Level 1 Music

Subject Description

Teacher in Charge: Ms A. Plummer

Recommended Prior Learning

Students must play an instrument or sing with confidence to do this course. Involvement with Performance Music at Year 9 or 10 will help when choosing repertoire and performing at Year 11 and beyond.

If you do select music as a L1 course, see me in Term 4 about musical instrument tuition opportunities.

Watch Kiera perform her Group Performance piece with the Jazz Band at Jazz Quest 

Jazz Band perform Love me or Leave me

If you are thinking of taking music at Level 1, you need to be aware that you must be able to play an instrument or sing with confidence.

Most students choose music as they enjoy practical work like performing. Performing in groups or as a soloist leads to ten performance credits. Six as a soloist and Four as a member of a group. Each person in the group needs to be playing an easily identifiable part on their instrument or voice. You can choose your own repertoire for this component. Sometimes it might be necessary for groups to practise outside of class time. Piano players can play a duet as part of their group performance.

 Listen to the Year 10 band from last year to get an idea what Group Performance is all about. In this video they are performing Holiday by Greenday on the stage at school.

You will complete your Group Performance pieces in the first term. Here is an example of the whole class playing

 Amy Winehouse - You know I'm no good, at the Musical Extravaganza last year - (about 57mins into te video. Ideally, we will find pieces that suit a wide range of instruments, while catering for the wide range of ability levels in the group.

SOLO performance is where you perform a short piece of music on your instrument. This can have a backing track playing in the background, or someone else might be required to accompany, usually on the guitar or piano. There are plenty of chances to practise in front of the class or a smaller audience if you prefer. The level of performance required for L1 is in the region of Grade 3. Some of you that have been playing since year 9 or before will be at that level or higher. It is important to note that every individual performance is marked on musicality and technical ability. Although there is a benchmark, we assess this component holistically. 

Listen to "A change is gonna come" performed by Samuela 2016

Here is another solo performance by Cailin, to give you an idea what is involved.

It's not all about performing. We study songs from well-known artists such as The Beatles, Queen and from Musical Theatre. This work features written, aural and theoretical skills and will count for literacy credits.

We also do Composition. This is where you compose two pieces of music. You can do this collaboratively or by yourself. You may use music technology to create and record your work

You will have to be able to perform with confidence in front of an audience such as a small group of friends, the whole class or for a wider audience like in a school concert. This performance gets filmed. As this is a large component of the course, it is essential that you play an instrument or sing with confidence.

Subject Overview

Term 1
Repertoire for Solo and Group performance is selected. You will work on specific pieces of music through consultation with the teacher, to check for difficulty level. Singers will need to know their vocal range but advice will be given with regards to which songs are most suitable and why. Basic aural skills are introduced. Everyone will take the aural external and some degree of music reading is needed. This can be learnt at L1 if not before.
We study a range of songs by The Beatles from their early career 1962 to 1967. Songs will be analysed and written about and various research projects will be assessed to form part of the Music Works Internal. Literacy credits are available for this.

Term 2
The first Solo Performance exam will take place in class time. You may also be ready to perform your group performance piece either at the Musical Extravaganza in May, or in class time.
We continue to work on The Beatles unit of work and focus on song writing skills to help with the more academic understanding of musical analysis.
Students who read music fluently are extended through theory sessions which prepares them for the Score Reading External.

Term 3
We study a second Music Work from the rock/pop tradition. This is usually an iconic song from the 1970s -1980s such as Bohemian Rhapsody. This work will complete the Music Works Internal of which there are literacy credits also allocated.
Students will prepare for the aural prelim with regular practise at listening skills. These include identifying particular chords and transcribing simple rhythms and pitches. It helps to be able to read music but isn't essential.
Students will perform their second solo performance piece during class time. Some outstanding performances may be requested to perform again at a school event such as the Soiree which generally takes place in September.

Term 4
All work is usually completed by Term 4, but this does give a chance for students to revise, do lots of practise papers to prepare for the aural / score reading exam, and complete anything that is still outstanding.

Learning Areas:

Ngā Toi - Arts


Level 2 Music

You can also choose to study L1 Music if you achieved well at the Year 10 song writing elective and or the Year 10 Music Programme. from either semester 1 or 2.

Approximate Costs and Equipment/Stationery

A quality pair of headphones. Student's devices will need recording software installed and ideally phones or devices need a quality video function. If you are serious about music technology, you will need a laptop that has a high processing capabilities to run quality software such as Ableton Live.

Assessment Information We do FOUR standards from the above list. In some cases, students with exceptional musical ability may wish to extend their learning with theory and aural.
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