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Head of Department: Mrs R. Kennedy
                                                  Mrs M. Keag
Peripatetic teachers:

  • Mrs K Marston (Vocal)
  • Mr R Gay (Drums)
  • Mrs A McAleer (Piano)
  • Mr B McClean (Traditional Music)

The music block is the place where everybody has the opportunity to express themselves in a fun, creative environment.

As a rockstar, I have two instincts, I want to have fun and I want to change the world. I have had the chance to do both.

- Bono, U2

Subject Information

Music is a combination of sounds, silence, rhythm, pitch, tone, melody and harmony that communicate emotions and ideas. It has great power to excite and to relax us, to bring back memories and to make us feel nostalgic.

Research shows that studying music can help students develop critical thinking, spatial reasoning and cognitive skills. It also helps develop communication skills and encourages creativity and expressiveness. Students who play music as part of a group develop team-working skills, self-discipline, self-esteem and the ability to listen to others.

Music can change the world because it can change people!

- Bono, U2

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 all pupils have the opportunity to develop skills in performing, composing, listening and appraising. 

All pupils have 2-3 periods across the two-week timetable.

In Year 8 pupils learn about these skills through topics such as:

  • What Music Means to Me
  • Vocal work
  • Musical Elements
  • Rhythm and Melody
  • Tin Whistle Skills
  • Music notation
  • Music Traditions in Ireland


In Year 9, pupils develop their skills through topics such as: 

  • Music from around the world
  • Blues
  • Vocal Work
  • Reggae
  • Pop songs
  • Tin Whistle Skills
  • Keyboard skills.


In Year 10, pupils extend their learning of these skills through topics such as:


  • Music across the Generations
  • Vocal work
  • Ground bass variations
  • Tin whistle skills
  • Film music
  • Guitar skills.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 we offer a GCSE in CCEA Music.

This course allows pupils to:

  • Develop their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of a range of different kinds of music;
  • Take part in music-making and communicate through music;
  • Develop their creativity;
  • Make judgments about musical quality;
  • Develop a lifelong interest in music;
  • Learn about music-related careers 


Course Description

Areas of Study:

All pupils will study four areas of study: 

  • Western Classical Music, 
  • 1600-1910, Film Music, 
  • Music Traditions in Ireland, 
  • Popular Music 1980-Present day. 

Students explore contrasting music from a range of contexts, for example Classical, Pop, Film and Traditional Irish music. This deepens their appreciation of the diverse heritage of music. It also promotes their personal, social, intellectual and cultural development. 

Through the performance element of the course, students develop the skills they need to communicate effectively as musicians. This increases their self-confidence and enhances their presentation, communication and evaluation skills. The opportunity to write their own music lets them be creative. 

Pieces include: Handel-‘For unto us a child is born’, Mozart- ‘Horn Concerto’. John Williams –‘Superman’ Main Theme, Beoga- ‘Prelude Polkas’, Florence and the Machine- ‘Cosmic Love’, Ash- ‘Burn, Baby Burn’.

Assessment Methods

Pupils will be assessed on their ability to:

Compose and appraise (30%): Pupils will create two contrasting compositions one of which must be related to one of the areas of study.

Perform and appraise (35%): Pupils will present one solo performance and one ensemble performance, each lasting up to 5 minutes.  One of the performances must be related to one of the areas of study.  Pupils will also discuss your performance with the visiting CCEA examiner.

Listen and appraise (35%): Pupils will complete one exam which is divided into two parts. Each part lasts approximately 50 minutes.  Part 1 is based on the core area of study: Repeated patterns in music.  Part 2 is based on the optional areas of study: Incidental Music and Vocal music.  Both parts of the exam will contain questions on familiar and unfamiliar music. CCEA sets and marks the exam. This exam will take place at the end of Year 12.


Individual instrumental lessons, College Choir, Boys’ Choir, A Capella Group, College Traditional Group, String Ensemble, Staff Choir.

Pupils involved in these ensembles perform at many occasions both inside and outside the college. They perform for all the liturgical services in the College and visit nursing homes in the local community several times each year.

The College Choir and Traditional Group perform for many other events with the local and wider community. The pupils participate in local and International competitions throughout the year.

It’s easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.

- J.S. Bach