Music is the fabric of our society and can shape abilities and character . Our curriculum provides young people with rich opportunities to be creative and to experience inspiration and enjoyment. The principal activities of performing and creating music allow young people to develop their vocal and instrumental skills, explore sounds and musical concepts and use their imagination and skills to create musical ideas and compositions. We develop their understanding and capacity to enjoy music through listening and analysis of musical performances. Music technology is used intrinsically to compose, record and produce music and to enhance performance. Our music curriculum brings together the three elements of music, performing, composing and listening, in dynamic and innovative ways. This allows young people to develop their skills in a range of creative ways, which are key to the development of life long learners who can flourish in society.


Mrs L Neil | Principal Teacher Pastoral Care (Islay)
Miss R McFarlane
Miss M McGough


Mark Austin | Guitar
Stuart Don | Drumkit
Jim Collins | Snare Drum
Russell Truman | Singing
John Sweeney | Piano
David Price | Brass
Nicola Leslie | Woodwind


Performing – You will learn two instruments, such as percussion, guitar, keyboard, voice, or trumpet.  Once chosen, you are required to continue your study of these instruments for the duration of the academic year.  In addition to Music classes, you have the opportunity to apply for private music tuition, which will greatly augment your developing musicianship.  

Composition – Skills you have learned on your instruments will help you to write your own music. You will also learn to use special music tools to help improve your compositions.  

Listening Skills – You will study music from past and present, such as Blues, Baroque, Rock, Scottish, and World Music. You will use digital technologies to write your own music and increase your knowledge and understanding of different styles of music. You will also learn to read and write music notation.

Understanding Music – You will study the analysis of music and gain an understanding of the social and cultural developments of a variety of styles and genres. 

Courses Offered

Music with performing

National 4                   National 5                   Higher            Advanced Higher



Learning Experiences

You will explore ideas in a variety of ways including:

Individual and group musical skills; practice of pieces of music/songs on both instruments. Class performances.

Using keyboards to compose your piece then in ICT using a special music writing programme to develop and record it.

You will learn about how music is structured through the music you play in class but also through Topic projects, class discussions, investigations and interdisciplinary projects as well as visiting places to hear live music.

Key Skills                     

  • Learn how to play and perform solo or in a group on two selected instruments or voice.
  • The ability to create original music using compositional methods and music concepts when composing, arranging or improvising.
  • An understanding of the social and cultural factors influencing music.
  • Identifying level specific annotated music signs, symbols, concepts and styles.
  • Understanding the creative process and expression through music.
  • Develop language and reasoning as well as spatial intelligence.
  • Self-discipline and diligence, traits that carry over into intellectual pursuits and that lead to effective study and work habits.
  • A high level of technological skills for use with composing, recording, performing and live sound.

Life & Work

There are many transferrable life-long skills and understandings that can be achieved through the study of Music, such as:

  • Instrumental performance;
  • Co-ordination;
  • Analysis;
  • Self confidence;
  • Respect for other peoples musical likes and opinions;
  • Working with others.

The Music Industry
There are many opportunities within the Music Industry apart from being a rockstar!  Following a suitable college or university course you could work in a recording studio, a music venue, in the Creative Industries or a music agency.

Apart from secondary subject teaching, a music qualification is extremely important to both primary and nursery, and further training would be provided in the courses.

Art and Leisure Industry
There are many opportunities for people working in private businesses and local authority services running workshops and tasters in the arts with youth groups, young children and special needs groups.   Once graduated you can also become an Arts Officer through the Arts or local councils.

There are several regiments which have music sections that do not have to take part in action; they are trained as medical specialists.

Music Therapy
Working with health agencies, music therapy is a growing area of health care and is used with people who have for example suffered mental trauma or have severe learning difficulties. It is also highly valuable in reminiscing therapies with elderly people.