Music

SPECIFIC AIMS OF THE DEPARTMENT

The Music Department aims to:

  • introduce pupils to a wide ranging repertoire of music that they can enjoy listening to;
  • encourage pupils to express their ideas with clarity and confidence;
  • develop pupils’ creativity through various Composing activities;
  • promote skills of negotiation, concentration and technical control of an instrument;
  • enable pupils to use ICT to create and perform music;
  • provide opportunities for pupils to perform and further develop their skills on keyboard and tin whistle;
  • provide pupils with opportunities to play in other ensembles; and
  • provide pupils with an insight into the career paths open to Music students.

 

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 3 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 3, Music is delivered over lessons per fortnight.

Pupils follow a taught programme in Music incorporating:

  • Performance
  • Composition
  • Listening/Appraising

YEAR 8 CURRICULUM

In Year 8, pupils study the following topics:

  • Tin Whistle
  • Class Singing
  • Pulse and Rhythm
  • Percussion
  • Folk Music
  • Cyclic Patterns/Ostinatos

YEAR 9 CURRICULUM

In Year 9, pupils study the following topics:

  • Keyboard Skills
  • Tin Whistle
  • Class Singing
  • Introduction to Garage Band
  • Mood Music
  • Health Jingles/Fanfares
  • Samba

YEAR 10 CURRICULUM

In Year 10, pupils study the following topics:

  • Keyboard Skills
  • The Blues
  • Introduction to Sibelius
  • Irish Traditional Music
  • Film Music

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 4 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 4, the Music Department offers Music at GCSE Level. Pupils follow the CCEA specification. Music is delivered over six lessons per fortnight.

Unit 1: Listening and Appraising (35%)

This unit aims to develop pupils’ understanding of music from different genres.

In this unit, pupils are required to study a number of set pieces in depth and acquire listening skills in order to answer questions on unfamiliar pieces of music.

This unit is assessed in the form of two written examination papers. Pupils will have 90 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 12.

Pupils’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 2: Performing and Appraising (35%)

This unit aims to develop the performing skills of pupils. Pupils must reach a minimum of Grade 3 standard in any instrument by the end of Year 12.

In this unit, pupils are required to perform one solo piece and one ensemble piece. Pupils are also required to engage in an assessed discussion with the examiner about their performance and pieces.

This unit is assessed in the form of a practical examination. Pupils will have 20 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place in April of Year 12. Pupils’ work in this unit will be externally assessed by a Visiting Examiner.

Unit 3: Composing and Appraising (30%)

This unit aims to develop pupils’ compositional skills.

In this unit, pupils are required to compose two pieces of music in any style/genre. One must be linked with an Area of Study.

This unit is assessed in the form of Controlled Assessment. Pupils will have 25 hours to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 12. Pupils’ work in this unit will be internally assessed and externally moderated.

OVERVIEW OF KEY STAGE 5 CURRICULUM

At Key Stage 5, the Music Department offers Music at AS and A2 Level. Students follow the CCEA specification. At AS and A2 Level, Music is delivered over ten periods per fortnight.

At AS Level, students must successfully complete two modules. A further two modules must be successfully completed at A2 Level.

AS MUSIC

Unit 1: Making and Appraising Music 1 (64%)

This unit aims to develop students’ practical and compositional skills. Students will develop knowledge, understanding, skills and sensitivity to music.

In this unit, students are required to compose one piece of music. They are also required to take a practical examination where they must play for 5-8 minutes on a solo instrument or voice. Students will also engage in a viva voce with the Visiting Examiner.

This unit is assessed in the form of a practical exam and Controlled Assessment. Students will work on their composition between January and April. The practical examination will take place in May of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 2: Responding to Music 1 (36%)

This unit aims to develop an awareness of the relationship between music and its context, including the influences that maintain continuity and cause change.

In this unit, students are required to study a number of set works in depth.

This unit is assessed in the form of two written papers. One will be an aural paper and one will be an essay paper. Students will have 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 13. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

A2 MUSIC

Unit 3: Making and Appraising 2 (30%)

This unit aims to develop students’ practical and compositional skills. Students will develop knowledge, understanding, skills and sensitivity to music.

In this unit, students are required to compose one piece of music. Students are also required to take a practical examination where they must play for 10-12 minutes on a solo instrument or voice. Students will also engage in a viva voce with the Visiting Examiner.

This unit is assessed in the form of a practical exam and Controlled Assessment. Students will work on their composition between January and April. The practical examination will take place in May of Year 14. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

Unit 4: Responding to Music 2 (20%)

This unit aims to develop an awareness of the relationship between music and its context, including the influences that maintain continuity and cause change.

In this unit, students are required to study a number of set works in depth.

This unit is assessed in the form of two written papers. One will be an aural paper and one will be an essay paper. Students will have 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete the assessment for this unit. Assessment of this unit will take place at the end of Year 14. Students’ work in this unit will be externally assessed.

EXTRA- CURRICULAR PROVISION

The Music Department contributes extensively to the school’s extra-curricular provision. Extra-curricular activities include:

  • Junior and Senior Choir
  • Junior and Senior String Orchestras
  • Junior and Senior Traditional Groups
  • Jazz Band
  • String Quartet
  • Brass Ensemble
  • School Masses
  • Carol Service
  • Spring Concert
  • School Musicals
  • Local Festivals

PERIPATETIC TUITION

The Music Department offers instrumental tuition in a wide range of instruments/ voice. There are nine peripatetic tutors who offer tuition on a weekly basis:

  • Strings: Mrs C. Mullan*, Mrs S. McConnell*, Mrs H. Nicholl*
  • Woodwind: Miss L. Skelton*
  • Brass: Mr M. Hagan*
  • Piano: Mrs S. Brookman
  • Voice: Mrs L. Henry
  • Guitar: Mrs N. McIntyre
  • Percussion: Mr G. Cobain

*NEELB Tutors

CAREERS INFORMATION

Many students from St. Mary’s go on to study Music in Higher Education establishments throughout Ireland and the UK.

Queen’s University, Belfast and University of Ulster (Magee Campus) both offer three year BMus courses.

Many students also gain places to study for a BEd at St. Mary’s University College.

Past Pupils

In 2013, past pupil, Cillian Donaghy, began his first term studying for a BMus at Manchester University and Royal Northern College of Music. This is a prestigious course demanding a high level of attainment in both academic and practical studies.