Teachers sing praises of 'enjoyable' music paper


LEAVING CERT MUSIC AND AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE:FAMILIAR TUNES and a Simon and Garfunkel classic soothed the ears of more than 5,000 students sitting yesterday’s Leaving Cert music exam.

On the second last day of the Leaving many students reported an “enjoyable” paper with popular artists and musical pieces featuring throughout.

The two-hour listening paper featured works by Raymond Deane, Seán Ó Riada and Gordon Mills. Bridge over Troubled Waters by Simon and Garfunkel was a particular favourite among students yesterday. “This was a well-balanced and unproblematic paper,” said Margaret Curran, ASTI representative for music. “The questions were very precise and required precise answers.”

Students welcomed the inclusion of Seachange by Raymond Deane in the long question section, as the work demanded a lot of attention during the syllabus, according to teachers.

Almost 500 students took yesterday’s paper at ordinary level and it was described as “well-laid out” and “straightforward”.

Leaving Cert agricultural science students were met with questions that ranged from easy to very difficult at both higher and ordinary levels yesterday morning.

The higher level paper began on a challenging note, according to TUI representative James Conway. “It required students to reason and think. It wasn’t something they could have learned off by rote.”

In an interesting twist, a question about the index of calving difficulty in question seven, would have rewarded students who took an interest in, and kept up to date with farming matters.

Ordinary level students would have been happy with a “very reasonable paper”, Mr Conway said.

One niggling point related to a picture of a sugar beet. “Students were asked to name a by-product of the processing of the pictured plant,” he said. “Considering Ireland doesn’t have sugar plants anymore, I thought the question was a bit outdated,” Mr Conway said.