Course Introduction

Islay High School Music Department offers a wide range of opportunities for all pupils.  The curriculum begins with Broad General Education in S1/2. Pupils may study Music further, progressing from National 4 through to Advanced Higher in S3-6, dependent on aptitude and ability.  Pupils are encouraged to take part in extra-curricular activities as these support the development of individuals in gaining confidence, communication skills and a wider experience.


Mr Craig Weatherhogg   -  Principal Teacher

Mr Scott McDermott   - Music Instructor

Position to be filled – Piping Instructor


S1/2      Pupils develop and learn new skills that will enable them to embark on a National Qualification through a course which embraces the choice, personalisation and range of experiences for the pupils.

Performing – Taster course on a range of instruments, choosing two instruments on which to develop skills as an individual and as a group in the classroom context.

Composing – Pupils learn music literacy skills throughout S1/2, compose their own music and improvise.  Pupils learn to use online resources, Audacity and Sibelius, to enhance this experience.

Listening – Instruments of the Orchestra and different styles of music are explored.  Pupils learn to express themselves with the use of concepts and presentations, using technology and holistic tasks.


NATIONAL 4/5, Higher and Advanced Higher



1   Perform music in a range of music styles by:

Developing musical and technical skills, showing an understanding of the composer’s intentions for the piece.

Identifying the strengths and areas for improvement in their performing.

Pupils are required to play 2 instruments at the following levels; (one can be voice)

National 4  - Grade 2

National 5 – Grade 3

Higher  -  Grade 4

Advanced Higher –Grade 5                                                                                                                                   




1  Create original music by:

Understanding how a range of compositional methods and music concepts are used by composers and the influences on their work.

Experimenting and using music concepts and compositional methods in creative ways to develop, refine and create original music.

Developing musical ideas that make musical sense and realise their creative intentions.

Self-reflecting on their music and their creative choices and decisions.




1  Recognise and identify music concepts and styles by:

Identifying and distinguishing between level specific concepts in excerpts   of music.

Identifying and analysing the social and cultural influences that have influenced the distinctive sounds and structure of specific musical styles.

Identifying and understanding the meaning of music signs, symbols and terms

Extra-curricular activities

Opportunities on offer include  – Choirs, Pop/Rock groups, Traditional Group, School Wind Band and Pipe Band.  These groups play at School Concerts, local events and in the community.  There are school trips for pupils to access further experiences in music and culture.  Workshops facilitated by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland also happen on an annual basis.  In the near future, we are looking to develop music technology opportunities, with the installation of a Recording Studio.  Pupils are also able to become involved in non-performing roles, such as back stage, lighting and sound for productions.

Useful links