Music

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The Music Department is currently located in the beautiful ‘Lisnabreeny House’ adjacent to the main school, but moves into a purpose built, state of the art building in June 2013, with its own Apple Music Technology suite and 3 high specification recording studios. The department is a very dynamic and lively one in which students of all abilities and ages are encouraged to realise their full musical potential. Currently, the department has two full time, two part time teachers and a technician. Music is taken by all Key Stage 3 students and is offered at GCSE, AS and A2 Level. All students in year 8 – 10 are timetabled for music lessons during which they learn to listen, compose and perform music of varying genres.

There is great emphasis on IT in music and students are able to use programmes such as Sibelius 6, Garage Band and Logic Pro 9 from Year 8 upwards. Students enjoy the challenge of writing and recording their own music. Students of varying talents strive to become better musicians, both practically and academically.

After Key Stage 3, students have the option to pursue their music studies in more depth. We have thriving GCSE and A Level Music classes who are studying the CCEA syllabus. Students continue to develop their practical and listening skills and have the opportunity to choose between continuing with composition or to widen their choice by sequencing or multi-track recording.

Our skilled and versatile peripatetic staff provide instrumental tuition for those who wish to avail of it. Instrumental lessons are available in voice, musical theatre, woodwind, brass, string, percussion, piano and guitar (both acoustic & electric). Our staff are both from the private field of music as well as the SEELB and are all active musicians in their own right.

Through the promotion of instrumental tuition, there has been a growth in a wide range of musical groups that our students participate in such as Orchestra, junior and senior woodwind, string & brass groups, our samba group, guitar club,traditional group as well as our junior and senior choir.

We have several ‘pop’ groups who practise weekly and have the opportunity to perform in concerts within school. From these events, they have been asked to play at gigs in local venues. There are many outlets for musical talent such as concerts, festivals, our musical productions and talent competitions such as ‘Stars in Yer Eyes’ and ‘Lagan’s Got Talent’.

This year we had two musical productions: ‘An Enchanted Evening’, a modernised version of ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ which were both a spectacular success. We hosted the first Integrated Choral Festival which was held in Lagan College in October. We also participate in events in the community, such as carol services.

There is a great emphasis on combining the art of singing, dancing & drama. Our students enjoy using these talents to participate in local events such as:

  • The Lantern Parade
  • St Patrick’s Day Parade
  • The Lord Mayor’s Show
  • TV programmes such ‘Our Wee World’

In these events, we can combine the talents of our dancers, singers and Samba band to make music. It has also allowed our students to perform along with professional artists such as Moleque da Rua.

Our aim is to encourage our students to be active musicians whether or not they pursue Music as a career and to use the skills they develop in Music for all walks of life.

MUSIC TECHNOLOGY

We offer Music Technology at A Level as a twilight course one day a week. We use the Edexcel Examining Board which is the only board to offer Music Technology as an examination. This course complements A Level Music as it builds on what students learn in this course. Two-thirds of our A level Music students also study A Level Music Technology.

This course explores the use of Technology in Music as follows:

Unit 1: completing practical tasks:
1A Sequenced Realised Performance
1B Multi-track Recording
1C Creative Sequenced Arrangement

This work is submitted along with the students’ logbook in May.

Unit 2: Studying how music developed throughout the years, examining in detail techniques and equipment developed. In this aspect of the course, we also explore the development of music from the early 1900s to present day. Students take a written exam on this in May.

This work is explored in greater depth at A2.

Unit 3: completing practical tasks:
3A Sequenced Integrated Performance
3B Multi-track Recording
3C Composing using Music Technology

This work is submitted along with the students’ logbook in May.

Unit 4: A detailed exploration of recording techniques and equipment from the early 1900s to present day. Students take a written exam on this in May. All junior classes will have the opportunity to sample Music Technology and use packages such as garageband, Logic Studio and Sibelius.