Music in Midleton CBS

Teacher: Mr. Fintan Finn BA, BMUS, HDE, ALCM

Music Student Notes



Music in CBS is taught by Mr Fintan Finn.  Fintan is a UCC graduate and has been teaching in CBS since 1997.  He is highly involved in composing, arranging, conducting and teaching music, mainly around Cork.

For most people, music is a welcome relief from some of the more tedious elements of our lives.  In school, despite being an academic subject, it is still there as a break from some more serious subjects.  In CBS, music is available as a taster module for First Years, in which students get to try it out for approximately eight weeks.  It may then be taken as an option subject to Junior- and then Leaving-Certificate levels.  There are opportunities for extra-curricular trips every year as well as platforms for students to perform if they would like to do so.

Our courses are based on the key musical components, Listening, Composing and Performing, involving content reaching from Bach to the Beatles, Ludwig Van Beethoven to Louis Armstrong.

Our instrument of choice for classroom use is the Tin Whistle, which we take from First-Year with no previous experience necessary

Louis Armstrong


Music For Junior & Leaving Certificate – FAQ

1. What’s the point in studying Music – I have no plan to become a musician?

There are lots of reasons to study Music.  For starters, here are three.

• Music is part of our everyday lives.  We listen to it at home, when we’re out, while we exercise, in the movies, almost everywhere we go. So, while it is an academic school subject, it is closely linked to many of the more enjoyable things in our lives.  This makes it one of the more enjoyable subjects on offer in our schools.

• If it’s points you’re interested in, just for comparison, here are the percentages of students who scored Honours in Music and Geography in 2012, ’11 and ’10 as published by the State Exams Commission.

2012 2011 2010

  2012 2011 2010
Music 94.5% 94.1% 95%
Geography 74.1% 76.4% 77.4%


• Music is a skills-based subject.  It is all about using an enjoyable subject to learn focus, concentration, organisation, analytical skills, expression skills, English grammar.  It especially helps boys to multi-task and break goals down into multiple manageable portions in logical sequences.


2. I can’t read music.  Does that mean I can’t do Music in school?

No problem.  We will cover all the reading you will need to get through your Junior and Leaving Cert Music as we go along.


3. Do I need to learn an instrument outside school in order to do Music for Junior or Leaving Cert?

No.  Beginning in First Year, and with no prior playing experience, we do more than enough practical work in class to prepare for the requirements of the State Exams.


4. My sister is doing Music in the girls’ school and she says they sing all the time.  Will I need to sing in the Junior or Leaving Cert?

Singing suits very well in girls’ schools because girls’ voices don’t break like boys’ voices do.  Therefore, singing suits a higher number of girls than boys.  In our school, we use tin whistle as our classroom instrument and that is enough for your practical exams.  However, if you do something else outside of school, you are welcome to use that as well as, or instead of tin whistle.  So, you won’t need to sing, but you can if you want to! 


Michael Kelly – Talent Show 2012


5. Will I have to play an instrument in front of the class?


You won’t have to do anything that causes stress or anxiety.  Music is a fabulous subject where the students’ needs are most important.  You will be encouraged to play as much as possible but not in any way that will make you feel needlessly uncomfortable.  For the more daring students, we have a talent show on the day of the Christmas holidays every year.  There is also Music Club at lunchtimes when Room 16 is open to music enthusiasts from all year groups to meet for a few tunes or songs or just to chat.

6. Is there much homework in Music?

Music is no different than other subjects in that it requires regular practice, homework-exercises and study.  As with other subjects, you get out of it, only what you are prepared to put in.  Students who do not keep up with their work will fall behind and struggle to catch up with missed work.  This is no different from any other subject.


7. I play guitar.  Can I use that in my Junior / Leaving Cert?

Yes.  Although everyone must play tin whistle for the purpose of classroom work, students may use other instruments as part/all of their State exams so long as their classroom teacher is happy that an appropriate standard has been reached.






Mr Finn, Iain Cooney & Finian O’Connor 2005








8. Are music lessons available after school in other instruments?

The CBS Board of Management facilitates after-school instrumental lessons.  However, these lessons are not in line with Junior Cert and Leaving Cert syllabi.  They are there to allow CBS students, and students from our neighbouring schools to explore music above and beyond the call of their daytime courses.    


9. Does CBS run night Music courses for adults?

CBS is currently home to the Owenacurra Singers choir.  This is an all-female choir which sings on Tuesday nights from September until March every year in Room 16.  Mothers of CBS students in particular are encouraged to take part in singing with the group as it provides a nice, relaxed environment in which to make new friends and get involved in light-hearted music making.


10. I’m not sure.  Where can I get more information?

Mr Finn is available to discuss CBS Music with you.  Ring the school office and make an appointment if there is anything  further you would like to know







Tadhg Raleigh, Sean Murray, Denis O’Flynn & James Stephens 2012







James Roberts, Jorik Schellekens & Padraig O’Donovan 2013 








(L to R) Jack Hayes, Daniel Colbert, Matthew Bell, Alan Stanton, Dave O’Hagan, Ben McManus, Mark Ryan & Josh McMahon 2013


Fintan Finn


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