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Hornsby Girls High School

Hornsby Girls High School

Excellence in Girls' Education

Telephone02 9476 5711



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 and enables the sharing of ideas, feelings and experiences. The study of music allows for the expression of emotion and imagination, the intellect and the exploration of values. 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. The study of music fosters knowledge, understanding and skills that contribute to lifelong processes of learning and to the appreciation and enjoyment of music.

Music is a subject which is compulsory for Years 7 and 8 Stage 4, and an elective in Years 9, 10 Stage 5, 11 and 12 Stage 6.

We have two music specialist rooms; a large practical space and a music computer technology room. The practical room is equipped with a class set of guitars and xylophones as well as rock and percussion instruments. The computer room has 30 PC computers as well as 3 iMacs and a small recording studio. We are currently using the following software Sibelius 7 and 8, GarageBand and Logic Pro, which we compliment with a subscription to www.e-lr.com.au and many music websites.

Hornsby Girls is also a member of the Australian Music Centre, and closely affiliated with the Conservatorium of Music library.

The Year 7 and 8 courses explore a range of topic areas, allowing students to develop their skills and knowledge in composition, listening and performance in a broad range of musical styles and contexts. The purpose of our programs is to provide students with the opportunity to build on the knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes gained in Stage 3, and encourage the desire to continue learning in formal and informal musical settings beyond Stage 4 and 5. Our concept based programs explore the following:

  • Duration: Music of various cultures
  • Dynamics & Expressive Techniques: Vocal music
  • Tone Colour: Program music
  • Pitch: Popular music
  • Texture: Australian music
  • Structure: Film music

Students experience a variety of instruments such as guitar, glockenspiels, percussion and drums, and always have the opportunity to play their instruments of choice in class.

The Years 9 and 10 elective courses allow students to refine and develop their skills further whilst exploring new musical genres. This is a practical based course and aims to prepare students for continuation of music into the senior years. Topic areas and assessment practices assist students to develop their strengths in music and creativity. Skills and knowledge in performing, composing and listening are studied in greater depth through a broad range of topic areas. Topics are chosen from the NSW Music Syllabus and are as follows:

  • Theatre music
  • Popular music
  • Early music (Medieval & Renaissance)
  • Classical music
  • Jazz
  • Art music of the 20th and 21st Century

In Year 11 and 12 students may elect to study Music 1 or Music 2 (both 2 unit courses). In Year 12 the addition of Music Extension is offered which allows students to further their learning and exploration in a specialist area of choice -  musicology, composition or performance.

The Music 1 course offers a broad range of topic areas and a flexibility of choice. The course provides students with opportunities to engage in a range of musical styles, including contemporary popular music and the structure is adaptable enough to meet the needs and interests of students with varying degrees of prior formal and informal learning in music. It accommodates the widely differing needs and abilities of students, ranging from the broadly based to the desire to specialise, by allowing flexibility in the topic choice and areas of study.  

The Music 2 course provides students with opportunities to extend their musical knowledge with a focus on Western art music and it will serve as a pathway for further formal study in tertiary institutions or in fields that use their musical knowledge. The curriculum structure is adaptable enough to meet the needs and abilities of students with a range of interests, extending from the broadly based to the desire to pursue and develop more specialised knowledge and skills.

Music extension Students with an extended history of formal music involvement frequently reach a high level of musical sophistication and desire to specialise in their senior school years. The purpose of the extension course is to expand studies undertaken in Music 2 and is designed to focus the continuing development and refinement of student’s advanced music knowledge and skills towards independent musicianship. The extension course offers a high degree of specialisation in Performance, Composition or Musicology in which each student follows an individual program of study.