Music Department

HoD: Mr S Cuddy

Subjects Offered

Music GCSE
Music A Level (CCEA Modular)

Currently the Department offers tuition in the following instruments:

  • Strings (Upper and lower)
  • Woodwind
  • Brass
  • Drum-kit
  • Bagpipes and drums
  • Tin whistle
  • Voice (Classical and Musical Theatre)
  • Piano
  • Guitar (acoustic, electric and bass)
  • This tuition is provided at a cost to the parents and is available to any child wishing to continue or start tuition on a musical instrument.



Year 8
Our focus in Year 8 is on learning the main elements of Music through composing, performing and listening. The main topics studied are pulse; ostinato; folk music; Carnival of the Animals; and music for strings and percussion. We also learn some of the basic recording and editing techniques of Garageband.

Year 9
In Year 9 we continue to develop skills in composing, performing and listening in the topics of mood music; Christmas carols; fanfare; radio ads; and music for brass and woodwind.

Year 10
The focus on Year 10 is on Use of ICT in Music. Pupils continue to develop their skills in the use of Garageband as well as learn how to notate their compositions on Sibelius. They study Blues music, Irish and Scottish traditional music and then complete a film music project which includes composing their own soundtrack for a video clip. Our work at Year 10 should help to prepare pupils for GCSE Music.

The pupils will study CCEA GCSE Music.

Performing (35%)
Solo and Group Performance on voice or the pupil’s chosen instrument.

Composing (30%)
Two compositions lasting between 4-6 minutes. Pupils can choose to record these compositions using Garageband or Sibelius.

Listening (35%)
Set Works and General Listening from a range of musical sources. There is a wide range of styles – from Classical Music to Pop Music or from Irish traditional to Film Music.

At the moment we study the CCEA GCE Music course.

Performing (AS 1: 35% of AS)
Solo performance on the candidate’s chosen instrument or voice.
Viva voce (discussion with the examiner about the pupil’s programme)

Composing (AS 2: 35% of AS)

  • A Composition task
  • Written commentary

Responding to Music (AS 3: 30% of AS)
Two external written examinations based on set works pupils have studied and some unseen music extracts.

  • Test of aural perception (listening) (15%)
  • Written examination (15%)

A2 level follows a similar structure to AS with some minor alterations. These are:

  • Performance will be at a higher standard (minimum Grade 6 or equivalent)
  • Composition will be longer (3-4 mins compared to 2-3 mins at AS level)
  • The Listening and Score Analysis will include more complex features and also more sophisticated 20th Century harmony.
  • Junior Choir
  • Senior Choir
  • Chamber Choir
  • Royal Strings
  • RSD Wind Band
  • String Quartet
  • RSD Pipe Band
  • Biennial School Musical Production

All the above ensembles rehearse on a weekly basis either at lunchtimes or after school. Everyone is encouraged to participate no matter what their musical background is.

Performance Opportunities include:

  • Prize Day
  • Christmas Concert
  • School Carol Service
  • Performances in local Residential Homes
  • Dungannon Festival of Music
  • Portadown Festival of Music
  • Radio Ulster Choir of the Year
  • Spring Concert

The department also arrange trips to hear the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast at least once a year.

Music News Articles

The Christmas Concert, tonight!

Don't miss The Christmas Concert this evening at the Royal School! A showcase of music, drama and dance in RSD at 19:30. A night not to be missed! Photos included were taken at our Drama rehearsal...

Bagpipes & whistles!

A musical treat from our peripatetic tutor, Mark Carmichael, Year 8 pupils enjoyed hearing the versatility of both bagpipes and whistle.

Ulster Orchestra Masterclass

We recently had the pleasure to welcome Danny McCann-Williams from the Ulster Orchestra to RSD to give a violin masterclass to one of our Year 13 pupils, Emily Hayes.

Dion attends Emil Dale Academy workshop

Year 13 pupil Dion Di Maio was successful in obtaining a place at a workshop held in the Grand Opera House on 20th January.

Music students enjoy a ‘Festive Box of Delights’ from the Ulster Orchestra

GCSE and AS Music students attended the Ulster Orchestra’s Lunchtime Concert entitled “A Festive Box of Delights” in the Ulster Hall on Tuesday 19th December.

Musicians perform at Dungannon Baptist Church

Many students from RSD’s Music Department performed locally this week, on Wednesday 6th December, at Dungannon Baptist’s ‘BWF Christmas Dinner’ – providing much entertainment and merriment.

Rehearsals for ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’

Tickets for this year’s play, ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ by Mark Twain, are now on sale. It will take place over three nights from Thursday 9th November through to Saturday 11th November.

Ulster Orchestra Masterclass

RSD had the privilege of having Ulster Orchestra violinist, Danny McCann-Williams in school recently. Danny provided a masterclass for Napier Prize winner, Jeffrey Yau (Year 13), for excellence in strings performance.

Sir James Galway Masterclass

On Saturday 23rd September, GCSE Music student and keen flautist, Lydia Carson, attended a masterclass with world-class musician, Sir James Galway.

RSD Choirs impress at Dungannon Festival

Well done to the Chamber Choir and the Junior Choir for winning their sections of the Dungannon Music Festival. Jasmine Ashfield (Year 10) and Dion Di Maio (Year 11) presented the trophies to the school in Assembly on Tuesday 8 March. 

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Royal School Dungannon

Telephone No.
+44 (0) 28 87 722710

[email protected]

Headmaster’s Secretary
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2 Ranfurly Road, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, BT71 6EG, Northern Ireland

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