording and video 
  • Regular performances in whole school assemblies and collective worship
  • School choir performances
  • Many smaller informal music events in school
  • Performances by school bands at public venues, including performing at the annual Jack Petchey awards in the Richmond Theatre
  • Christ's School Music department produced five "virtual concerts" during the pandemic, showcasing the talents of our dedicated musicians and lifting the spirits of the community 

External Opportunities

Musically gifted pupils will be strongly encouraged to join external youth music organisations to supplement what can be achieved in school. A number of students have joined local youth orchestras (such as Ealing, Thames or Stoneleigh Youth Orchestras and the London Schools Symphony Orchestra) and have been encouraged to attend the junior departments of the main London music colleges.  We currently have a student attending the junior Guildhall School of Music. Previously, students have been part of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NJYO) Academy, as well as The National Scout and Guide Symphony Orchestra.

Students are encouraged to take part in external musical activities, including composing competitions. Two of our students recently took part in the national ORA Young Composers and Apprentices project, where one of them gained the runner up prize and had their piece performed at the prestigious Three Choirs Festival. A previous student gained ‘Highly Commended’ for their composition in the BBC Young Composers Competition.  

Post 18 / Careers

Those who continue with post-18 musical study have to choose between music college (conservatoire) and university courses; the former is more practical and geared towards musical performance, and the latter more academic, but still with a lot of practical music making.  

Students from Christ’s have gone on to study music both at university and music colleges,with a view to working in the profession as performers, composers or music teachers.

The study of music is linked to a much wider variety of careers than many people imagine (see below).  The presenter James May is one of many broadcasters and presenters who are music graduates; many music graduates pursue careers in law, accounting, etc. as well as arts administration, the media, facilities management and many other similar areas; and there are some who do indeed pursue a career in musical performance, though this is a very hard route and only for the very talented: we do, however have recent Christ’s alumni who have followed this route!  

Exam Board


Exam Board: Edexcel

Course Code: 1MU0


Past papers: Students can source these directly from teaching staff in the Music department


Exam Board: Edexcel

Course Code: 9MU0



Past papers: Students can source these directly from teaching staff in the Music department

Textbooks and Revision Resources

Edexcel AS/A level Anthology of Music

Useful links


Why study music: article:

Benefits of playing an instrument:

Why become a music graduate (NOT just if you want to become a professional musician!)



The list below shows the huge variety of non-musical careers that have been followed by Cambridge University Music graduates:

  • Barrister (family law specialist)
  • Goldman Sachs: Analyst
  • Foreign & Commonwealth Office: Diplomat
  • Baker Tilly:  Chartered Accountant
  • Lloyds TSB:  Credit Analyst
  • Procter & Gamble: Brand Manager
  • Barclays Capital: Analyst
  • Department of Work and Pensions: Strategy Team Leader
  • Church of England: Vicar
  • Sport England: Head of Growth
  • Cambridge University: Development and Alumni Relations Officer
  • IBM UK Limited:  Publishing Specialist
  • MC2 (Manchester):  PR Consultant
  • Children’s Society: Trustee
  • MP specializing in Human Rights and International Development
  • Conference and Exhibition Producer
  • Kings College London: Programme Director in Child Studies
  • Clon Communications: Technical Leader (software development)
  • Hammersmith & Fulham Borough Council: Team Support Officer
  • Dorling Kindersley: Editor
  • Naxos Audio Books: Publisher


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