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Music is taught as an optional subject for junior and leaving certificate and in transition year. Students follow the courseset out by the DES. Junior music aims to deliver a broad and balanced education in music by providing students withthe musical knowledge, understanding, practical competencies and attitudes appropriate to their age, needs, abilitiesand interests. Senior music students engage in a two-year course which offers them performance (including musictechnology), composition and listening opportunities as part of their leaving certificate music programme. TransitionYear students complete a series of modules designed to expand and broaden their experience and understanding of music.
The Music department has its own music room, equipped with an upright piano, an electronic Roland piano, Casiokeyboards, microphones , amps, a full drum kit, class set of ukuleles, percussion instruments, Boomwhackers, 7 PC’s withMuse Score and Audacity installed, an interactive overhead projector, a visualiser, along with a vast selections of CDs,DVDs, music books etc.
Music department planning is central to preparation for the Music activities in O’ Carolan College, both curricular andextra-curricular during the school year. Department meetings are formally held and minutes taken regularly throughoutthe year. The music department meetings are used to discuss allocation of classes, review programmes of work, organisepurchase 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 Christmas celebration and sixth year graduation ceremony.
First Year: All first years use the new first year music book Sounds Good by Laura Lynch. This book focuses on the new learning outcomes of the new Junior Cycle music specification.
Second Year: Second year students continued their Junior Cycle programme with the course book Sounds Good 2. The second year programme builds on the learning outcomes introduced in first year. Second year students also completed their CBA1,which is a composition portfolio.
Third Year: Third year students completed their music course with a general study on a music topic of their choice. Compositionskills, such as melody and backing chords were refined. The Junior Certificate students were due to perform their musicpractical exam on Monday the 30th March 2020. This practical exam makes up 25% of their overall music grade. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all music practicals were cancelled and all students were awarded the full 25%.
Transition Year: This year’s TY comprised of two class groups. Each group completed a 10-week course where they learned to play the ukulele.
Fifth Year: Fifth year music students started composition work on backing chords, melody development and studied three of theirset works Mozart, Berlioz and The Beatles. Irish music and general aural skills were also studied in Fifth year along with technology as an option for performance. Practical preparation was catered for with classroom performance sessions and critique.
Sixth Year: Sixth year music students began with revising composition and worked on this throughout the year. They completed their final set work, ‘Seachanges’ by Irish composer Raymond Deane, and the remaining areas of the course such as Irish music, aural skills and music technology were revised during the year. Their performance exam was due to take place on Friday the 27th March 2020 but due to the corona virus was cancelled and all students were awarded full marks, which counts for 50% of their overall exam.