Coonabarabran High School

Forever dare

Telephone02 6842 1099


Course Description

All students should have the opportunity to develop their musical abilities and potential. As an artform, music pervades society and occupies a significant place in world cultures and in the oral and recorded history of all civilisations. Music plays important roles in the social, cultural, aesthetic and spiritual lives of people. At an individual level, music is a medium of personal expression. It enables the sharing of ideas, feelings and experiences. The nature of musical study also allows students to develop their capacity to manage their own learning, engage in problem-solving, work collaboratively and engage in activity that reflects the real world practice of performers, composers and audiences.

Music is a Mandatory course in Years 7 and 8, and is offered as an Elective course from Years 9 to 12.

In both the Mandatory and Elective courses, students will study the concepts of music (duration, pitch, dynamics and expressive techniques, tone colour, texture and structure) through the learning experiences of performing, composing and listening, within the context of a range of styles, periods and genres. 

The Mandatory course requires students to work in a broad range of musical contexts, including an exposure to art music and music that represents the diversity of Australian culture. The Elective course requires the study of the compulsory topic Australian Music, as well as a number of optional topics that represent a broad range of musical styles, periods and genres. 

What will students learn to do? 

In Music, students learn to perform music in a range of musical contexts, compose music that represents the topics they have studied and listen with discrimination, meaning and appreciation to a broad range of musical styles.

The study of the concepts of music underpin the development of skills in performing, composing and listening.

Years 7 and 8

The performance component in Year 7 involves learning to play the ukulele. In Year 8, students choose an instrument to learn, and are then taught the basics of the instrument in class band lessons. All students also learn basic rhythmic patterns in class drumming exercises. Regular listening exercises are done and students complete worksheets in a Listening Journal to record their analysis.

Topics studied in Year 7 include:

  • Graphic Notation
  • Elements of Music (basic notation and rhythm)
  • Instruments of the Orchestra
  • Musicals

Topics studied in Year 8 include:

  • Elements of Music (notation and rhythm)
  • Pop song composition
  • The history of Rock
  • African Music

Years 9 and 10

Students continue their practical studies on one chosen instrument. Performance pieces for assessments are selected to represent topics studied in class. Three topics are studied in each year, one of which is Australian Music. Other topics that were studied recently include Film Music, Theatre Music, Music of a Culture, Baroque Music, and many others. Listening and Composition activities are embedded in these topics.

Years 11 and 12 (Music 1) 

Students continue their practical studies on their chosen instrument. Performance, composition and aural activities are related to topics studied. Students choose three topics to study in Year 11 and three in Year 12 from a list of topics. Students write an Aural examination which involves listening to musical excerpts and analysing them in terms of the musical concepts (pitch, duration, dynamics and expressive techniques, tone colour, texture and structure). The rest of their marks are based on performances, musicological research and compositions.

Other musical activities and events

Students have the opportunity to perform at music concerts and assemblies. There is a School Choir as well as a newly-established Jazz Ensemble. Students also have the opportunity to provide background music at Live Music at Lunch sessions, as well as the Coonabarabran Town Markets. An annual Music Skills Workshop Day provides students with the opportunity to learn skills from visiting musicians. Students are also encouraged to work together in groups or bands.

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