The Music Department provides numerous opportunities to study and perform music. The classroom music courses typically cover music literature and the history of music, techniques of composition, including melody writing, arranging for ensembles and harmony, music theory, music perception and music performance. Music can be taken in Years 11 and 12 as a WACE subject.
Students may learn an orchestral or band instrument, or take vocal studies from one of the thirty specialist peripatetic music teachers who teach at the school each week. In order to learn vocal studies or an instrument, a Music as an Extra Subject form must be completed and handed into the Music Department. A comprehensive selection of musical instruments is available for hire from the school for students who do not have their own instrument.
The aim of the ensemble programme is to provide a performance opportunity for any instrumentalist or chorister who wishes to be involved. There are numerous band, choral and orchestral ensembles in the Junior and Senior School. The Senior School has five choirs, including the Cantate, a choir which combines students from St Mary's and the neighbouring Hale School for boys. A combined orchestra and band programme with Hale School has also run for several years with great success. Currently there are two concert bands and two orchestras which rehearse each week and perform regularly in school-based and community concerts. For the jazz enthusiasts there are two big bands.
The music facilities at St Mary's are amongst the finest in Australia. The Lady Treatt Centre for Music and Dance has two music classrooms, one of which has extensive computer facilities. There are fourteen music studios to cater for individual instrumental and vocal lessons while the spacious percussion room houses the school's comprehensive collection of percussion instruments. The ensemble room has quite a live acoustic and is designed to accommodate chamber ensembles and choirs. The music library houses a large collection of orchestra, band and choral music.
Recent developments in music technology have been introduced to the classroom programme, with the latest software used to assist with music perception, composition and literature research, and in music sampling and sequencing.
The Music Department adjoins The Lady Wardle Performing Arts Centre, in which the spacious music rehearsal room provides for the concert band, choir and orchestra rehearsals. St Mary's and Hale School jointly purchased a single manual Gobles and Sons harpsichord, made in Oxford, UK. The auditorium has a nine foot Concert Grand piano made by Berdux, of Munich, Germany.