Music is taught at all levels of school up to university entrance at Year 13, NCEA Level 3.

Year 9 

This is a short course of two school terms' duration. Students experience a wide cross section of music including basic levels of performance, theory and knowledge. Students gain a better understanding of their propensity towards music and will be able to make an informed decision on whether to pursue music education beyond Year 9.

Students study basic notation, and associated skills on guitar, piano and drums. There are some performance opportunities on choosen instruments used to feedback progress to students. Other activities are included to consolidate and reinforce learning such as reseaching a song/singer, performing a cover and composing music.

It is not essential to play a musical instrument in Year 9 but students are strongly encouraged to pursue music lessons on an instrument at the earliest stage of high school in preparation for National Standards later in high school and for personal enjoyment later in life.

Year 10

Year 10 Music is an optional course. Students will investigate music in context and pursue music performance on their chosen instrument as a soloist and as a member of a group. This course in not a prerequisite for Year 11 Music but will benefit students with experience in research, composition and performance.

Students study music in context based upon established and legitimate styles, genres or periods in history, such as Pop, The Blues and Classical music.  Taught in units of work, learning encompasses a number of aspects including investigating the people, the culture, the music’s development, and a look into what makes the music a particular style/genre. The course is heavily orientated towards performance with four formal performance opportunities throughout the year.

At the end of this course students will identify and understand various elements and features of music in context with its origins and performances. Students will become familiar with methods of depicting music passages and their relevance within the music. With an emphasis on performance, it is important students receive professional tutoring to meet the ever increasing technical demands expected of them on this course. Students will develop performance skills often at an accelerated rate through a healthy competitive environment, one that encourages individuals and groups to excel.


Donna McHugh is the Head of Music. She teaches all levels of classroom music and designs the curriculum. 

There are also specialist teachers of musical instruments. See the Extra-curricular Music section.