NCEA Level(s)

Course aims / learning outcomes

This course is designed to support students wanting to sit standards at Level 1 in music. It is designed to cover a broad range of the New Zealand curriculum in Sound Arts. 

Students completing this course will be able to

Understand Music – Sound arts in context

  • Analyse music from a range of sound environments, styles, and genres, in relation to historical, social, and cultural contexts.
  • Consider and reflect on the influence of music in their own music making and in their lives.

Develop practical knowledge

  • Apply knowledge of expressive features, stylistic conventions, and technologies through an integration of aural perception and practical and theoretical skills and describe how they are used in a range of music.

Develop ideas

  • Create, structure, refine, and represent compositions using the elements of music, instruments, technologies, and conventions to express imaginative thinking and personal understandings.
  • Reflect on composition processes and presentation conventions.

Communicate and interpret

  • Prepare, rehearse, interpret, and present performances of music individually and collaboratively, using a range of performance skills and techniques.
  • Reflect on the expressive qualities of music and evaluate their own and others’ music, both live and recorded.



Course content

  • This course will be fairly challenging, and will involve both LA-directed and self-directed approaches. 
  • Students will be required to take part in performance evenings, inter-school performances, 'band camps', and recording sessions outside of scheduled class times.
  • Students will be expected to practice their instruments regularly outside of school hours.


Assessment statement

There are four internally assessed standards available at level one NCEA, and two external exams. We can also assess appropriate standards from other domains (such as performing arts technologies) depending on your personal strengths and interests.

Internally assessed standards for level one music are:


AS 91090 (1.1) Perform two pieces of music as a featured soloist (6 credits)

AS 91091 (1.2) Demonstrate ensemble skills by performing a substantial piece of music as a member of a group (4 credits)

AS 91092 (1.3) Compose two substantial pieces of music (6 credits) and

AS91095 (1.6) Demonstrate knowledge of two music works from contrasting contexts (6 Credits)


There are also two externally assessed standards available at level two, which will require you to sit a formal exam at the end of the year. We will be preparing for these throughout the year, depending on student interest. External standards in level 1 music are:


AS 91093 (1.4) Demonstrate aural and theoretical skills through transcription (4 Credits)

AS 91094 (1.5) Demonstrate knowledge of conventions used in music scores (4 Credits)


At Ao Tawhiti students can negotiate their own learning and qualifications pathways. In music we cater for this by allowing students to choose which assessments they wish to sit. This must be done in consultation with your music LA (Matt) at the start of the year. It is recommended that for a full-year music program you aim to complete approximately 18 – 20 credits. You may also choose to be assessed at other levels for some standards if this is appropriate. For example, if you are a highly capable player, but you struggle with reading music, you may wish to sit level 2 performance standards at the same time as completing level 1 composition and theory work.


  • Assignments that take place over time will be produced in an online system such as Google Docs. Learning Advisors will monitor student work by accessing document history. A portion of work will need to be completed during class time under Learning Advisor supervision. 
  • Class tests will take place under supervised test conditions within class.
  • Students may be required to sign an authenticity statement, perform certain parts of assessment tasks under close supervision, or show through interview and the existence of notes and supporting material that the work submitted by the student is genuinely his/her own work.

Appeal Procedures

  • Students have the right to appeal the mark they have been awarded. If a student wishes to appeal a grade, they should initially talk to the subject learning advisor about the marking process immediately after the marked assessment task is shown to them. If still dissatisfied the student should make an appointment and discuss grades with the Principal’s Nominee who will check that the correct procedures have been followed as outlined in the school and subject policies taking into account any special circumstances.


Table of Assessments

NumberNameCredit valueInternal or ExternalLiteracy Numeracy UE Reading/WritingWhenReassessment opportunityType of assessment
AS90190Perform two pieces of music as a featured soloist6Internal Term 1-4YesPerformance
AS90191Demonstrate ensemble skills by performing a substantial piece of music as a member of a group4Internal Term 1-4YesPerformance
AS90192Compose two substantial pieces of music6Internal Term 2,3YesCompose
AS90195Demonstrate knowledge of two music works from contrasting contexts6Internal TBCNoEssay
AS90193Demonstrate aural and theoretical skills through transcription4External N/A Exam
AS90194Demonstrate knowledge of conventions used in music scores4External N/A Exam