Music gives our students the opportunity to develop an understanding of the way in which music is constructed, produced and influenced by time and place in the context of diverse genres or styles. Our courses are designed to engage, stretch and challenge students with limited musical backgrounds as well as more experienced musicians and everyone will experience opportunities to develop their skills in performing, listening, appraising and composing.

Students benefit from passionate and experienced teaching staff and from access to excellent facilities, including traditional western instruments, specialist instruments from world music traditions, access to a range of music technology programs and equipment and our array of stunning performance spaces.

Junior Department

Lower School

Middle School

Sixth Form


9–7 at GCSE 2023


9–8 at GCSE 2023


A*–A at A level 2023

"If I had to sum up Music at St Helen’s in three words, I would say: alive, diverse and inclusive. Choose any instrument and you can learn how to play it, in ensembles, with your friends or just for the love of it. Music is a journey with so many different paths to take, choir, orchestra, wind or brass band, and you never want it to end, you can challenge yourself to go further or even enjoy some fun karaoke, the choice is up to you!"
Isabella, Year 9

Academic enrichment

The Department offers academic enrichment opportunities in music theory, musicianship and aural training and students are encouraged to attend lectures, events and concerts throughout the year. Regular songwriting competitions are organised and visiting speakers are welcomed into the department to work with our young musicians.



The Music Department offers a hugely busy and diverse extracurricular programme. We provide opportunities for every student in the School, whatever their musical strengths or tastes. Some of our activities are open to anyone and focus on the enjoyment of making music together and the positive effects that this can have for well-being and mental health. We also run many auditioning choirs, orchestras and bands as well as joint events with Abingdon School and other partnership activities. We have a high-quality chamber music programme with huge success each year in local and national competitions, and our jazz and pop music departments enjoy a consistently high profile.

Beyond Music

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