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Head of Department
Mr B McCann

Teaching Staff
Mr S Gallagher
Mrs A Sharkey (Vocal tuition/Piano Tuition)

Mrs G Reid (String Tuition)
Miss S Bell (String Tuition)
Mr D Gillespie (Woodwind Tuition)
Mr D Hamill (Guitar Tuition)

Mrs G Brown


The Music Department has two classrooms equipped with interactive boards and electronic keyboards. There is a suite of iMac computers to teach Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 Music and the AS/A2 Composition with Technology coursework. The Key Stage 3 pupils enjoy composing music using the Garageband app on the class set of iPads. 

The department also has a recording studio, practice rooms and a variety of classroom and orchestral instruments.

Key Stage 3

All pupils are taught to read music through the keyboard and recorder (Year 8) and Keyboard and guitar (Year 9 & 10). All themes and topics are centred around the 3 areas of Listening, Composing and Performing music. As well as traditional music, the pupils learn about the music of different countries in addition to a general introduction to classical music and composers. In the music department, we aim to develop many skills in the pupils such as team work, listening skills and co-ordination. We ensure these skills are learnt in an enjoyable and fulfilling manner.

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Mr McCann presents the academic award for Music 2023 to Noah McCann year 10.


GCSE Music

For pupils who are proficient and enjoy music, this course is a perfect pathway for further developing their music skills. The GCSE centres around the 4 areas of study:- Western Classical Music, Film Music, Musical Traditions of Ireland and Popular Music. The pupils listen to wide variety of music and study set works in preparation for a listening exam in Year 12. Over the two year course, pupils learn the skills of both composing and performing. Coursework consists of 2 pieces of coursework and the performance exam consists of a solo and an ensemble performance.

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AS Music

This course is designed for pupils who want to study classical music at a little more depth than GCSE. There are 3 areas of study:- Music for Orchestra (1700- 1900), Sacred Vocal Music (Anthems) and Secular Vocal Music (Musicals). Essays are required on the areas of study and set works. Pupils also undertake one composition using technology and a solo performance exam.

A2 Music

This course is designed for pupils who want to study classical music at a more advanced level. Pupils study several pieces of music under 3 areas of study:-

Music for Orchestra in the 20th Century, Sacred Vocal Music and Secular Vocal Music. Essays are required on the areas of study and set works. Pupils also undertake one composition with technology and a solo performance exam at a high level.


Results are always of a very high standard with 100% pass rate at GCSE level Grades A-C every year and exceeding the N. Ireland Grammar school average. Several pupils go on to study Music at 3rd level with many choosing to teach the subject. 

Extra Curricular Activities

The main extra curricular activities in the music department are:- The orchestra, senior and junior choirs and the traditional group. These activities meet for practice every week and aim to achieve a high level of performance. In 2017 and 2019, the traditional group "Tigh Tara" reached the final of the highly competitive Gael Linn traditional group competition "Siansa" and played in the National Concert Hall in Dublin.

The junior rock band rehearses every week and many pupils enjoy playing together in this fun ensemble.

Musicals / Spring Concert

On alternative years the pupils in the department have the opportunity to display their exceptional talent in the school musical and also at the  annual spring concert. These two events involve a high standard of performance and receive many outstanding reviews every year. The most recent musical, “Beauty and the Beast” was extremely successful with many of our pupils taking part both on stage and behind the scenes.


The music department at Loreto College strives to offer each pupil every opportunity to display their musical abilities and to reach the highest level of performance possible. This is achieved through gaining confidence in performance, Listening and Composing activities in the classroom, ensemble and group work and taking part in the wide range of musical experiences offered.

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