Welcome to the Music Department

Vision and Aims


The music department aims to provide a rewarding learning experience for all pupils, to broaden their musical understanding and to encourage their personal and social development. The aim of the music curriculum is to develop pupils’ musical ability. All pupils are potentially musical and will be provided with learning experiences which develop their knowledge, understanding and skills in making and responding to music though active engagement in the core musical activities of Composing, Performing and Listening.


General Aims

1. To encourage pupils to develop as individuals and as contributors to society, the economy and the environment through active engagement in musical activities;

2. To develop their understanding and appreciation of a variety of different types of music;

3. To understand the skills required to communicate their music and to take part in music making;

4. To develop wider life skills, including creative and critical thinking, aesthetic sensitivity and emotional and cultural development.

Specific Aims

1. To encourage and develop pupils’ musical ability;

2. To develop an appreciation and enjoyment of music;

3. To foster pupils’ understanding and appreciation of a wide range of music through active involvement in Composing, Performing, Listening and Appraising;

4. To develop an awareness of musical traditions and conventions in variety of cultures and societies;

5. To encourage all children to think clearly, creatively and critically;

6. The acquisition and further development of the knowledge, skills and understanding to make music, to enable leisure possibilities and further study;

7. To develop the skills, attitudes and attributes that can support learning in other subjects and are needed in employment and life e.g. listening skills, concentration, creativity, intuition, aesthetic, sensitivity, perseverance, self-confidence and sensitivity towards others;

8. To encourage a sense of self-esteem. To encourage all pupils to work co-operatively. To encourage pupils to be tolerant of the opinion of their peers

Music in St Mark’s

St Marks enjoys a long tradition of music-making. We teach the full Northern Ireland Curriculum at Key stage 3 and enter our senior students for the GCSE and A’ Level examinations with CCEA. Our past pupils have gone on successfully to study Music at University and some have entered the teaching profession both at Primary and Secondary level.

There are two classroom Music teachers, Mrs C Mc Kinley (Head of Department) and Mrs M O’Neill. Peripatetic tutors are also actively involved in the life of the Music Department. They visit the school on a weekly basis and offer tuition on a wide variety of instruments including:
Strings, Percussion, Voice, Piano, Drum kit and Guitar.

Extra-curricular activities in Music

Pupils have the opportunity to join the following musical groups:

• Choir;
• Orchestra;
• Irish Traditional Group;
• African Drumming group;
• Rock Band

These groups perform regularly throughout the year at events such as Prize Night, Open Night, Masses, Festivals, Carol and Passion services. In March we hold our extremely popular Spring Concert. This is undoubtedly the highlight of our year as it gives us the opportunity to showcase all of the hard work that takes place in the Music Department and allows us to feature the incredible musical talent in St Mark’s. The programme is vast and includes Vocal and Instrumental music (from a wide range of styles and genres), Dance and Drama.