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

Good luck Mr Batchelor!

Last week, we officially said goodbye to Mr Batchelor. Although he retired as Head of Music in 2013 after 27 years at RSD, Mr Batchelor has remained a familiar face in the RSD music department as he has led countless students through their ABRSM theory and singing...

Guys and Dolls 2022

From 3rd-5th November, large audiences enjoyed the RSD Dramatic Society’s production of the classic musical, Guys and Dolls

Spring Concert 2022

On Wednesday night we welcomed back audiences to RSD for the Spring Concert in the Assembly Hall. This was the first time we had parents, friends and supporters of the school in the Hall for an event since December 2019! The combination of live music and an appreciative audience, cheering on every performance, made for a magical evening.

Christmas Concert drama video recording

We are delighted to be able to share some video footage from the drama section of our Christmas Concerts last term.

Christmas Concert video recordings

We are delighted to be able to share some video footage from our Christmas Concerts this year.

Christmas Concert part 2

Year 9 pupils enjoyed the second instalment of the Christmas concert yesterday morning.

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.

Other Subjects

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