Music manuscript, pen and glasses (Stock photo)

Foundations of Music Theory & Analysis

This group class is for secondary school students and explores music analysis, theory and composition.

The aim is to develop a deeper knowledge of the musical score and to gain confidence in advanced musical skills. At the end of the course students will be ready to embark on Leaving Cert Music. 

Eligible students 

The course is suitable for students who: 

  • are not studying music for Junior Cycle [Junior Certificate] in school but who wish to take it as part of their Leaving Certificate curriculum in the future 

  • are taking the Junior Cycle [Junior Certificate] music exam, and who want to have additional support in areas directly relating to the Leaving Certificate programme 

  • wish to have a good general grounding on music in areas from analysis and history or music technology 

  • are in Transition Year, and wish to develop greater musical literacy before embarking on the Senior Cycle [Leaving Certificate] Music course.  

This course promises to be packed with information, delivered in a lively and engaging way by award-winning teacher Kim Fallen-Bailey. 

Course certification 

The course certifies students’ achievements in three ways: 

  • RIAM will certify the overall result with an official certificate and transcript 

  • You can submit this transcript to secondary schools at the end of third year to be added to the ‘Other Areas of Learning’ section on the new Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement (JCPA), where outside learning is recorded 

  • RIAM is a partner under the President’s ‘Gaisce’ Scheme and this course is eligible as a personal skills module of that programme 


This course will work on areas that will help those students who may wish to take Music for Senior Cycle in the future. They include: 

  • Recognition of orchestral and Irish instruments 

  • Basic score analysis 

  • Basic theoretical analysis 

  • Useful vocabulary 

  • How to describe music using the correct terminology 

  • Composition in major and minor keys 

  • Irish music background & research on key areas studied in the Senior Cycle 

  • Background into historical eras and composers who are on the Senior Cycle course 

  • Music technology 


Students will be assessed through: 

  • Projects & class work 
  • A final exam on all the course work in the style of Senior Cycle exam 
  • A portfolio submission, which will account for 25% of the overall assessment mark 

Duration:          90 minutes per week for 30 weeks for 1 year