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Departmental Staff

Miss Roisin McCurry: (Head of Department)

Mr Plunkett McGartland


  • Reflect the overall aims of Holy Trinity College.

  • Develop pupils’ musical ability.

  • Create an atmosphere in which the pupils’ learning experiences in the music class is a happy and enjoyable one.

  • Give pupils the opportunity to experience the making of, and responding to, music.

  • Enhance self-esteem by encouraging the growth of pupils’ own sets of values.

  • Enhance the creativity of pupils by stimulating talent, curiosity and imagination.

  • Create tasks suitable to the attainment of the pupil.



These aims, which incorporate the key elements of the Programme of Study for Key Stage 3, will be met by working through a range of topics/units of work, throughout the academic year

Curriculum Key Stage 3 (Years 8, 9 and 10)


“All children are potentially musical.”

“The fundamental aim of the music curriculum is to develop pupils’ musical ability.”



These opening sentences from the Northern Ireland Curriculum (The Arts: Music) for music encapsulate the philosophy against which the quality of provision in music should be judged.  The curriculum aims to develop the pupil as an individual; as a contributor to society and finally as a contributor to the economy and environment.


Pupils are involved in the process of music-making, working as musicians and engaged in ‘musical thinking’. They develop musical concepts and skills through:


Listening to music

Composing music

Performing music


LISTENING – provision is made for pupils to listen to both live and recorded music and to develop the ability to describe and discuss what they hear.  Pupils have the opportunity to listen to and appraise their own music and that of others.  Pupils also have the opportunity to listen to a wide range of music of different styles and genres and have the opportunity to respond critically to what they hear.


COMPOSING – pupils have opportunities to experiment with sounds to enable them to develop and refine compositions.  They have the opportunity to improvise, compose and perform music in a range of styles.  It would be hoped that the pupils would use existing and emerging music technology resources when composing. 


PERFORMING – pupils have the opportunity to perform individually and in small and large groups.  They will have the opportunity to discuss and decide on points of interpretation in their own music.


Music learning only takes place in an environment which is conductive to creative, practical activity.


Pupils are encouraged to extend their musical interests and abilities through extra-curricular activities.



Curriculum Key Stage 4 (Years 11/12)


GCSE Music


The CCEA GCSE Music specification is for everyone who loves music: composing, playing an instrument, listening to music, or using music technology. It encourages students to develop their musical potential by focusing on performing, composing and listening.

Students can explore a range of music, including classical, pop, film, and traditional Irish music. This deepens their appreciation of the diverse heritage of music and promotes their personal, social, intellectual and cultural development.

Through the performance element of the course, students develop the skills they need to communicate effectively as musicians. This increases their self-confidence and enhances their presentation, communication and evaluation skills. The opportunity to write their own music allows them to be creative.

This specification is a linear qualification: students take all the assessment at the end of the course.


The specification has three components:

Component 1: Performing and Appraising

Component 2: Composing

Component 3: Listening and Appraising.



GCSE Music is not just for students who are considering specialising in music and neither is it solely aimed at those with a classical training; GCSE Music is for everyone.

For someone who has talent as a performer, who enjoys composing their own music, who is interested in music technology or who simply enjoys music of any description, GCSE Music offers a way to develop their potential and ultimately to achieve a worthwhile qualification.

You will have the opportunity to:

• develop the knowledge, understanding and skills needed to communicate effectively as a musician;

• develop awareness of music technologies and their use in creating and presenting music;

• reflect critically on your own work and the work of others; and

• progress to further study and/or employment.


Component 1:

Performing and Appraising


You will complete a solo performance and an ensemble performance (as part of a group).

In both, you will:

• demonstrate technical control and accuracy;

• consider interpretation and communication of the composer’s intentions with an

appropriate style; and

• demonstrate understanding and apply stylistic features appropriate to the chosen



You will learn to discuss and appraise your own work and the work of others.


Component 2:


You will compose two original pieces of music; one is free choice and one is in response to a stimulus.

You will:

• create and develop musical ideas;

• understand, control and use musical resources effectively; and

• make consistent and effective use of the following within a chosen style or genre:

– structure;

– harmony;

– texture;

– rhythm;

– timbre; and

– music technology.


Component 3:

Listening and Appraising

You will build on the knowledge, understanding and appreciation of music gained through Components 1 and 2.

You will study four compulsory Areas of Study:

• Western Classical Music 1600–1910

• Film Music

• Musical Traditions of Ireland

• Popular Music 1980–present day

Within each area you will study set works.


You will develop your understanding of the relationship between music and its contexts and you will listen to and appraise familiar and unfamiliar music by a range of composers.



Key Stage 5 Curriculum (Years 13/14)


BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Music (Performing)


The BTEC qualifications in this specification are QCF level 3 qualifications designed to provide highly specialist, work-related qualifications in a range of vocational sectors. They give learners the knowledge, understanding and skills that they need to prepare for employment. These qualifications accredit the achievement for courses and programmes of study for full-time or part-time learners in schools, colleges and other training provider organisations. The qualifications provide career development opportunities for those already in work, and progression opportunities to higher education, degree and professional development programmes within the same or related areas of study, within universities and other institutions.



Pupils will complete 12 units during Year 13 and 14.  

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