Music Curricular

The Music Department delivers balanced programmes of study across performance, composition, research and analysis with the aim of producing musicians who can walk the walk and talk the talk, are respected for their knowledge and talents, and who respect others for their skills. Tertiary institutions and employers from a variety of industries are keen to take on those who have included music and/or drama in their NCEA studies as they acknowledge the individual determination, diligence, trust, teamwork and mutual respect music has helped them develop.

The Junior Music Programme

Year 9 Music

The Junior Music Programme covers the nuts and bolts of music through mostly practical and digital learning. Students develop keyboard skills as well on their chosen instruments, as soloists, in small groups and as a whole class band. Students use computers – particularly the Sibelius and Noteflight notation programs – to compose short pieces in a number of styles such as Rocket Launch, Freestyle and 8-bar Rock Piece.

Year 10 Music

Year 10 continues developing performance skills through individual, small group work and sometimes as a whole-class band. Students are introduced to Bass Clef via our Drum n Bass composition, and more advanced pieces towards popular song-writing thus will study vocal lines, guitar, bass and drum patterns. They also compose creative/dramatic pieces that develop effective use of a melody.

Training Band

Students can elect to play in this fun and encouraging all-comers beginners’ band.

Junior Gig

The Junior School Gig is an informal concert whereby our burgeoning musos perform, 9MUS, 10MUS or boys who not doing academic Music but learning a musical instrument, perform possibly for the first time. The gig features our Junior Band, Guitar and String groups, soloists and self-led bands.

The Senior Music Programme

  • In Year 11, students compose a rock-pop instrumental piece and an imaginative dramatic piece as well as perform solo and group pieces. Most exciting is the Level 2 Music Technology course where we have some sessions in a recording studio and follow-up sessions with the sound engineer at school.
  • In Year 12, students choose either performing or non-performing programmes within Year 12 Music Course. Composition is an ‘instrumentation’ whereby they assign the music from a piece (most popular choice being Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody!) to a new group of players. Students research an aspect of New Zealand music and from year 12, students can also continue the ABRSM grades and take Score Reading and Aural externals as optional extras.
  • In Year 13, the Senior Music Programme allows more autonomy for students’ composition, arranging, performance and research topics. Students can elect to study academic music without performing, focussing on credits for composition, research and analysis.
  • All examination standards are internally-assessed.

Senior Music Performance Evening

Senior music students perform pieces from their solo and group repertoires at these two annual evenings.


Christopher Wilson
Director of Music