Music 1

2 unit course

Course Summary

Music 1 provides students with the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills about music and music concepts as an art form through performance, composition, musicology, and aural activities in a variety of cultural and historical contexts.

Students will learn skills to evaluate music critically and develop an understanding of the impact of technology. It also encourages students to develop personal values about music. It provides an opportunity for students to emerge as musically sensitive and capable individuals with the capacity and desire for music to play a significant and continually developing role in their lives.

In the Preliminary course, students will do a 25% assessment in the following areas:

  • Aural
  • Musicology (theory, analytical and context-based)
  • Composition
  • Performance

In the HSC course, students will have the opportunity to choose 3 electives. These can be any combination of the following options:

  • Composition
  • Performance
  • Viva voce (a 2-way discussion on a chosen topic with the examiner for 10 minutes)

As one example, many students across the state choose to do 3 performances. 

What, if any, skills are needed?

Students in Music 1 range from those with developing instrumental and/or vocal skills to those with highly developed performance skills in various musical styles, including popular music. 

The course assumes no prior knowledge of musical notation beyond the basic introduction in the Years 7–10 course. However, it does recognise that students who have had no further involvement in Music beyond their introduction in the Mandatory course will need to revisit elementary musical skills and understanding.

Course Units
Year 11 Units Year 12 Units
Methods of notating music
Music for radio, film, television and multimedia
Jazz Music
An instrument and its repertoire
Technology and its influence on music
Music for small ensembles
Opportunity for students to study their own topic choice (as approved by the teacher)
Learning Experiences


This is the best of Music 1 and Music 2 performances from the previous year and is held at either the Sydney Opera House or City Recital Hall.

Guest Artists

We endeavour to bring in people from a wide array of music industries to talk to students about performance and composition skills. 

Some of our past guests have included; Darren Percival (artist), James Morrison (trumpet), Ray Thistlethwaite (Thirsty Merc), Jess and Matt (artists), Lindsey Jackson (composer/producer), Andy Mac (composer/producer), New Empire (band), The Sea Gypsies (band), Blake Robinson (film composer), Michael Griffin (music educator).

Work Samples
Career Options

Students can go on and study for a Bachelor of Music at various universities. This may include combining it with a teaching degree (or a master of teaching). We have also had past students go into tertiary education courses in and around music production, sound engineering and music business.

Creative Arts

Go back