Search - Categories
Search - Contacts
Search - Content
Search - Newsfeeds
Search - Weblinks
Search - Tags



The aims of the Junior Certificate Music course are to develop the knowledge and understanding of music in the students who opt for the subject and to develop musicianship and practical skills. This will enable students to continue their study and enjoyment of music with ease at senior level and throughout their lives. The emphasis of the Music course is on learning through experience; the experience of listening, composing and performing. The student will be involved in singing songs, playing instruments e.g. keyboard, drums, guitar and lots of percussion instruments. Student will be introduced to music technology as an aid to composition. The course offers students the opportunity to explore the many different areas of music in which they may be talented. They will learn to appreciate the works of established composers through performance, analysis, score-reading and writing their own music as well as attending live performances. Students exposed to many different music genres will learn to develop critical appreciation of all types of music from different countries, eras and styles, relating such learning to music with which students are already familiar. Choosing Music as a Junior Certificate subject is desirable if one wishes to continue the subject to Leaving Certificate.

How will Music be useful to me?

Music has a very important part in many peoples’ lives. Most of us will take pleasure in listening to music and many people will enjoy singing or playing an instrument throughout their lives. Some people may even decide to take up a career in music in areas such as education (teacher, lecturer), business (sound engineer, lyricist, reviewer, therapist) and performance (composer, performer, conductor).

What is the Junior Certificate Music exam like?

In Music you will be examined in two ways:
• a practical exam - you can sing or play an instrument for this exam on your own or as part of a group
• combined aural and written exam in composing and listening to music.

Senior Cycle – Music

Subject Group: Artistic

These subjects involve developing creativity and the appreciation of the work of others. This involves learning the methods and techniques of the subject and producing your own work using these skills. 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.

Subject Content

The course consists of three main components:
(1) Composing
(2) Listening
(3) Performance

at Ordinary level, students will choose one of the three activities to represent 50 per cent, e.g.

Performing 50% Composing 25% Listening 25%
or... Performing 25% Composing 50% Listening 25%
or... Performing 25% Composing 25% Listening 50%

at Higher level, 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.

Exam Structure

Listening Paper
Examined in June of 6th year
90 minutes duration
Four set works, Irish music and general listening skills.

Composition Paper
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.

Higher Level: 3 pieces on one instrument and one unprepared test OR 2 pieces on each of two instruments and one unprepared test

Ordinary Level: 2 pieces on one instrument 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.


Students need not have studied music at Junior Level; however, they should have attained a competency in their practical musical ability. Because of the practical nature of this subject, students and/or parents should discuss this with the senior level music teacher before choosing it as a Leaving Certificate subject.



online payments


Application Forms 2018

Now available from the school office

Complete, Manipulate

Contact Details

Name:   Our Lady's College

+353 (0)41 9831219
+353 (0)41 9831786

Fax: +353 (0)41 9832809
Address: Greenhills, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland, A92 VP28

Our Location