Music Curriculum at Cullybackey College
"A painter paints pictures on canvas but musicians paint their pictures on silence". (Leopold Stokowski)
The Music Department in Cullybackey College is a busy and very active place from early morning to late afternoon. There is always something going on in the department and pupils like the "family atmosphere" that surrounds the Music Suite of rooms. Here pupils often meet and chat at different stages throughout the school day.
In Years 8, 9 and 10 we base our learning around the three main elements of the Northern Ireland Curriculum – Listening, Performing and Composing and every pupil has a chance to experience all three areas of study in Junior School.
We listen to a wide range of music covering all the major musical eras right up to the most popular music of today. All pupils learn to play the descant recorder and some are given the opportunity to learn to play the keyboard. Performance is an important part of the daily scheme of work and all pupils are encouraged to prepare and perform set pieces on an instrument which helps to build their confidence and a real belief within themselves. There is time set aside to work in groups with a selection of instruments when pupils get a chance to compose and perform their own music too.
In Year 11 pupils have the option to choose music as a GSCE subject where they follow through with the skills they acquired in Junior School and follow the CCEA music syllabus centred around Listening, Performing and Composing once again. We generally have healthy numbers of pupils choosing the subject and results are good. Occasionally we also may offer A level music in Years 13 and 14 if there is a particular demand for it at that time.
We have 3 peripatetic instrumental tutors who visit the school on a weekly basis and we can offer String, Woodwind, Brass and Percussion tuition within the department. We have a good sized Orchestra and a lively Choir who meet on a weekly basis after school and prepare for a variety of functions throughout the year. This is a time to get together with pupils from other years and work at group music and to have a lot of fun and laughter.
For 27 years Cullybackey College had built up a great reputation for their annual Musical Production and although that has been missing for the past few years we hope to revive the tradition by bringing the shows back to the College. This venture always provides great opportunities for pupils and can instil confidence through public performance and a real sense of fun and commitment. This is enjoyed by all who take part either on the stage, in the orchestra or behind the scenes. Music is fun and we certainly do enjoy our time together.