All pupils study music in Years 8, 9 and 10. It is offered as an option at GCSE. Music can be studied at ‘A’ Level through the Carrickfergus Learning Community.

The Music Department plays a very active and important role in the life of the school. Performances happen regularly; Prize Distribution, Senior Citizen’s Concert, carol Service, School Musical and the Summer Concert to name a few.

Private music lessons are available in the following areas;

  • Strings
  • Woodwind
  • Brass
  • Piano
  • Singing
  • Guitar
  • Percussion
  • Theory

Lessons are taught on a one-to-one basis and there are tuition fees to cover the cost of these lessons. Pupils receive one lesson per week on a withdrawal from class basis. Pupils are prepared for external music examinations: Trinity College, ABRSM and Rock School.

There are many extra-curricular activities that pupils can become involved with:

  • Girls’ Choir
  • Boys’ Choir
  • String Group
  • Windband
  • Woodwind Quartet

These activities run after school from 3.30 – 4.30 and any pupil who shows an interest in music is actively encouraged to participate in the activities on offer.

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All pupils study music at Key Stage 3. Pupils have 2 periods of music per week. Lessons are centred on the three main areas of performing, listening and composing.

Pupils are engaged in class in a wide variety of musical activities and are introduced to a wide range of musical styles.

Topics studied at Key Stage 3 include:

  • Rhythm and Pulse
  • Building Bricks
  • The Orchestra
  • The Planets
  • Structure
  • Time-keeping
  • Musical Contrasts
  • Fanfares
  • Music and War
  • Music and the Media
  • Music with a Local Flavour

Music is available as an option for pupils to study at GCSE level and they follow the CCEA course.

The subject is designed to develop musical skills acquired at Key Stage 3. Pupils are engaged in learning about music from as early as Handel to as modern as Snow Patrol.

As music is a practical subject, much time is devoted to developing practical skills. Pupils prepare for solo performances on their chosen instrument and also all GCSE pupils perform as part of an ensemble.

Composition is another requirement of GCSE music. Pupils are taught how to compose their own music. The controlled assessment task requires pupils to write two contrasting compositions lasting between 3 and 6 minutes.

Pupil progress is tracked throughout the 2 year course allowing each pupil to set targets and monitor their progress in each skill area.


CCEA Music