Laurel Hill Coláiste FCJ
Meánscoil lán-Ghaeilge do chailíní i Luimneach

Ceol SS/ Music JC

Ceol SS/ Music JC

The makeup of the Junior Cycle Music Final Exam is that it will consist of a practical examination and a written examination. The
practical examination will be allocated 30% of the marks available. The written examination will be allocated 70% of the marks available. For the practical students are required to prepare three performances. Solo and group performing may be freely mixed. The songs/pieces may also be presentedon a variety of instruments or through a combination of voice and instruments. Technical control,fluency and musicality will be assessed. The standard required will reflect what can be attained in three years of class-based tuition. Students will also have to be examined in an unprepared test (Aural Memory, Sight reading or Improvisation)

The specification for Junior Cycle Music focuses on giving students the opportunity to develop their musical knowledge, skills and cultural awareness through the practical and cognitive engagement with music. This can be achieved through the three interconnected strands: Procedural knowledge, Innovate and ideate and Culture and context. A student will experience learning in each of these three strands as they progress through their junior cycle.

Procedural knowledge

To explore fully their musical imagination, creativity, and potential requires students to develop their music literacy and skills in a range of ways. Students learn music through engaging in, reflecting upon and evaluating their musical experiences. Through this process, students develop a range of musical skills (technical, aural, analytical and notational) that leads to musical understanding.

In this strand, students will develop this procedural knowledge so that they can pursue and realise their possible musical selves and their ideas with confidence. The development of procedural knowledge involves developing a vocabulary in music by learning and using symbols to represent sound, exploring and responding to expressive qualities in music and imagining and creating short musical motifs and soundscapes. It also involves experimenting with elements of music such as pulse, duration, tempo, pitch, dynamics, structure, timbre, texture, style and tonality.

Innovate and ideate

In this strand, students draw on their personal experiences and perspectives to develop, refine, showcase and seek feedback on their musical ideas. They develop an awareness of different sounds and the potential of sound for resourcing and generating ideas, and for communicating feelings. Students will innovate and ideate through composing/arranging and performing music for specific purposes, experimenting with music to communicate ideas derived from a variety of stimuli, and collaborating with others to develop and extend musical ideas. Students will make interpretative musical decisions by demonstrating an integrated understanding of music elements and by using technology to innovate and share ideas.

Culture and context

The understanding of music in context and its cultural positioning helps to shape our ability to create, participate and appraise the music we engage with. In this strand, students will investigate the contextual and cultural environments that impact on purpose and intent in music. This includes developing an understanding and a knowledge of music in past and present contexts; considering musical works as social commentaries on cultures and peoples; investigating music associated with particular times, places, social groups and feelings and sharing and discussing examples of music experienced at home, at school and in the wider community.

While the learning outcomes are set out under strand headings, this should not be taken to imply that the strands are to be studied in isolation. The students’ engagement and learning are optimised by a fully integrated experience across the three strands. To give further emphasis to the integrated nature of learning, the outcomes for each strand are grouped by reference to three elements;

1) Creating and exploring

Across the strands the learning outcomes in this element focus on developing students’ understanding of how music is created. They will explore how melody is constructed and how sounds are layered to create texture and harmony. They will listen to, read, and interpret music as they develop understandings of composers’ and arrangers’ intentions and cultural protocols. Students will search for and discover themes and ideas for creating music through experimentation, improvisation and by exploring music elements, concepts and techniques. They will use the experience of others, both local and in the wider context to inform their own creative decisions.

2) Participating and music-making

In this element, students will participate in activities that communicate their own creative ideas and the interpretation of the ideas of others. Students will develop fluency and technical control as they rehearse and present individually and with others. They will use performance as a method of demonstrating their understanding of musical elements and instrumental/vocal techniques. As students rehearse, revise, and refine music to perform for and with others, they learn about making informed musical decisions and judgements.

