Participation in music at Cargilfield at all levels is very strong and the school has a culture of encouraging children to play and perform together from a young age.

We cater for musicians of all abilities and aim to provide personalised opportunities for all children to achieve their full potential. Each year we also have talented children who prepare for 13+ scholarships at Senior Schools across the UK.


The Music Department is housed in a purpose-built building and is a busy place. Approximately 88% of children in the Upper School and 67% of those in P2/3 play at least one instrument. Over 290 lessons take place within school each week, given by our enthusiastic staff of 17 peripatetic specialist teachers. Individual music lessons are usually offered from P2 onwards, and consultation appointments with the Director of Music are available to help parents to choose an instrument to suit their child. We encourage the children, especially those in Forms 4-6, to come to ‘practice club’ sessions during the afternoon to ensure they find time to play their instrument each day.

Practical music exams (ABRSM and Trinity) take place on a termly basis within the school, for those children wishing to take these. Theory classes are popular; children have the opportunity to prepare for theory exams up to Grade 5, which also take place within school twice a year.

Music Groups

As soon as children are able to, we encourage them to join a music group, rehearsing during our morning break times. This term, weekly music groups within the school are as follows:

  • Chapel Choir
  • Form 4/5 Choir
  • Two Pipe Bands
  • Senior Wind Band
  • Junior Wind Band
  • Two Scottish Fiddle Groups
  • Junior String Orchestra
  • Form 4/5 Recorder Ensemble
  • Chanter Group
  • Flute Group
  • Junior and Senior Harp Groups
  • Junior and Senior Guitar Groups
  • Saxophone Group
  • Wind Quartet
  • String Quintet
  • String Quartet

Strings masterclass with Eric de Wit, SCO

Chapel Choir

Our busy Chapel Choir comprises boys and girls in Forms 6,7 & 8 and rehearses 3 times a week to prepare for fortnightly services and end of term services. A highlight of the Summer Term was Choir Tour, which included performances at Lindisfarne Priory, Durham Cathedral and Rothbury Parish Church. Last term (Autumn 2019) the choir gave a lunchtime concert on the theme of ‘Freedom’ at St Cuthbert’s Church in Edinburgh and led the school in our Remembrance Day, Advent and Christmas Carol Services. This term we look forward to a return visit and joint concert with Durham Choristers’ School who are on their tour.


There are numerous performance opportunities within school and externally. Pre-Prep and Upper School Miniconcerts are held each term to provide the opportunity for children at all levels to play to a supportive audience. More experienced soloists play within Thursday Chapel services and at whole-school concerts. Our most able musicians are invited to take part in performance masterclasses with visiting musicians.

Performing together is a central part of our school culture. All of Forms 4 & 5 play the recorder in an ensemble and sing in a choir. We have whole-school concerts at the end of each term where our musical groups are featured. In addition, our Pipe Band makes an important contribution with performances at our Remembrance Day Service and Summer Fair, as well as an increasing number of external performances throughout the year. This term they are preparing to perform in the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships for the first time.

The whole of the Upper School is also involved every second year in a performance of a Mass setting (Mozart’s Coronation Mass in March 2016; Haydn’s St Nicholas Mass in March 2018), which also brings together a parents’ choir and an orchestra made up of teachers, parents and some of the older children.

As well as holding an annual Prep School’s Brass Day, we attend events at senior schools, including the annual Strings Day at Kilgraston, the Glenalmond Choral Day and the Fettes Orchestral Day.

Pipe Band

We are fortunate to have a highly qualified and experienced team of peripatetic teachers:

  • Mrs Jane Alder – piano
  • Mr Rob Collinson – brass
  • Mr Keith Dawes - piping
  • Mrs Brigitte Harris – organ
  • Mrs Cindy Holden - cello
  • Mr Colin Hyson – orchestral percussion
  • Mrs Shona Jones – piano and cello
  • Miss Julia Lungu – violin
  • Mrs Elisabeth McLay – violin (including Suzuki)
  • Mr Craig Munro - piping
  • Miss Elinor Evans; maternity cover for Miss Fiona Rutherford – harp (clarsach)
  • Miss Alison Storm – classical guitar
  • Mrs Clara Skuse – bassoon, clarinet, oboe and saxophone
  • Miss Kate Wake – flute and piano
  • Miss Alison Walker – singing
  • Mr Jim Walker – pipe drumming
  • Miss Ola Walker – tenor drumming

Cargilfield Connected

We can’t welcome you to our grounds right now, but we hope that this video, presented by our Headmaster, Mr Rob Taylor, will give you a flavour of what life is like here at Cargilfield.

We have places available for 2020 entry in most year groups.

Our website and social media channels are being kept up to date and hold a wealth of information about our school. We hope these give you a flavour of what life is like here at Cargilfield.

Our Registrar, Fiona Craig is available to contact via email: and she will be happy to help.

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