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City of London

School for girls

"If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music." Albert Einstein

We strive to create the very best atmosphere that will give every girl the opportunity to develop their musical skills by providing many diverse and stimulating experiences practically, creatively and academically.

We aim to:

  • encourage every girl to discover the music within her
  • to develop skills as a performer whatever the level
  • to discover the joy of being an active listener
  • to develop creative potential through composing
  • to develop the audiences of the future
  • to give every girl a musical background and experiences that will stay with her for life


"To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable."  Aaron Copland (1900-1990), Composer

We offer a wide range of musical activities both within and out of the classroom. There is something for everyone regardless of their talent and we encourage everybody to take part in some music activity. In the classroom much of the work is practical, whether singing or learning how to play instruments, formal work or creating experimental compositions. We use IT to enhance creative work and every girl composes. Nearly every type of musical ensemble is catered for whether traditional or popular. Discussions, visits to the opera, concerts in and out of school, workshops, competitions and visiting musicians all support the work of the department

We also try and identify those who may be gifted and talented and encourage them to take up a new instrument, join extra-curricular music activities, apply for music scholarships or even Saturday music collages if appropriate.

To listen to extracts of performances by past and present students, please click here.


YEARS 7 - 9

Performing: Singing and playing a wide range of repertoire, performing compositions, solo and group work, music from other countries, traditional and modern, preparation for concerts.

Listening: Listening to a wide variety of music including traditional, modern and experimental, discussions, comparisons, learning vocabulary in preparation for GCSE and beyond, utilising critical aural skills. We include study and group presentations on the core elements of music, on music from other countries, traditions and time periods and investigate the role of music in its wider social and cultural context.

Composing: Girls are very active composers throughout Year 7, 8 and 9. They compose using traditional percussion instruments, African drums and keyboards. All students are introduced to music software using the Cubase and Sibelius programmes. Students  compose conventional pieces which help them to learn about rhythm, melody, harmony and structure as well as experimenting with modes and scales from other countries. They also experiment with different types of composition and sound, writing dance/popular and film music which forms a good background to GCSE work.

YEARS 10 and 11

We currently follow the Cambridge IGCSE course.

Girls are encouraged to take part in a wide variety of music both in and out of school. Those who are particularly gifted and talented performers are recommended to audition for Saturday music colleges.

Performing (30%): One solo and one ensemble. These can be recorded at any time during their GCSE years. Class concerts are held regularly where they are assessed.

Listening (40%)Music from a wide variety of time periods and traditions is explored during the course. Girls develop analytical and aural skills and learn about the historical, social and cultural backgrounds to each ​style covered. ​Assessment takes the form of a listening exam at the end of the course.

Composing ​(30%)Two contrasting compositions are required. These must be completed within the lessons under controlled assessment conditions. They may be completed at any time during the course.


A level music will foster a real love and understanding of music within students through the study of music from a wide historical span as well as music from other countries, writing compositions, developing aural awareness and building upon performing skills. Students will develop analytical skills that will help them understand not only the music they perform but to draw connections between repertoire from the past and present day. This is a good starting point for further study at all universities and colleges and a good grounding for a career in performing. 

Performing (35%): A recital lasting for at least ten minutes.

Listening and Appraisal (40%): Involving wider listening from a variety of cultures/traditions and time periods, and the study of specific set works.

Composing (25%): two pieces are required, one is a free composition, and the other is to a set brief, which will involve studying and emulating the techniques of composition used by existing successful composers.

The Music Department offers a comprehensive programme of extracurricular and enrichment opportunities for Sixth Form musicians including chamber music, advanced theory, concert trips and many performance opportunities.


GCSE: Cambridge
A Level: AQA


  • Scholars' Concert
  • Autumn Concert
  • Young Musician of the Year Competition
  • Summer Concert
  • Regular lunchtime concerts
  • Joint Orchestra/Choir Concert with CLS
  • Joint Chamber Music Concert with Freemens’ School
  • City Schools Concert
  • Concert trips to the Barbican
  • Carol Services
  • Year 7 Concert
  • Sing and Swing 


  • Senior orchestra
  • Junior orchestra
  • String ensemble
  • Training orchestra (Synchronicity) 
  • String quartets
  • Piano trios
  • Piano duets
  • Swing band
  • Jazz group
  • Clarinet quartet
  • Saxophone quartet
  • Flute ensembles
  • Brass ensembles
  • Senior choir
  • Junior choir
  • Chamber choir
  • Barbershop

 "Music at A level has not only broadened our musical horizons but also improved our appreciation for music as a whole. Although at times it can be challenging, we feel that we have excelled in composition, performance and analysing in many musical styles. The Music staff are vibrant, loving and ever supportive. We would highly recommend Music as a subject as it is rewarding and fun!" Sixth form music students

Director of music: Ms E Calver