Music is taught as an optional subject for junior and leaving certificate and in transition year. Students follow the course set out by the DES syllabus. Junior music aims to deliver a broad and balanced education in music by providing students with the musical knowledge, understanding, practical competencies and attitudes appropriate to their age, needs, abilities and interests. Senior music students engage in a two year course which offers them performance (including music technology), composition and listening opportunities as part of their leaving certificate music programme. Transition year students complete a series of modules designed to expand and broaden their experience and understanding of music.
Music department planning is central to preparation for the Music activities in O’ Carolan College, both curricular and extra-curricular during the school year. Department meetings are formally held and minutes taken regularly throughout the year. The music department meetings are used to discuss allocation of classes, review programmes of work, organise purchase of resources, review department plan, record results and expected results and arrange Christmas and summer tests. These meetings are also used to organise music trips and musical events such as the sixth year graduation ceremony.