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Academic Music
"Music plays an important part in the life of Saint Malachy's College..."

Mr D Strange  (Head of Department) 

Mr P Davison


Curricular Music


At each Key Stage, our aim is to ensure that every student enjoys learning about Music and that they are encouraged to explore and develop a range of musical skills in the areas of Performance, Composition, Listening and Appraising through a number of engaging topics, including:

Year 8

Graphic Score Composition / Strings (Vivaldi Winter)

Major and Minor Chords (Saint-Saens Danse Macabre)

Fanfare Composition / Brass (Copland Fanfare for the Common Man, Mozart – Horn Concerto in Eb)

Programme Music / Woodwind (Grieg Peer Gynt Suite, Prokofiev Peter and the Wolf)

First Year Mass Singing

Keyboard Skills

Grade 1 Music Theory

Year 9

Introduction to Music Software

Layering and Ostinato (Depeche Mode, Just Can’t Get Enough)

Irish Music / Pentatonic Melody (Chronos Reel, Riverdance)

Blues Music / Keyboard Skills (Blues scale and chords)

Year 10

Minimalism (Reich Electric Counterpoint, Nyman Tubular Bells, Glass Violin Concerto)

Battle Music Composition (Holst Planets – Mars, Zimmer Gladiator “The Battle”, Zimmer COD Boneyard Flyby MW2)

Film Music (Various composers and movies)

Pop Music (Various pop songs)

Further Music (Option for Year 9 + 10)

Further Music is an accelerated KS3 Music option open to boys at the end of Year 8.  Over the two years, students follow an advanced Music course which further develops their aural ability, listening and practical skills through singing, sight-reading, performing to their peers, performing in an ensemble, studying Music Theory (we aim for Grade 5 by the end of Year 10) and analysing music using set works. It is a course that more than prepares boys for GCSE Music and, although there is no expectation to choose GCSE Music by taking Further Music, we anticipate that a large number of boys will.


The Further Music subject option for gifted and talented musicians is unique to St. Malachy’s College.Many past pupils who are now professional musicians working around the world began their musical journey by taking Further Music in Year 9!

GCSE and A Level Music


St. Malachy’s Music Department follow the CCEA GCSE Music syllabus and the Edexcel A Level Music syllabus.


Students should immerse themselves in music-making and listening throughout these courses and take advantage of the many extra-curricular activities and performance opportunities that this unique Music Department offers, therefore a willingness to get involved and become musically proactive to benefit your all-round musical development is desirable!




Music is a highly academic subject as well as a practical subject, and students who study GCSE and A Level Music are talented individuals, able to stand up in front of others and deliver a performance under pressure, able to work well with others and either lead or conform, able to analyse and interpret with attention to fine detail, and they are great listeners! Many College Alumni who have studied Music at GCSE and A Level have pursued successful careers in Medicine, Pharmacy, Law etc.


There are also huge employment opportunities in music including:

  • Music journalism, Sales, Recording engineer

  • Producer, Studio technician, Publisher

  • Music, performance rights or copyright Lawyer

  • Conductor, Teacher, Performing - pop, rock, orchestras, traditional music

  • Composing Film Music, TV/Radio Jingles, computer music etc

  • Music Therapy


Please see our links page for further careers details.


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St. Malachy's College
36 Antrim Road
BT15 2AE






Tel: (028) 90748285

Fax: (028) 90741066




© 2018 St Malachy's College, Belfast. All Rights Reserved.

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