Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990) American composer and conductor

Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.Confucius (551–479BC) Chinese philosopher from The Book of Rites

Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends.Alphonse de Lamartine (1790–1869) French writer, poet and politician

The quality of our music teaching is paramount and at the heart of all that we do at Oakham. Our large and thriving Music Department consists of 8 core teaching staff, 31 visiting music teachers and 2 administrators, many of whom enjoy active professional performing careers.

Our aim is to nurture the ability of any pupil interested in music and, with around half the School taking part in musical ensembles, our pupils regularly participating in national youth music organisations and going on to study Music beyond Oakham at prestigious music colleges and universities, we believe that we are doing much to fulfil this objective.

Our students achieve particularly high standards in composition, and new works by Oakham pupils often feature in the School’s concert series, as well as scoring highly in public examination. 

All pupils from Lower One to Form 3 have an academic Music lesson each week as part of their core curriculum. They explore a range of musical projects aimed at enthusing pupils within each age group and stretching the most able.

Lower One pupils also enjoy a second period where they are introduced to Brass instruments (trumpet, horn, trombone and euphonium) for which they can receive a year of free tuition if they do not already play an orchestral instrument. Many go on to take up these instruments and play them throughout their Oakham career.

A highlight of Form 3 is the chance to compose fanfares which we enter into the Royal Opera House Fanfare Competition. We are very proud that one of our pupils has been a winner every year since 2010.

Music is an increasingly popular option at GCSE and develops pupils’ composition and performance skills. 

Post-16 students can choose to study Pre-U Music as an alternative to A-level and International Baccalaureate Music. All universities accept the Pre-U as a valid alternative to A-level in Music and we believe it gives pupils more opportunities to personalise the course and work independently, as well as a better preparation for studies beyond School. 

Peter Davis

Peter Davis

Director of Music

I have been Director of Music at Oakham since September 2005 and hold a first class degree in Music from Cambridge University, where I spent three years as organ scholar with St John’s College’s renowned Chapel Choir. I am committed to engaging as many pupils as possible in school music, both as performers and within the curriculum, as well as providing specialist support for the School’s most talented musicians. I conduct the Chapel Choir, Chamber Choir, Lower School Choir and Symphony Orchestra.