Music 2017-09-19T15:42:35+00:00

“We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams” – Roald Dahl


The music department in Gort Community School has grown from strength to strength over recent years. There is at least one music class in each year group with more and more students choosing to study it every year. The music students in Gort Community School are lucky enough to enjoy a state of the art music room which is situated in the Noone building. There is a wide variety of musical instruments available to them as well as access to laptops and recording equipment.

The Music Community in Gort Community School is vibrant and growing. We include up to one hundred students in our annual musical. We have various groups of students who play and sing together throughout the year preparing for the practical exams and other events. Our talented students benefit from these events musically but more importantly, they form a camaraderie and friendship with their peers which stays with them until Leaving Cert and beyond.

The music department at Gort Community School continues to grow with so many talented students. Classes, rehearsals, performances and recording sessions take place in the Noone building, housing state of the art technology, many instruments and huge performing space.



Ms. Edel Quinn

Ms. Tara O’ Carroll

Fiona Lyons


fiddlerA3eOur highlight of the year is the school musical which takes place each January. Following on the success of our last 4 musicals, Transition Year students stage “Fiddler on the Roof” in January 2015 with the help of other students in the school, including many 1st and 2nd years. The band consists of current and past students of the school. The show boasts very talented actors and singers as leads.

Last year’s musical Grease was a huge success with 3 packed nights and a matinee of 500 primary school students from the locality. The school musical is an unforgettable experience for all involved.

Other musical activities in the school include choir, Irish traditional music groups, folk groups and quartets. Many students in our school play ukulele, guitar, violin or piano but we also have students playing viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, banjo, concertina, tin whistle, flute, bodhran and drums. We are always looking for new talent and new instruments to join our class group performances!



Gort Community School performing at Amnesty International 50th Anniversary Celebrations.

Why choose music as a subject in school?

Students can take up music in 1st year or 4th year having no previous musical experience. Their aptitude will improve through group performance and taking part in many activities throughout the year such as the ones mentioned above. However, students who already play instruments will have an advantage too as up to 50% of their exam grade goes towards performance. Students develop self awareness and self confidence in music performance with their peers which translates to every aspect of their education.

Music Technology and Performance is relevant to many career choices with an excellent choice of third level music courses in universities and Institutes of Technology around the country. Careers in education, sound engineering, media and performance are the most common career choices relevant to music.

For more details on the Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate Music courses please see below.


The first year course consists of an introduction to music theory, the instruments of the orchestra and Irish music.

Lots of practical work is done in first year to expose students to different styles of music. This involves group singing and learning a new musical instrument, usually the descant recorder or the ukulele. Some students in the first year music class already play a musical instrument but some have no previous music experience so all needs are catered for.

Second and third year music focuses on preparing students for the Junior Certificate exam. This exam consists of a written paper worth 75% and a practical worth 25%. Higher Level students are required to perform 4 pieces on one instrument (including voice) or 2 pieces each on 2 different instruments.

The Junior Cert written paper consists of Set and Choice Songs, Set and Choice Works, Irish Music, Dictation, Melody Writing, Backing Chords and Triads, Dictation and a General Study of music of their choice (recently this has been Jazz and the Music of Mumford and Sons).

“To recognize excellence in a piece of music, one must have some knowledge of the art of composing music. If a man lacks such knowledge, of course, all he can say is that he likes or dislikes the music. The man who insists that that is all he or anyone else can say is simply confessing his own ignorance about music. He should not, in his ignorance, deny others the right to make objective judgments.”– Mortimer J. Adler


The Leaving Certificate Music exam is an extension of the Junior Cert but students can take up music for

Leaving Certificate having no previous experience and have proven to succeed just as well as students with musical background.

However, Leaving Certificate music students have the option of doing a practical for 50% of their grade so it is beneficial to have an instrument already. Leaving Certificate students who do not already play an instrument often do group singing or take the Music Technology option which is all prepared with the help of their teachers and peers. The technology option involves inputting a music score into a music notation software package like Finale or Sibelius. They also have the option of composing their own backing track to perform to using this software.

Students can perform 6 pieces on one instrument or 4 pieces each on 2 different instruments. They can do Music Technology as an option instead of 4 pieces.

The written exam consists of 2 papers – a listening paper and a composition paper. The Listening paper contains questions on the 4 Set Works which they have studied including works by The Beatles, Queen, Mozart, Berlioz, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Raymond Deane and Gerald Barry.

The paper also has questions on Irish Music. In the Composition paper they have to answer 2 questions where they have to compose a melody and write chord symbols and bass notes to a given tune. A lot of class time is spent doing practical work given the weighting of the practical exam which takes place in March or April.

“Music is enough for a lifetime but a lifetime is not enough for music” – Rachmaninov