Music is a popular subject at Leaving Certificate level. It is not advised for students to pick this subject at Leaving Certificate level unless they have already participated in it at Junior Cycle level or play an instrument outside of school. Students learn a range of skills that can transfer across subjects such as listening, analysis, self-confidence and technology skills.

Leaving Certificate music can be broken into 3 strands: Performance, Listening and Composing.


  • As part of their performance strand, students will develop on performance skills learned at Junior Cycle level.
  • Students will have a practical exam worth 50% in March/April of 6th year
  • Students will regularly partake in class performances as groups and as soloists.
  • Students will learn how to use music software called Musescore. Students can choose to sit an exam in Musescore in 6th year which will make up half of their practical exam.


  • As part of their listening strand students learn how to analyze music through listening.
  • Students will sit a listening exam in June of 6th year worth 25%.
  • They will learn about the different elements that make music.
  • They will learn how to identify different instruments through listening.
  • They will listen to a range of music from different genres, countries and eras throughout history and learn how to discuss and comment on these styles.


  • As part of their composition strand students will continue to develop their music reading and writing skills learned at Junior Cycle level.
  • Students will sit a composing exam in June of 6th year worth 25%.
  • Students will learn how to compose a 16-bar melody, how to accompany a melody using chords and how to create graphic scores.

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