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Message from the Music Teacher
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to Coláiste Mhuire and to our Music department. My name is Ms. O'Shea. I am the only Music teacher in the school but I always use the word "our" when talking about the Music Department as all the work done is the result of teamwork between the students and me. The study of Music can be hard work and also challenging but very rewarding for the teacher and more importantly for the students. It's all about them!

Choral Singing
All Music pupils attending Coláiste Mhuire are members of a very active School Choir who are involved in numerous activities. These include performances at all our School Religious Ceremonies, Choral Workshop attendance, Carol-Singing in order to fundraise for Cancer Care West and the Make a Wish Foundation, and an Annual Music Soirée for the parents of the Music students. Our talented solo singers get an opportunity to showcase their talent on these occasions.

Music Tours
On an annual basis we attend the shows being staged in the Dublin theatres. We have seen most of the musicals which have been staged in Ireland in the last two decades, most recently "Oliver". In 2006 we travelled to Edinburgh to see "Grease".

Music Recitals by Guest Musicians
Professional musicians have visited the school and performed for the students on numerous occasions. These visitors have included musicians from the Music Association of Ireland, the Army Band of the Western Command based in Custume Barracks, Athlone, and we have had the privilege of enjoying the music of world-renowned fiddler Frankie Gavin, whose ancestors come from Ballygar, and world-renowned harpist, Kathleen Loughnane.

Instrumental Music
Musicians also get an opportunity to showcase their talent by their participation in many of our school events. These events have included performances at all our School Religious Ceremonies, participation in our Carol-Services, and performing at our Annual Music Soirées for the parents of the Music students. Our talented instrumentalists get an opportunity to showcase their talent on these occasions.

Music Awards
Our annual end of year prize-giving ceremony provides an ideal platform to formally acknowledge the efforts and hard work of the Music students. These awards are presented for projects and performing as well as for examination results. Prizes are much sought after on this occasion and are greatly cherished when won!

Music Competitions
Our students have been successful participants in several talent competitions including those sponsored by the Credit Union, Scór-na-n-Og, Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, Ballinasloe Teen Star, Roscommon Fleadh and last year in Our School's Got Talent where the students reached the County Final.

Technology in Music
Music Technology is an optional section in the Leaving Cert. Music exam. It is the only Leaving Cert. subject in which marks can be awarded for doing so (25% - 50%). This technology option has proven to be very popular. The Junior Cert. students also use technology as a support for their exam and technology is incorporated as a teaching aid on a daily basis.

Lyric FM's Lorcan Murray and Eamon Lenihan gave a broadcasting workshop to the TY students and Music students in October 2011. Students became producers, sound engineers and presenters, and compiled a radio programme comprising of chat, listeners' queries and problem-letters interspersed with music.

Project Work
Each year students do projects on a selection of topics such as the Orchestra, Irish Music, Composers, Orchestral Works etc. This fosters in students a spirit of team work, enterprise and initiative as students are free to include their own ideas and they work together to produce the final result. A selection of these projects are on display in the Music Room.

Music Examinations
Since the introduction of Music to our Leaving Cert. curriculum, it has been a constant source of pride that every student who has chosen Music has obtained Honours! Class sizes are small so each student receives individual attention and the performing repertoire includes all kind of everything. Hard work, talent and personal enjoyment are combined to realise the full potential of the pupil.

It was history in the making when Ms. O'Shea introduced the tradition of staging Musicals in our school, as no such endeavour had ever been undertaken previously. It is important that Music students are given the opportunity to have their musical talent developed and recognised in public. Our first musical "Oklahoma" was staged in 1995 followed by "The Sound of Music" in 1999. More recently we staged "Grease" in 2005, "Showboat" in 2008, and in 2012 we produced "Oliver".

Whole School Evaluation
In 2007, Coláiste Mhuire was assessed by the Inspectors from the Department of Education and Science and received a very favourable report. Music was granted the ultimate award, "highly commended". Here is an extract from that report:

"Music is a very important part of life in Coláiste Mhuire. In addition to studying music as an optional junior and senior-cycle subject for State examination purposes, where all genres of music are presented for examinations, students are exposed each year to a very comprehensive calendar of musical events that are an integral part of all whole-school activities. School choirs participate annually in Department of Education and Science choral examinations and other scheduled events include a school musical, opening of year mass, tours to musical events and concerts, carol workshops and services, a commemorative mass, local and school talent competitions, recitals by a selection of renowned traditional and classical musicians, a school concert, junior and senior choirs, the graduation mass and the end-of-year awards ceremony, among other activities. Technology in music is used as a teaching tool, as an examination component for the State examinations, and as a means of introducing music students to modern developments in music technology. All students taking music as an examination subject are taught to play an instrument, since performance is an integral part of music. This work is highly commended."

Musicians of the Future
Several of our past students have continued with their Music studies at University and graduated as Music Teachers. Others have developed a lifelong love of the subject and pursue it in a more leisurely fashion. Many others have brought forth their talent and skill for the benefit of the wider community.

You can see more pictures from various Music events on our gallery page.

© 2013 Coláiste Mhuire