Music at Methody

Music has been regarded as important at Methody from the time of the College's foundation in 1868. The central philosophy has always been to involve as many individuals as possible, in as many areas as may be provided, to the highest standard attainable.

Chapel Choir support Flash Harry in Concert @ Odyssey Arena 2012
Please click here to view more photos of this event

The musical life of the College may be viewed as two parallel paths - curricular activities and co-curricular pursuits. There has never been a conscious value judgement claiming that one of these areas is to be regarded as more important than the other. Rather, each tends to complement the other.

For a list of performing groups, please see the extra-curricular section. 


Mrs R. McCartney, MBE - Director of Music
Mrs L. Rolston
Mr K. Jordan
Mrs T. Qua (P/T)


Methody is quite unique, in that Music is studied by almost every pupil from Form One to Upper Sixth.  In Key Stage Three we try to ensure a progression of skills, which include Listening, Composing, Performing and Appraising.  This gives us a good basis on which to start the GCSE course in Form Four.  Music is studied to AS and A Level,with most candidates attaining A Grades in external examinations.

From Form Four to Upper Sixth, all pupils take part in the Senior Chorus.  Large-scale choral works are learnt throughout the term in a timetabled singing class.  The Senior Chorus performs at Prize Day, College Carols and the Easter Concert in Belfast’s Waterfront Hall.  In recent years the works have included Karl Jenkins Requiem, Poulenc’s Gloria and Carl Orff Carmina Burana.

IT is used in nearly all aspects of the music course.  Composition classes are held in a computer suite and most classes have the opportunity to use Sibelius software to create their own pieces.  Form One also uses the internet to research information for their projects on musical instruments.

Facilities and Resources

The Music Department is assigned as "G" Block on the campus. It is a purpose-built unit, added at the rear of the Whitla Hall in the early 1970s. There are two general-purpose rooms for class music, an electronic keyboard room (H6), one smaller room used chiefly for the GCSE and 'A' level courses, three store rooms and several studios or practice rooms which are used by the instrumental tutors.

The College has a stock of instruments which are made available to pupils, on request.  From time to time, as resources permit, additional or replacement instruments are purchased. The College appreciates the value to pupils of the ready availability of instruments from the Belfast Education and Library Board, through the City of Belfast School of Music, and from the South Eastern Board.

Educational Trips and Exchanges

Each year the Music Society plans trips. In 1999 the Girls and Chapel Choirs went on a tour of USA to perform in New York, Washington, Nashville and Boston. The plan to organise a similar trip in October 2010.

In the last number of years the Chapel Choir have enjoyed singing the services in Westminster Abbey while the Abbey choir has been on holiday. The Choir also travelled to the Royal Albert Hall to take part in two recordings for Songs of Praise.

In 2004 the Girls Choir went to Spitalfields Festival in London to perform a one-hour concert.

In 2005 the Girls Choir travelled to Vienna to sing two concerts with the Vienna Boys Choir. They also sang with the Ulster Orchestra in a Prom in the Royal Albert Hall.

In April 2008 the Girls, Junior and Chapel Choirs recorded a double CD entitled I hear it in the Heart . These are available from the College at the cost of £15.00.

 The Chapel

The Chapel of Unity is situated at the heart of the campus, very close to the Music Department. Musicians are encouraged to play an active part in the life of the Chapel. As well as the daily assemblies, there are also regular annual services in the School calendar, such as the Remembrance Service, several Carol Services, termly communion services and a Leavers' Service at the end of the summer term. Music plays a central, supporting role in all of these events.