Queen's University



With regular coaching from a QCM instructor, students in chamber ensembles will learn the principles of ensemble playing, and will develop visual and aural musical communication skills through the preparation of a piece or movement for performance at the end of the term. Topics covered will include (but will not be limited to) the mechanics of cueing, leading, reacting in specific rhythmic contexts, issues of articulation on dissimilar instruments, and how to develop collective musical ideas as a group and execute them effectively.

Students may apply as a pre-formed group or as individuals.  All individual applicants must audition in order to be placed with players of similar level and interest.  Every attempt will be made to place students in appropriate groups. However, placement cannot be guaranteed if there aren’t sufficient applicants.

Coaches may be assigned according to instrument types within ensembles, schedule or student preference. Repertoire will be selected in consultation with assigned coach.


8 x 1 hour sessions with a coach will be arranged, per term, once groups and coaches have been assigned.  The coaching schedule for the term should be agreed upon by all parties at the beginning of the term, and submitted to the QCM office.  The coach will be the group’s liaison with the QCM office for the purpose of communication and room scheduling.

Coaching will begin any time after 9th September and conclude by 7th December, 2019 in the Fall Term, 4th April, 2020 in the Winter Term, or 13th June, 2020 in the Spring Term.

Groups are encouraged to meet for additional rehearsals without their coach, and may contact QCM to arrange room booking for such rehearsals.

Ensembles have the opportunity to perform at the following QCM recitals:

  • Fall Term Student concert: Sunday 15th December, 2019
  • Mid-winter Student concert: Sunday 9th February, 2020
  • Year End Student concert: Sunday 31st May, 2020


This course is open to students of any age, playing any instrument at an intermediate level or higher.  Students are expected to practice their individual parts outside of coaching time, so that coaching sessions can be spent on ensemble skill development.


  • Intermediate performance level or higher
  • Moderate sight-reading ability or higher
  • Audition (if required): by arrangement with Director of QCM. Please prepare a selection of your choice, and be prepared to do a short sight-reading sample.


QCM can assist in repertoire selection, and can access parts and scores from Queen’s library. Any group wishing to play repertoire not available in the library is responsible for purchasing/renting their own music. QCM will provide each member of the ensemble with a copy of the full score (when available). All music should be annotated with bar numbers prior to the first rehearsal.

To each coaching students should bring:

  • Individual part and full score
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Instrument with all accessories


Registration fee: $40 per family per year. This fee covers registration for all programs within QCM over the year.

  • Course fee: $250 per person/per term for trios
  • Course fee: $200 per person/per term for quartets
  • Course fee: $160 per person/per term for quintets


Groups of other sizes should consult QCM for fees.


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