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Junior Cert Music

The Junior Cert music course is a two-year-long course. There are three components covered: listening, composing and performing. For the listening component students study set and choice songs and works of various traditions and styles; learn to listen to music and describe what they hear; learn to dictate a short melody; and learn about traditional Irish music. For the composing component students learn about triads and chords and how to use them; and learn to write a short melody. For the performing component students prepare a programme on one or two instruments (this can be part of a group).

In this section you will find information, hints, tips and tools to help you study Music for the Junior Cert.

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My shiny and fabulous Junior Cert Music notes include everything you need to study for JC Music, covering all set and choice works and songs, Irish music, triads, melody writing, chords and general study.


Check out new Junior Cert Music Teacher's Goodie Bag, now available for pre-order! It's a big stack of worksheets (and answer sheets)! Worksheets, worksheets, worksheets!

While designed with teachers in mind, this goodie bag is also a helpful tool for individual students as the worksheets in the goodie bag come with answers (with the exception of melody writing).

General Study and Exam Advice for Junior Cert Music Students

  • Be organised - The Junior Cert Music Course is a big one, you must answer nine questions in the exam in the categories listening, composing and general study. Keep all of your notes organised in a copy book or folder under clearly marked headings.
  • Read the question - When I'm marking papers the most common mistakes I come across are those that happen because the student misread the question. Read carefully and underline key words. Some people find it helpful to make notes or write possible answers in the margin as a guideline, especially for questions that call for more than a few words in the answer
  • Use pencil for melody-writing and composing questions. Music should always be written in pencil. Scribbling out mistakes in pen on a stave is really messy and makes your melody very difficult to read and mark.
  • Don't waffle - When I'm marking I often come across answers that are made up of complete waffle. A marker can always tell if you don't know what you're talking about so save everybody some time and write short sentences that get to the point, if you don't know what your point is then come up with your best and most reasonable guess and write it in one or two sentences. Endless waffle never gets you more marks.
  • Save the flowery words for English - "The music makes me feel as though I'm floating on a beautiful cloud of perfect raindrops surrounded by swaying trees" is as worthless as drawing a diagram of a volcano in a music exam. Short sentences. Get to the point.

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