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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 4 May 1995

Vol. 452 No. 4

Written Answers. - Music as Leaving Certificate Subject.

Frances Fitzgerald


56 Ms F. Fitzgerald asked the Minister for Education the plans, if any, she has to encourage students to take music as a leaving certificate subject. [8140/95]

As Minister for Education. I support the further development of music at all stages of the educational system and, in particular, at leaving certificate level.

Much excellent work is already going on as part of the development of this subject in post-primary schools. Three main areas of achievement can be clearly identified to date:

—A new Music syllabus for Junior Cycle, prepared by the NCCA and my Department, was examined for the first time in 1994. This new programme encourages the practical and creative involvement by all pupils and enhances their ability to enjoy and appreciate Music. The whole-hearted enthusiasm it has received is most encouraging.

—The new Transition Year Programme, which was extended to the majority of second-level schools in 1994-95, gives an opportunity to schools to include interesting and varied programmes in the Arts, including Music, for all Transition Year pupils, without stress of examination. I expect that some of these young people will continue to study Music, either formally or informally, for the remaining two years at school.

It is hoped that these two developments will enhance Music education in schools and will result in increased participation in the Leaving Certificate Music programme.

—A new Leaving Certificate syllabus in Music is at an advanced stage of planning by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment. It will provide progression from the new Junior Certificate Music Syllabus. It will take account of recent developments and modern techniques and approaches in Music education.
The course is designed to cater for a wider range of pupil interests and aptitudes. This will result in an increased participation rate in Music as a subject at Leaving Certificate level.
—In 1994, a special committee was convened to draw up interim arrangements for Leaving Certificate Music until such time as the revised syllabus is introduced. In addition to looking at aspects of the Junior Certificate syllabus, the members recommended imaginative possibilities for performing, including Solo Singing. These recommendations have been implemented.