Departmental  Staff

  • Director of Music: Mr C.Murphy
  • Miss Miss B.Mc Avoy
  • Mr P.Slane (Teacher in charge of special needs music)
  • Mr J.Murphy (Flute & Piano)
  • Mrs D.Finnegan(Voice)
  • Mr M.Murphy(Guitar)
  • Ms B.BalfeClarinet & Saxophone
  • Mrs M.Murphy(Traditional Music)


Instrumental tuition is also available, maintained by the Education Authority Music Service as follows:

Upper Strings: Mrs Jayne Grahm
Lower Strings: Mrs Nuala Curran
Brass: Mrs Naoimh Mathers
Woodwind: Mrs Pauline Mc Court
Percussion: Mr Jimmy Hagan


Information about Music

The department is currently staffed by three full time teachers and in addition nine visiting peripatetic staff. Music is taught at all Key Stages with Music Technology being delivered throughout all Key Stages.

The department is equipped with 3 teaching rooms, an ensemble room, a Music technology suite and a recording studio and 10 practice rooms. We use GarageBand, Sibelius and Logic Pro X with Apple Mac computers to deliver a relevant and exciting course where most of the practical tasks involve a hands on approach.

Key Stage 3 (Years 8, 9 and 10)

The main aim of the music curriculum is to encourage and develop pupils’ musical ability. Our philosophy is that all pupils are potentially musical. At Key Stage 3, pupils are encouraged to develop their musicianship and self-confidence through a wide range of individual and group music-making activities. Through their weekly Music class, they are enabled to develop their composing, performing and listening skills and have opportunities to express themselves through the music they compose and perform; their ideas and feelings about themselves and the world around them. All pupils are encouraged to listen to unfamiliar music with open and enquiring minds.

Practical work
All Year 8-10 pupils study Music based on the Northern Ireland curriculum for Music at KS3. All KS3 students develop performance skills using a wide range of classroom percussion instruments and electronic keyboards. On completion of Year 10, all students will have experienced the use of music technology using Apple Mac computers with Sibelius 7.5, GarageBand and Logic Pro X software.

Key Stage 4 (Years 11 and 12)

Examination Board – CCEA
Students undertake the core area of study (Repeated Patterns in Music) and two optional areas from a choice of three (Musical Traditions in Ireland, Incidental Music or Vocal Music). Assessment covers composing, performing, listening and appraising.

Component 1 – Composing and appraising
Candidates must create two contrasting compositions and keep a compositional log for each. One of these must be related to the core or an optional area of study. The composition portfolio’s length should be 3-6 minutes in total. This controlled assessment task is internally assessed and externally moderated.

Component 2 – Performing and appraising
Candidates must present one solo and one ensemble performance. These must include at least one piece related to the core or optional areas of study. Candidates’ solo and ensemble should each last up to 5 minutes (except for turntable
performances, each of which should not exceed 10 minutes). Candidate’s discussion of their performance is worth 5% of the total marks. A visiting assessor carries out an external assessment.

Component 3 – Listening and appraising
There is one examination of aural perception, which comprises two parts.
Part 1 is based on the core area of study. One of the questions in this part relates to the impact of music on work and leisure, part 2 is based on optional areas of study. Both parts 1 and 2 include questions on familiar and unfamiliar music. The total listening time for each part of the assessment unit is approximately 45 minutes. There is an interval of approximately 30 minutes between part 1 and part 2.

There is one compulsory core area of study. There are three optional areas of study. Students study only two optional areas of study. This totals three areas of study for each student.
The core area of study, which is compulsory for all students, is Repeated Patterns in Music. The optional areas of study from which the students choose two options are Musical Traditions in Ireland, Incidental Music and Vocal Music.

A Level (Years 13 and 14)

Examination Board – CCEA
The specification includes three units at AS level and three units at A2. At each level, the units are titled:

  • Performing
  • Composing
  • Responding to Music

Students can take:

  • the AS course as a final qualification; or
  • the AS units plus the A2 units for a full GCE A level qualification.

The AS units make up 40% of the full A level, and the A2 units make up 60%.