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Advice for teachers -
Music

Unit 4​ Music Performance

Sample approach to developing an assessment task

Area of Study 2

Introduction

This task focuses on students’ use of a structured program of material that they will develop and practise as part of their practice/rehearsal regime. Each student’s individual program will support them to refine their ability to present musically engaging and technically competent performances of the works selected for Outcome 1 and the end-of-year performance examination. The task is similar in structure to the task for Unit 3 Outcome 2 and includes two sections:

  • demonstration
  • discussion – oral and/or multimedia format.

Task design

The task is based on Area of Study 2, Preparing for performance and draws on Outcome 2 and all associated key knowledge and key skills.

The task design needs to allow for equity across the class whilst catering for the needs of individual students. For example, a viable and relevant program of material will have different components across different instruments, works selected, students’ levels of experience and goals, and and/or between students who have selected to present their examination program as a member of a group or as a soloist.

Task conditions

The task is worth 50 marks and contributes 10 per cent of the study score for Music Performance.

The demonstration and discussion sections of the task are completed in class over a period of about 10–12 minutes (demonstration and oral discussion) or over two periods of about 6–8 minutes (demonstration) and 45–60 minutes (preparation or preparation and oral presentation of a multimedia presentation).

The questions or prompts for the discussion section should not be published prior to the task.

Other conditions may refer to use of sheet music and other resources such as use of notes, devices and other technology and pre-prepared playlists, backing tracks or music examples in both sections of the task. For example, a teacher may decide that the use of digital devices and/or the internet will be agreed on a student by student basis before the task commences or that notes for the discussion section of the task will consist no more than two pages and be submitted for authentication prior to the task.

Where possible all students in a class should be assessed under common conditions, for example, a panel including the classroom teacher and the students’ instrumental teachers will assess all students in the class.

Preparation

Preparation for the task begins at the commencement of Unit 4 and can include a number of stages. For example, class/instrumental lesson activities might focus on evaluation of progress towards being able to realise planned interpretation of specific works, reflections on work completed for Unit 3 Outcome 2, identification of issues for refinement in performance of works from Unit 3 Outcome 1 in preparation for the end-of-year performance examination, analysis of the technical and expressive qualities of works being prepared for Unit 4 Outcome 1 and/or progress in developing aspects of general instrumental technique such as the stamina to perform an extended program at the highest possible standard in a high-stakes environment.

Preparing and writing the task

The task design needs to allow for equity across the class whilst catering for the needs of individual students. For example, a viable program of material will have different components across different instruments, works selected, experience and preferences of the students and/or between students who have selected to present their examination program as a member of a group or as a soloist.

Teachers may provide a task that begins with a broad statement that captures both aspects of the task and allows flexibility for individual students. For example:

Task 1: a 6–8 minute demonstration of a range of material designed to refine student performance of works selected for Outcome 1 and to develop general instrumental technique. The demonstration must include at least two exercises created by the student.

Task 2: oral responses to questions about how this material has supported the student to refine their ability to present musically engaging and technically competent performances of works for Outcome 1 and build general instrumental technique. This section of the task will take 2–3 minutes and will follow immediately after the demonstration.

Additional information outlining the stages/activities involved in preparing for the task might also be provided. For example the task instructions provided to students might include a timeline, a rubric or other analytical tool for evaluating the extent to which each student’s Unit 3 Outcome 2 program allowed them to meet identified goals, a checklist of the types of exercises or other material that might be included in the program or a sheet of ideas for creating exercises. Information about the equipment available in the assessment room and instructions about students’ responsibilities for providing additional equipment/resources might also be provided.

Marking the task:

The marking scheme used to assess a student’s level of performance should reflect the relevant aspects of the performance descriptors and be explained to students before commencing the task.

A specific number of marks should be assigned to each component of Task 1: Demonstration. For example:

  • selection of relevant material to address identified performance challenges and building general instrumental technique (5 marks)
  • inclusion of exercises created by the student to address specific challenges and/or develop instrumental and/or presentation techniques a (10 marks)
  • demonstration of instrumental and presentation techniques (25 marks)
  • discussion of why specific material was included in the program and how it has been used to prepare works for performance (10 marks).

Authentication

Authentication issues can be minimised if students complete both tasks for Outcome 2 under test conditions. Sheet music and other notes that students will use in the task should be authenticated and approved for use in the task before the assessment begins.