Regarding the recognition of electronic music equipment as musical instruments, while electronic instruments are referenced, no electronic music equipment is specified in any syllabus documentation.
The primary school curriculum incorporates the subject’s visual arts, music and drama within the curriculum area of arts education. In the primary school music curriculum, enabling pupils to record compositions on electronic media is referenced in all strands of the curriculum from infants up to sixth class. The music curriculum for 3rd and 4th classes confirms that pupils should be enabled to select different kinds of sounds, including electronic instruments. For 5th and 6th classes the curriculum advises “creativity and uniqueness are given a means of self-expression through the provision of opportunities to experiment and gain control of a range of musical materials. These include manufactured instruments and home-made percussion and melodic instruments as well as electronic media.”
In relation to the Junior Cycle specification 2018, there are no references to specific instruments electronic or otherwise. There is no distinction made between acoustic and electronic in the Junior Cycle specification for Music, allowing for the inclusion and exploration of a variety of instruments by students.
In the Leaving Certificate syllabus no specific electronic musical instruments are named, but nor is there an exhaustive list of recognised acoustic instruments. Electronic musical instruments are referenced generally, as synthesisers, MIDI interfaces and computerised music systems.
For the purposes of assessment at Junior Cycle and Leaving Certificate Music, students can perform as a soloist or as a group on any instrument or combination of instruments, and this can be acoustic or digital/electronic. The State Examinations Commission issue guidelines on this every year, to ensure that there is clarity on what is allowed and not allowed in the practical examination. Here is an example of their guidelines from 2018: https://www.examinations.ie/schools/EN-1011-11962080.pdf.