Our highlight of the year is the school musical which takes place each January. All Transition Year students take part
(See all our Musicals for the past nine years)
in the show 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.
Our 10th Anniversary Musical “We Will Rock You” received an award for Best Show in the Galway University Musical Society (GUMS) awards.
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, bodhrán and drums. We are always looking for new talent and new instruments to join our class group performances!
Why choose music as a subject in school?
Students can take up music in 1st year or 5th year having no previous musical experience. Their aptitude will improve through 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.
JUNIOR CYCLE MUSIC
Click here for full information on music as a subject in Junior Cycle:
SENIOR CYCLE MUSIC
The Leaving Certificate Music exam is an extension of the Junior Cycle 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 MuseScore.
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.
“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