MUSIC FOR THE LEAVING CERT is still made up of the 3 main areas of Performing, Composing & Listening, however the weighting of marks is slightly different.


For Higher Level Leaving Cert, all students “ELECT” one of the 3 areas in which to do their final 25%. The majority of students choose Performance – they do an extra-long practical exam (approx 20 mins in total), worth 50% rather than 25%. Students who do their elective in Composing must submit a portfolio of their own compositions in order to gain theirfinal 25%. Listening Elective students must carry out research in an area of music they have a specific interest in. On the day of the Leaving Cert Music Exam in June they sit an extra written paper, based on their chosen topic, in order to gain their final 25%.

MUSIC TECHNOLOGY can be used as part of the practical exam for the Leaving Cert. Students must demonstrate an ability to input tracks/create backing tracks using electronic instruments or software. Roscommon Community College has acknowledged the importance of Music Technology through the purchase of a top of the range iMac computer & Sibelius Software for the Music Department.

FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD……It’s a long way off, but the day will come where you have to think of a career. What about a career in music?? Here are just a few careers that involve music….

  • Performer (singer,instrumentalist, band member, orchestra….)
  • Music Teacher (full time, part time)
  • Composer/Arranger/Songwriter
  • Concert Promoter
  • DJ/Radio work
  • Music Journalist/Critic
  • Music Librarian
  • Sound/Recording Engineer/Technician
  • Talent scout for Record Labels
  • Stage hands at concerts
  • Music Supervisor (for movies, TV, video games, etc)
  • Booking agents/PR for musicians


Research has shown that….

  • Musical training physically develops the part of the brain known to be involved with processing language
  • There is a link between music & spatial intelligence – the kind of intelligence needed for problem solving & maths.
  • Students who study Music (and other areas of the arts) are more successful on standardised tests & achieve higher grades in school.
  • Through music study, students learn the value of sustained effort to achieve excellence & the concrete rewards of hard work.
  • Music enhances teamwork skills & discipline. In order for an orchestra or any music group to sound good, all players must work together harmoniously towards a single goal, the performance, and must commit to learning music, attending rehearsals, and practicing.
  • Music provides children with a means of self-expression. Self-esteem is a by-product of this self-expression.
  • Music study develops skills that are necessary in the workplace. It focuses on “doing” as opposed to observing, and teaches students to perform. Employers are looking for multi-dimensional workers with the sort of flexible & supple intellects that music education helps to create.
  • Music performance teaches young people to conquer fear and take risks. A little anxiety is a good thing, and something that will occur often in life. Dealing with it early and often makes it less of a problem later. Risk-taking is essential if a child is to fully develop his or her potential.

American studies have shown that Secondary students who participated in band or orchestra reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (alcohol, tobacco & illicit drugs.