3) Appraising and responding

This element focuses on students developing their skills of analysis, comparison and evaluation of pieces of music. This element allows for discriminatory aural skills to be developed, as students learn to reproduce melodies, rhythms, accompaniments and harmonies and develop and demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of musical elements, contexts and language. Appraisal allows the students to express their feelings about music, and through this communication, to use appropriate terminology to justify opinions and inform later musical decisions. Appraising skills are also used when students refine and improve their own performances and creations, when they adapt their own ideas and when they respond to and critique other students’ work.

During their time in Junior Cycle Music, students in Laurel Hill Coláiste will have to complete two Classroom Based Assessments (CBA).

Classroom-Based Assessment 1: Composition portfolio (Completed in Second Year)

This Classroom-Based Assessment offers students an opportunity to celebrate their achievements as creators of music artefacts, by compiling a collection of their musical ideas and creative expressions in a variety of genres and styles over time. Through this process, students will develop their musical voice and their identity. When composing music for their chosen audience, students will learn how to bring an idea from concept to realisation. The development of creative expression in music is a central element of this course, as outlined in the rationale. It is important to instil in students a creative disposition where they are free to experiment, allowed to take risks, encouraged to explore new and challenging opportunities and reflect on the creative process. In the majority of cases, the work in the students’ collections will arise from the ebb and flow of classroom practice.

The collections of student compositions promote student engagement when students;

• identify and choose the stimulus for the creative work

• choose the format(s) in which to create the piece of music

• develop their ideas through engagement with other aspects of the music course.

Two pieces from the portfolio of compositions will be selected by the student for assessment purposes. The focus of this assessment activity will be on the creation of a set of musical compositions which might include the following options;

• responding to an auditory or visual stimulus

• arranging an existing piece of music

• answering phrases(s) to an existing phrase

• adding music to text

• responding to a story or text

• creating an advertisement jingle

• devising a piece of electro-acoustic music

• music for a school event

• music as a response to a personal experience.

This list is not intended to be exhaustive, but serves to suggest that the collection should be a varied one. The options included above can overlap; there is no restriction on the choices that students can make. The compositions can be in any recognised musical style/genre and can be written for instrument or voice and as a solo or group performance. It can be presented in written, digital, visual or audio form, or any other format that is deemed suitable by the student and appropriate for capturing the essence of their ideas. Students are encouraged to include drafts, redrafts, and other workings in relation to the compositions, although this work will not be assigned a descriptor. A student reflection must be included with each of the two compositions chosen for assessment purposes. This is intended to give students the opportunity to set out a brief statement on the purpose or intention for the creative idea, and asks the students to indicate what they have learnt from the process and what they might do differently on a subsequent occasion.

Classroom-Based Assessment 2: Programme Note (Completed in Third Year)

For this Classroom-Based Assessment, the student will prepare a programme note to inform an audience on the content of their upcoming performance which itself will comprise the practical examination. The formative assessment related to the production of this note will be reported upon to the student and parent/guardian by the school as for all other second Classroom-Based Assessments. However, as detailed below, the performance which makes up the practical examination will be graded by the State Examinations Commission (SEC). This programme note is intended to illuminate the content of the upcoming performance in an interesting and relevant way. While this illumination is important for the audience, it also enriches the performance by the student, as knowing about the stories of compositions impacts on the performance of these pieces. The provision of some background information on the composers or songwriters can provide important insights into their intentions, and an understanding of the wider context of the music to be performed. Providing the listener with signposts as to what to listen out for and giving them some interesting anecdotes about the composer or the piece, enlightens and informs their experience.

The programme note could include:

• a brief introduction to the composers/songwriters

• a description about the historical context of the pieces and the circumstances surrounding the composition

• one interesting musical point in each piece for the audience to listen out for

• famous exponents of a tune or an instrument • the student’s role in a group performance.

The structure of the programme note will be influenced by many factors, and students are offered flexibility in allowing for different degrees of emphasis to be focused on different musical elements and features.

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