Let's take a look at the achievement standards you will be working on throughout this year! If you are wanting some help with some past papers then check out this blog here. Perhaps you need extra assistance with composing this year or maybe you want some extra tips for your performances.  Or are you wanting to stretch yourself with NCEA music scholarship? Everything from aural listening, performing and music analysis, right through to composition: let's dive in.

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AS91416 will have you performing and singing for your supper!

For this assessment you will need to prepare, craft, practise and then perform two songs. These songs will need to be contrasting, so maybe pick from two different styles or genres, or perhaps experiment with the dynamics. Firstly, make sure that each song is distinguishable from the other. It’s also important to note that the performances should be convincing, so you really need to commit to the overall performance, and have confidence and conviction in your delivery.  Remember to have your technical skill on-point during the performance, but also remember the features of your genre so the performance is stylistically consistent. To be convincing you’ll need to take the stage with a commanding sense and be expressive to communicate the meaning or feel of the song. You’ll also need to showcase the skill of someone who has the technical, presentation, and musical abilities of someone who has been practising their instrument for five years.  Make sure your selected songs are varying in complexity and are long enough. Over two and a half minutes is acceptable. If you are extra confident you can include some improvisation. To check out more details of this achievement standard and others have a look at the NCEA website.

 AS1417 will have you flexing your second instrument’s muscles or your solo skills.

 Similar to your first performance assessment, your performance will need to be convincing and captivate the audience.  You will need to be confident in your technical abilities, making sure your style is consistent and has conviction. Like the previous standard, you’ll need to be musically expressive and interpret the song with a strong understanding of the text. You’ll also need to perform the songs to the skill level of a fifth-year level. If you choose to use a second instrument, you’ll need to keep the skill level of your first instrument in check. If you wish to, you can be accompanied by other instrumentalists. If you want to be the soloist within the group you’ll need to play a separate or easily identifiable part of the music. You’ll need to show different skill levels than AS1416 and variation on your second instrument or variation as a soloist. You're also welcome to perform traditional and contemporary forms of Maori music.

The musician takes to the stage for their performance

Join the group with AS91418 and perform some ensemble pieces

 Another performance piece, but this time it’s all about how cohesively you can create a commanding band or ensemble of musicians. You’ll need to prep two unique songs in a group setting. You must showcase a sense of feel, style, balance and overall skill-level that is tight and comes across well in the overall group’s performance.  Each member must make a significant contribution so that everyone is pulling their weight and providing value to the ensemble. As always, the length of the songs must be reasonable and remember to include three to seven members for the group size.

Get writing those songs and scores with AS91419!

 The next assessment in the year will have you creating new musical interludes and getting those ideas notated. You will need to have a clear intention for your score or song and communicate this convincingly through three separate pieces of music. To have intention in your writing you will need to develop, structure, and represent musical ideas in a crafted manner to clearly communicate your intentions of the piece; be it the meaning or style. All songs must have a powerful impact and be technically interesting. You can also have some songs as collaborative, with up to five students. Eight credits are up for grabs so it’s worth nailing this.

AS1420 will get your ears in check for the aural exam

 You will need to integrate aural skills consistently into written representation. What does this mean? Aural skills involve tuning into a unique range and styles of music to apply your knowledge by outlining what you hear. These skills cross a wide range of social, historical and, cultural backgrounds, tackling genres like pop, jazz, folk, and indigenous.

Listening to a score, working towards her music aural exam
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Get your harmonic and tonal conventions polished with AS91421

 This is another exam to tackle at the end of the year. Harmony and your ability to recognise it will be valuable in this assessment. You will be shown a range of different scores that showcase harmony. A key factor here will be your ability to recognise harmonic progressions. The harmonic and tonal features will be selected from chord understanding, cadences, progressions of minor and major keys. You will also be expected to hear the extra ninth or suspended notes added, plus their inversions. Also, this will be done using Roman numerals.

 Put on your analytical hat for AS91422

 This will be your chance to be perceptive and analyse a significant piece of music. Here you will be able to locate and critically discuss elements and features of compositions in the music works. To unpack it further, you will explore how the features and elements all contribute to the meaning of the work or style. The selected music will need to be complex and intricate from the era you have chosen.

 Another exam for you to get your teeth into. AS91423 will have you understanding all about music history!

 The history of a time period holds a unique context that makes it distinguishable from other eras. In this assessment, you will unwrap how different aspects of music context shape the production and conception of a work. This includes how the work is interpreted from the lens it is viewed through. Throughout this assessment, a keyword to remember is the word ‘examine’. You will be unpacking the context of selected music and providing an interpretation of it. Context types can include cultural, social, and historical. For example, culture can include rituals, social could be political, and historical for the time period. You might even unpack the specific aesthetic that a writer/ performer was going for. This intrinsically has a unique context attached to it. Lastly, the geography of where the writer/performer created the music works also is significant. The origin of the work can play a big part in the creation of the music works.  How about the specific instruments used? Maybe it was recorded live or how did this influence the context of the song? Finally, make sure you use a range of unique interpretations of the same work because there are people with opposing views, which can add intrigue.

In this assessment, you will unpack the historical context of a musical work.

Try your hand at being an arranger with AS91424

 This assessment will have you adapting previously established musical works. For example, you may want to try your hand at adapting the pop song 'Baby One More Time' into a five-part choral piece. Or you might want to see a metal song turned into a slower acoustic piece. You can also provide new fresh melodies to add to the interpretation if it’s original and fits the style of what you are wanting to achieve. You could use different instruments that contrast from the initial recording, or perhaps play the parts in a unique way. Ultimately to create a pleasing and cohesive timbre of instruments should be the goal. While coming up with ideas, make sure they are imaginative and skillfully crafted to fit the capability of the instrument you are making the arrangement for.

Dive deep and get into research mode with AS1425

 You’ll get to dive into a topic of your choosing as it pertains to music. This means you will gather information from a range of sources, process evidence and craft a presentation of conclusions. Your conclusions must have insight, be perceptive, and be detailed in nature. To do this you must clearly identify your focal point of research as well as craft open and unique questions that will be answered in detail. This could be anything from questionnaires, surveys, observations, to recordings. After gathering your data you will then need to analyse it and draw conclusions. Make sure that you also include a bibliography of all your sources. It’s up to you what you want to unpack and research; you could pick anything from the psychology of music, music in film, making of an instrument, world music, or even audio engineering.

More composition! Get those writing juices inspired! AS91849

 Your job with this assessment is to craft three new songs that showcase your imaginative skillset of ideas and craft. These will include innovative lyrical and musical ideas that communicate meaning and purpose. This will mean that you will create songs that have been refined, well structured, and have clearly developed ideas.  Aim for songwriting with great imagery, clearly expressed lyrical ideas and fresh melodies. You can create this as a group or alone.

If you are looking for some assistance this year to get through all your assessments or perhaps you are needing help with the three exams: no stress. Superprof is a tutoring website that has a number of tutors all ready to help get you to your next NCEA music level. Your first lesson is free so it’s really worth your time to try out a tutor and see if you can learn from them. They can help with your internals as well as get you ready for your external exams. Log on to Superprof today!

 

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