Leaving Certificate


Leaving Certificate music is made up of the three interrelated areas of listening, composing and performing.

Leaving Cert Music

The breakdown of the course is as follows:

  • 25% Listening
  • 25% Composing
  • 25% Performing
  • 25% Elective

Higher Level students ‘elect’ to do an extra 25% of the course in one of the three areas of music. Most students choose to do the elective in performing as this is often the area students excel in. However, a student can also elect to create a composing portfolio or to complete a listening project which involves sitting an extra paper in the June exams.

There is the option of completing the performance exam using music technology. This involves inputting music using a piece of notation software. Depending on the level and the configuration you choose for your exam, it may also involve creating a backing track to perform along with.



Do I need to have studied Music at Junior Cycle?

There is no requirement to have studied Music at Junior Cycle. However, it is recommended that you have some competency in music performance.

Why study Music?
Research has shown that…

  • Music helps to develop language and reasoning skills.
  • Music helps you to master memorisation.
  • There is a link between music and spatial awareness which helps with problem solving and maths.
  • Through the study and practice of music, you will learn the value of persistence to achieve excellence.
  • Music enhances team skills.
  • Performing in groups such as a choir or band requires students to communicate and work together.
  • Music develops skills that are useful in the world of work. Employers often look for multi-dimensional and flexible minds.
  • Music performance helps you to take risks and develop confidence.

careers in the music industry

  • 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