Class Music Teacher

Jeanna Inkster (P1 – S4)

Music Instructors


Peter Wood – Accordion

Annalie Irvine – Strings


Eunice Henderson – Traditional Fiddle


Jane Pottinger – Piano and Brass


Sioban Tekcan – Woodwind

Eamonn Watt – Drumkit


Arthur Nicholson – Primary Guitar

Courses and Classes

 Through music, learners have rich opportunities to be creative and to experience inspiration and enjoyment. Performing and creating music will be the prominent activities for all learners. Through these activities they develop their vocal and instrumental skills, explore sounds and musical concepts, and use their imagination and skills to create musical ideas and compositions. They can further develop their understanding and capacity to enjoy music through listening to musical performances and commenting on them. They use ICT to realise or enhance their composition and performance, and to promote their understanding of how music works.’ (Curriculum for Excellence)

Broad General Education (BGE)

In the BGE courses are based around the Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes and the Benchmarks published by Education Scotland.

Primary Classes

Primary classes have one x 50 minute period of music each week.

Many ideas from the Kodaly ‘method’ of teaching music are used throughout primary classes.  Early years follow the ‘Jolly Music’ scheme with older classes performing songs and rhymes from NYCoS (National Youth Choir of Scotland) song books and working through the ‘Go for Bronze’ musicianship programme.

In addition, lessons are often linked to ongoing class topics and as well as learning to play instruments, pupils are encouraged to compose their own music and to listen to a variety of different styles of music and learn about level appropriate musical concepts.

‘Musical Futures’ materials are also used as are BBC 10 Pieces.

Secondary Classes

S1-2 classes usually have 2 x 50 minutes periods of music each week.

S3 usually have 3 x 50 minutes each week.

S1-2 Music

Pupils develop their individual skills on a range of classroom instruments including ukulele, keyboard, tuned percussion and guitar and perform individually and in groups.  Pupils are also encouraged to bring in their own instruments.

Set topics are also covered such as ‘The Elements of Music’,  ‘Playing by Ear’ and ‘Instruments of the Orchestra’ which incorporate performing, composing and understanding music.

Pupils learn about various styles of music and level appropriate musical concepts and musical literacy.

S3 Music

Pupils choose 2 instruments (or 1 instrument and voice) to focus on and are assessed throughout the session through solo and group performances.

Pupils learn about level specific styles of music musical concepts and musical literacy and undertake a number of composing activities.


In S4 pupils have four x 50 minute periods of music each week.

N4 Music

The N4 course is internally assessed.


Pupils perform on two instruments or one instrument and voice at a level equivalent to Grade 2 standard.  Pieces are recorded as evidence and pupils have to keep a performance log throughout the course and evaluate their final performances.


Pupils will compose a number of short pieces to demonstrate their understanding of level appropriate musical styles and concepts.  A gain, pupils keep a log to show how they have developed their ideas and evaluate their final compositions.

Understanding Music

Pupils will complete the N4 musical literacy booklet and study all the N4 musical concepts and styles.  They then have to show their understanding of these through quizzes, tests and informal assessments.

N5 Music

The N5 Music course is split into three sections:-

Performing – 50%

Pupils perform on two instruments or one instrument and voice at a level equivalent to Grade 3 standard.  Their final programme which is split between these two instruments/voice lasts for 8 minutes.  A music teacher from another school in Shetland comes to the school to assess pupils for the prelim in December with the final exam in February /March assessed by an SQA examiner.  Pupils are generally given two periods a week in class to practice and are also expected to practice regularly at home.

Understanding Music – 35%

This part of the course takes the form of a 45 minute listening exam.  Pupils are assessed on their knowledge and understanding of a variety of N3-N5 musical concepts and musical literacy and learn about a variety of different styles of music.  The prelim paper is in January and the final exam is in April/May.

Composing Assignment – 15%

Pupils compose a piece of music in a style of their choice using whichever instruments or voices they like.  Their final composition must be recorded and notated and a composition review must also be completed, outlining how they came up with their initial ideas and developed them and stating which parts of their composition they feel worked best/could have been improved upon.  All three parts of the assignment are sent to SQA for marking at the end of term 3 three.

For the past 2 years due to Covid, the composing assignment has been omitted so that the Practical is worth 60% and the Understanding Music is worth 40%.

In a Nutshell – National 5 Music

‘The inspiration and power of the arts play a vital role in enabling our children and young people to enhance their creative talent and develop their artistic skills.’ (Education Scotland)

Music plays an important part of life at Sandwick Junior High School with a large number of students taking instrumental lessons and participating in extra-curricular musical groups.

Primary pupils usually include a musical item at their annual class assemblies and put on a show at Christmas time.  Also in December, the choir perform at Sumburgh Airport and many pupils and instrumental staff perform at local Christmas concerts and other community concerts throughout the year.

A large number of our pupils take part in the annual Music Festival in March performing either individually and/or as part of large and small groups (see below.)

The Young Fiddler of the Year competition takes place in April.

In June P5-6 pupils participate in a production by Scottish Opera alongside pupils from our two feeder Primary schools.

Several pupils are involved in other musical groups within Shetland such as Shetland Youth Wind Band, The Scandi Sessions and the Community Orchestra and some pupils also perform and compete on the mainland.

Unfortunately due to Covid restrictions it has not been possible to run all the usual music groups or perform in the Community and the Music Festival has had to be cancelled for the past 3 years as well.  Hopefully things will start to get back to normal soon.

Careers in Music

There are a wide variety of skills used in music which can be applied to many other subjects and walks of life but for those wishing to pursue a career specifically in music there are many varied options including:-

Teaching, performing, sound engineering, conducting, composing, recording, music therapy, music journalism, musical instrument technology, music production, artist management, arts administration and sound engineering.