Music (T/A)

The Music course at St Francis Xavier College encourages students to continue to develop their skills on their choice of instrument and build repertoire in a diverse range of styles. All units offer focus on developing performance skills while building knowledge of musical elements including both theory and aural components. There are also many opportunities throughout the year to participate in the school community by taking part in fundraising concerts, performance evenings and special events in our professional theatre with state-of-the-art lighting, sound, multimedia systems and music equipment.

The Tertiary course has a prerequisite requirement which is Grade 3 AMEB standard or equivalent in theory and practical. Previous completion of Year 10 Music, or a discussion about the required standards with one of the members of the Music Staff is recommended. The Accredited course provides students with the opportunity to improve their musical knowledge and is open for students who are eager to learn more about Music including playing a musical instrument.


Course Outline Example

Semester 1: The Blues

Semester 2: Film Music

Semester 3: Music of the 1990’s and Beyond

Semester 4: Self-Directed Studies

Please note other BSSS Music units (see below descriptions) may also be offered depending on student demand and resources at any given time.



The Blues

In this unit, students develop their instrumental skills through individual skill development, ensemble playing and also through playing as a class group. They learn about the origin of the Blues, the Twelve Bar Blues, extended Blues chords, Blues scales, vocal and instrumental Blues elements, improvisational skills and they learn how musical elements are used to influence a sense of place and time. Students also analyse how social, historical, technological, cultural, political and/or geographical contexts have influenced Blues music. Students are also provided with the opportunity to create original music works manipulating the key elements that relate to blues music. Students may perform in their own choice of styles, although one Blues inspired work must be included in their repertoire.


Film Music

In Music for Film, students continue to develop their instrumental skills and also study the soundtracks created by composers such as John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Jerry Goldsmith, Henry Mancini, John Barry and Anne Dudley. Students learn about the use of leitmotif in movies such as Jaws to build characterisation and other techniques including the use of Hit Points and musical suspense. As a further opportunity into Film Music, students get to create a short score for a film scene negotiated with the teacher.


Music of the 1990’s and Beyond

In Music of the 1990s and Beyond, students analyse how music elements are used to influence mood and audience in contemporary music genres. They continue developing their instrumental skills on their choice of instruments and build knowledge of musical structure and the impact that extended harmonies, rhythms, technological, social and geographical influences have had on Music. Examples of artists studied include Bjork, Muse, Thom Yorke, Peter Sculthorpe, Kaija Saariaho and Elena Kats-Chernin.


Self-Directed Studies  

In this unit, students negotiate the overall topic of study with the teacher and address the parameters of performance, creation and musicology and further develop their instrumental skills. Students may choose to complete the musicology section through a research task or a theory test and can choose to arrange or compose a new work for the creation component. One of their performed pieces must reflect their overall topic of study, the other piece is of their own choice.


Ensemble Music

In this unit, students explore the development of ensemble music and further strengthen their ability to perform within an ensemble such as in a concert band, chamber ensemble, orchestra, rock band or as an acoustic duo or trio. Students are also encouraged to improve their individual instrumental skill and will have the opportunity to perform as a soloist if they wish. The creation component consists of a composition for an ensemble of the student’s choice.


Rock Music of the 1970’s and 1980’s

This unit examines sub-genres such as Art Rock, Progressive Rock, Punk, New Wave, Heavy Metal and artists including Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin, Elton John, Metallica, David Bowie, Blondie and Heart. Students will analyse how music elements are used to influence the mood and audience. They will create and perform original music works manipulating the key elements that relate to rock music of the 1970’s and 1980’s.


Assessment Requirements

Year 12 Music T/A

  1. Minor Performance 15%
  2. Composition Task 30%
  3. Moderation Performance 25%
  4. Musicology, Aural and Theory Test 30%


Year 11 Music T/A

  1. Minor Performance 15%
  2. Musicology, Aural and Theory Test 30%
  3. Moderation Performance 25%
  4. Composition Task 30%

Contact the Performing Arts Coordinator

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