In Year 7, all classes have a 4 week taster session of music teaching. Activities include rhythm games, introduction to basic reading and different styles of music, as well as playing some guitar, keyboard and drums. Singing is used to learn songs of different cultures from around the world. Music technology is also explored.
In Year 8, music is an option subject. Year 8 classes have one term of music, during which they learn the foundational aspects of reading, writing and listening to music. They have the chance to work in groups, learning and performing songs of their choice. They get to compose their own music and then record it, using music technology. Singing continues to be used to explore music of other cultures from around the world and these are also investigated through research. There are two assessments in Year 8 music, which are group performance and individual composition.
In Year 9, music is an option subject. Year 9 classes have a full semester of music. During this, they work on performing a solo or duo (their choice) and a group performance also. There is usually a whole class group performance as well, towards the end of the course. They explore further techniques of composition and more advanced techniques of recording, using music technology. They explore the challenge of setting music to a cartoon, by using Mixcraft. World music is taught more in depth and related practical tasks enable further understanding. By the end of the course, the basics of music theory will be understood by all.
In Year 10, music is an option subject. Year 10 classes have a full semester of music. During this, they work on performing a solo and a group performance also. They explore more advanced techniques of composition and use music technology to notate their work or record music using instruments, through an audio interface. They work on improving their listening skills through aural exercises. They choose a particular area of research, either on a musical style, a period of music, or the music of another culture from around the world, then create a written project based on their choice . By the end of the course, more advanced techniques of music theory will have been introduced also.
NCEA music is offered in Years 11, 12 and 13.
In Year 11, the requirement is to obtain one achievement standard which must have literacy credits attached to it. As well as this, those who choose the subject will work on a band project during the year, where they are expected to learn at least 3 songs as well as composing their own song together. Aspects of music theory and the music of other cultures continues to be explored. There is the choice of taking an external examination. There are two choices, which focus either on scorereading (theory) or aural work (listening). Each of these is worth 4 credits. The decision to take an external examination is in consultation with the Head of Department.