Music 1

Music 1 provides students with the opportunity to aquire knowledge, skills, understanding and experiences within a broad musical context. This course is flexible enough to meet the needs and interests of students with varying degrees of prior formal and informal learning in music.

Sample scope and sequence

The sample scope and sequence (DOCX 74.5 KB) provides teachers with overviews for programming and assessment in Music 1.

Preliminary resources

This 10-week resource package addresses how small ensembles are used in a variety of different genres including medieval, classical, klezmer, 20th century, jazz, musical theatre, and funk fusion. The sequence of learning explores the relationships between the instruments, composition and ensemble techniques integrated by composers and artists.


This assessment task can be adapted for students studying HSC Music 1. Students are required to research the music of a jazz band and discuss how they treat musical concepts and specific performance techniques as well as outlining the influences of jazz in the wider musical context.


Through activities in performance, composition, musicology and aural, a student:

  • P2 observes, reads, interprets and discusses simple music across characteristic of topics studies
  • P5 comments on and constructively discusses performances and compositions
  • P6 observes and discusses concepts of music in works representative of the topics studied
  • P7 understands the capabilities of performing media, explores and uses current technologies as appropriate to the topics studied.

Task description

Research the music of a jazz band. Refer to at least two works to outline the distinctive characteristics of the band’s style.

  • Discuss the band's treatment of the musical concepts, including specific performance techniques.
  • Place the group in a wider musical context by outlining influences evident in its music.

This task is to be a class presentation. Students are required to illustrate points with musical examples. These may include sheet music, videos, and/or live demonstration of relevant excerpts.

Assessment criteria

Students will be assessed through:

  • use of appropriate musical examples
  • identification of stylistic characteristics
  • understanding of the treatment of musical concepts
  • knowledge of stylistic influences.

HSC resources

The Elective composition portfolio (DOCX 84 KB) resource is designed to guide students through the composition process for HSC Music 1 core and elective composition. The portfolio provides students with opportunities for long term planning and reflection, a process log, background listening analysis, notes and journal entries, composition in progress and rehearsal reflections.

Other Voices is a performance, recording and education project based on three new electroacoustic works for flute and electronics by Australian composer/educators Cat Hope, Tristan Coelho and Fiona Hill. It provides access points for young composers, performers and their teachers to explore the potential for combining electronic music with instruments and voice.

Student guided online learning sequences to support learning from home or in the classroom.

Stage 6 music projects

The Stage 6 music projects online resource contains a self-guided project and two units of work on Baroque rocks and the Australian composition Eliza Aria. Baroque rocks allows Music 1 or Music 2 students to complete a group or individual project on Baroque music that could take from 2 to 4 weeks. Eliza Aria allows Music 1 or Music 2 students to complete online work for the topic of Australian Music or for Music 2 mandatory topic Music of the Last 25 years (Australian focus). This also could take 2 to 4 weeks to complete. An Eliza Aria Answers (DOCX 70.91 KB) is an accompanying teacher resources that provides answers to various questions asked in this unit. The final module is a self-guided project for students undertaking the Music 1 Stage 6 Syllabus topic of An instrument and its repertoire.

Assessment in the HSC

The Assessment in the HSC resource is designed to provide Stage 6 teachers with opportunities to develop their understanding of the assessment requirements for the practical and performance works in the HSC Music 1, Music 2 and Music Extension courses. It has been written to support and complement the NESA Assessment and reporting in Music 1 Stage 6 advice and requirements.

HSC Music 1 teachers can use this resource to:

  • familiarise themselves with the requirements of each practical and performance component
  • develop their understanding of the language of the NESA assessment criteria for each of the practical and performance works
  • develop confidence in applying assessment criteria through identification and analysis of work sample characteristics
  • assist Year 12 students in making informed choices when selecting course options
  • build student confidence and knowledge of success in each practical and performance work.

Concepts of music poster

Concepts of music posters (PDF 1.7 MB) are available to print and display in your classroom.


The NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Music 1 Stage 6 Syllabus (2009) page contains the syllabus and helpful materials including a sample assessment schedule, HSC advice, specimen exams, HSC marking guidelines, standards materials, past papers additional support information.

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