Music Centre

Opened in 2019, Downing has a dedicated Music Centre to provide a place for you to learn or practice playing a range of musical instruments.  The Music Centre has two practice rooms, managed by a dedicated Director of Music, offering support to you to explore your musical interests – whether its playing an instrument or signing.


Venues for concerts and rehearsals include:

  • the Howard Theatre
  • the Howard Building
  • the Chapel
  • the Master’s Lodge
  • the Maitland Room (West Lodge)
  • the Music Room.

Bookings for the Howard Theatre, Howard Building, Maitland Room or Music Room should be made at the Porters’ Lodge. The Chaplain deals with Chapel bookings, and the Master invites the Music Society to arrange recitals in the Master’s Lodge.

Practice Rooms

The following pianos are available for use by students:

  • the Steinway grand piano in the Howard Theatre Music Practice Room
  • the Kawai grand piano in the Music Room
  • upright pianos in the Howard Building and the Chapel.

These rooms can be provisionally booked via the Porters' Lodge.

Keys to practice rooms should be signed out from the Lodge immediately prior to use. Students booking rooms will need to leave their University card or room key with the Porters as security.

Further details of the access arrangements are as follows:

  • Before handing out the key to any practice room, the duty Porter will check that no events are taking place in nearby areas that may be disrupted by the practice.
  • Students can make bookings in advance on the sign-out sheets in the Porters' Lodge. All bookings are provisional. If the booked room is no longer available when the key is requested then the Porters will try and find a substitute room. This may not always be possible.
  • Students will have access to their preferred practice location or instrument if possible, but the Porters are required to ensure that other events occurring in surrounding areas are undisturbed.
  • The Chapel piano is available but practice can disturb the nearby student rooms. For this reason students will generally be asked to use instruments in other areas in preference to the Chapel.
  • The key must be returned to the Porters' Lodge immediately after practice has ended.
  • The College is currently considering options for online booking of these facilities.

There is also a Yamaha grand piano in the Master's Lodge which is used for recitals, and pianos are provided for organ scholars and music students in their own rooms.

Rules concerning music practice in student rooms can be found in the rules and guidelines section of this site.