It is desirable that students have studied Music during Year 8 to 10 and successfully completed Year 11 Music, or have an equivalent music achievement level.

Music functions as a means of personal and communal identity and expression, and embodies the social and cultural values of individuals and communities. This scenario invites exciting exploration and sensitive study.

A vibrant musical education fosters curiosity and openness to both familiar and unfamiliar musical worlds. Through a study of music we learn to hear relationships of pitch in sound, pattern in rhythm and unfolding sonic structures. Through participating in the study of music we are able to explore the similarities, differences and links in music from within our own culture and that of others across time. Informed and active musical engagement allows us to explore and discover relationships between lived human experience and specific sound combinations and technologies, thus informing us more fully of the world around us, and the nature of humanity.

Distinction between SL and HL

Both standard level (SL) and higher level (HL) music students are required to study musical perception. All students, therefore, submit a musical links investigation and also respond to a listening examination paper. HL students are required to investigate significant musical links through a comparative analysis of two pieces of music (Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto, No. 2 in F Major, and Kodály’s Dances of Galánta).

SL students select to present creating, solo performing or group performing. HL students are required to present both creating and performing. This enables HL students to bring to their musical studies a wider perspective and pursue some work in more depth.


To enable students to:

  • Enjoy lifelong engagement with the arts
  • Become informed, reflective and critical practitioners in the arts
  • Understand the dynamic and changing nature of the arts
  • Explore and value the diversity of the arts across time, place and cultures
  • Express ideas with confidence and competence
  • Develop perceptual and analytical skills
  • Develop their knowledge and potential as musicians, both personally and collaboratively.


Students will be expected to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge, understanding and perception of music in relation to time, place and cultures
  • Appropriate musical terminology to describe and reflect their critical understanding of music
  • Comparative analysis of music in relation to time, place and cultures
  • Creative skills through exploration, control and development of musical elements
  • Performance skills through solo music making or group music making
  • Critical-thinking skills through reflective thought

Click here to view Subject Brief – Music SL and HL