These courses enable learners to gain recognition for the achievement of considerable knowledge in a range of subject areas, as for example in the Leaving Certificate and one-year Post Leaving Certificate courses.
Courses may be academic or practical in focus, and awards that are recognised by the National Framework of Qualifications may lead to progression opportunities higher up in the framework.
The majority of people with certificates at this level are well prepared for occupations that involve using their knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include office secretary, customer service representatives, special needs assistant, retail salespersons and childcare workers.
Leaving Certificate Music involves a series of interrelated musical activities within each of the three core areas of musical experience - performing, composing and listening.
In performing, students choose from a variety of individual and/or group performing activities. In composing, students develop an understanding of musical structure and form, while the listening component provides for rich aural experiences through exposure to music of different periods, styles and genres.
Why Study Music
What kind of student would Music suit?
The Leaving Certificate Music syllabus provides continuity and progression from Junior Certificate Music. The general aims and overall shape of both is broadly similar. In providing the musical knowledge, understanding, practical competencies and attitudes appropriate to their age, abilities and interests, the syllabus caters for the varying needs of all students including those who wish to pursue further studies in music. You do not need music to progress into a music course in college but, needless to say, it would help.
The syllabus structure has been adopted to provide a fully balanced musical experience central to which is the development of musicality. Studying music at Leaving Cert. provides a vital basis for further education in the area and if students are good at music they can gain valuable points in the Leaving Certificate.
Performance - Examined in April of 6th year
Listening Paper - Examined in June of 6th year 90 minutes duration
Composition Paper -Examined in June of 6th year 90 minutes duration
The course consists of three main components: (1) Composing (2) Listening (3) Performance
Students will choose one of the three activities to represent 50 per cent, e.g.
Students will undertake additional studies (a Higher level elective in one of the three activities, e.g.: Performing 25% Composing 25% Listening 25% + One Higher level elective 25%.
This will allow Ordinary level and Higher level students to gain up to 50 per cent of the total marks in the musical activity that best suits their talent.
As mentioned above, you can choose to designate 50% of your assessment to musical performance. If you choose this option you have a few further options open to you:
Perform 6 pieces of music on one instrument
You can be examined on two instruments. If you choose this option you are required to perform fours pieces of music on each instrument.
You can choose to perform four pieces of music (25%) and be examined in Music Technology (25%). Music Technology involves inputting music into a software package on the computer and being able to perform music edits on it, e.g. add dynamics or tempo markings, or transpose the music. If you have good computer skills, this could be a nice option for you.
Examined in June of 6th year
90 minutes duration
Four set works, Irish music and general listening skills.
Examined in June of 6th year
90 minutes duration
Melody writing and harmony
Examined in April of 6th year
Candidates may perform as a soloist or as part of a group or both.
Ordinary Level: 2 pieces on one instrument and one unprepared test.
Higher Level: 3 pieces on one instrument and one unprepared test
OR 2 pieces on each of two instruments and one unprepared test
Electives for extra 25%: Higher Level only Each candidate must choose one of the above components to study for this extra credit. The majority tend to opt for a Performance elective.
Listening Elective: The candidate must work on a music project over the course of 5th and 6th year. They must submit some work to the State Examinations Commission and sit an extra written paper in June.
Composition Elective: The candidate must undertake a large scale composition to be submitted to the Examinations Commission in their final year.
Performance Elective: This involves a more substantial performance during the examination period in April of 6th year.
Music is useful for media work or studies, primary teaching, sound engineering, public relations, library work, speech therapy, film, physical education, communications, production, performance and music at third level.
Note: Students are required to be able to read music to study this subject. Little knowledge of music theory or history is not a problem, but a working knowledge of a musical instrument (piano, guitar, voice etc.) is essential.
For most music courses, your Leaving Cert results are not the only factor considered for entry. Different colleges have their own requirements. For example: to study Music in UCD an entrance test is given to all candidates and in Maynooth University applicants must sit an entrance exam, an interview and an audition.
Most music courses are considered “restricted application” this means that you must put your preferred course(s) on your list by the 1st February or by the date for the correction of errors. Late applications after 1st February will not be considered.
Make sure to research thoroughly the requirements of your preferred course.
This subject is not an essential requirement for any courses in the CAO system.