Custom Class: header-inner

Custom Class: hero-banner-wrapper


From the experienced Sixth Form music scholar to a beginner in Shells and whatever the instrument, our aim is to support, encourage and develop the pupils' music-making. 

Christopher Sparkhall - Director of Music

Music at Canford enjoys a high profile within the busy school life. We hope that when pupils leave Canford they will continue to pursue their music-making independently having gained sufficient skills whilst at school to enable them to sing in choirs, play in bands or orchestras or just to enjoy playing at home as a hobby. For some, further professional training will beckon and we know that the rounded and high-level musical education provided at Canford will also prove an excellent foundation for a music degree or a Conservatoire course.

The Music department welcomes musicians of all abilities who have enthusiasm to learn. Pupils take part in a wide range of co-curricular musical activities and are fully involved in this lively, ambitious and successful department. All those who learn an orchestral or band instrument are encouraged to join an appropriate ensemble. Most musicians will be in more than one ensemble, allowing them to gain experience of different music, styles and instrumental combinations. A level and GCSE music are  popular choices, but involvement in ensembles is open to all, whether or not they have opted to pursue the academic subject. The skills and understanding acquired in music are broad, ranging from subject-specific technical knowledge, through the practical aspects of composition and performance, to ‘life-skills’ such as teamwork, self-discipline and motivation.

Learn more about Academic Music at Canford

Learn more about Co-Curricular Music at Canford

Music is well known for its potential to have a significant positive impact on learning in all academic areas, and elite universities and employers will often look favourably on applicants who have music amongst their academic subjects and co-curricular interests, knowing that they will be people who have a range of useful and transferable skills. We firmly believe that musicians have big brains!

Christopher Sparkhall - Director of Music

The department at Canford is housed in a purpose-built facility. The main concert hall seats a maximum of 300, but combines the ability to contain the largest ensembles with an acoustic and ambience that suits solo performance and informal concerts as well. It has a Steinway piano and a three manual digital Allen Organ. There are two classrooms which are configured to allow for small ensemble rehearsals, an IT suite, 9 further practice rooms and an instrument store. All practice rooms are equipped with top-quality pianos, mainly Yamaha U3, and the building is available for pupils from early in the morning until 9.30 at night. At the rear of the music school main building there is a percussion studio,  further small ensemble space, a recording studio and four acoustic practice rooms plus two ‘pop shack’ spaces, equipped with drum kits, PA and guitar amps. 

Friends of Canford Music

The Friends of Canford Music is a volunteer group of parents, OCs and staff who work alongside the music department to provide an enjoyable social context for audiences at music concerts, to promote and publicise musical events at Canford, and to raise the profile of music at Canford.

Find out more about the Friends of Canford Music

Book tickets for Canford Music performances 

Finalist - Independent Schools of the Year 2021

Independent School of the Year finalist

We were thrilled and very proud to be selected from Music departments in independent schools across the UK as a finalist in the Performing Arts category at the 2021 Independent Schools of the Year Awards. 


Hero Photo Slideshow