Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship Media Studies 2022

Standard 93303

Part A: Commentary

During recording, candidates should not state their name, nor are they required to read their NSN out loud as part of their introduction. Candidates who did this commonly showed hesitation and nerves at trying to memorise or read their NSN, which often lead into the start of a performance feeling awkward. A clearly labelled file will suffice.

Camera angle – ensure the whole performer can be seen; especially in instances where their technique needs to be observed (e.g. pedalling on the piano). Multiple cameras, moving cameras, or zooming in / out on a performer can mean the loss of opportunities to demonstrate their communication (e.g. hand gestures, communication with their accompanist).

Accompanists (if applicable) should always be visible / in-frame to show the candidate’s communication / interaction with the accompanist.

A performance is judged from start to finish, just as any performance recital would be in a live setting. Care must be taken to ensure that the recording is started and finished at the appropriate time: unnecessary dialogue (e.g. to the teacher or accompanist) before or after the performance should not be included, and the recording should not cut-off the beginning or end of the performance including bowing to the audience, and acknowledging the accompanist.

Performances must be in front of a live audience and include applause at the end (not cut off).

Musical examples used in the critical reflection should have clefs. Often these are cut and pasted in from scores and lack clefs and so become less meaningful.

Part B: Report on performance standard

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • submitted a performance portfolio that was prepared to specifically meet the requirements for this scholarship
  • planned an authentic performance in front of an audience using appropriate stage etiquette (introduction of pieces, engagement with audience, strong communication with accompanist / other performers (where applicable)
  • performed a repertoire that was varied
  • demonstrated a highly advanced level of technical ability and musical awareness / understanding of the works
  • consistently demonstrated a high level of communication throughout the whole performance
  • demonstrated interpretations at a high level of musicality (expressive and mature playing that is highly musical and not just technically accurate)
  • provided a composition portfolio that was well presented and carefully chosen to meet the guidelines of the scholarship criteria
  • were highly creative with their compositions
  • presented well-structured compositions where instrumentation was carefully considered.
  • showed original thematic material that was well developed and demonstrated exceptional quality in style
  • provided visual scores and recordings of works that were high quality
  • provided critical analysis that was insightful, highly reflective, and analysed the whole process (performance to final completed work, as well as future steps).
  • submitted writing that was well supported by references to other material
  • submitted writing that included highly relevant annotations or links to the scores.
  • submitted writing that was of exceptional quality, effectively included appropriate terminology, well-informed conclusions, and insights
  • overall, provided a written communication that was consistently at a high level

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • performed advanced technical skills
  • showed understanding of their chosen works throughout the entire performance
  • were well prepared in their performance, and showed a consistently high level of communication throughout
  • gave a succinct and confident introduction to the audience (regardless of its size)
  • showed excellent communication with the accompanist and / or other performer
  • composed with originality and comprehensive understanding of elements, characteristics, and performance techniques
  • showed understanding of the technical demands and capabilities of instruments within the composition
  • provided highly accurate visual representation of the works that were applicable to the genre and very detailed
  • provided high-quality recordings
  • showed an in-depth critical discussion that clearly analysed the effectiveness / success of the work in regard to the musical contribution of significant elements used
  • provided a substantial written response that was consistent throughout, with strong applicable links to the score
  • submitted a critical reflection that was original and made relevant links to their portfolio and external sources throughout
  • submitted a comprehensive and insightful portfolio
  • effectively and convincingly communicated a written response that was unique with well-chosen / applicable annotations

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • submitted a portfolio that did not sufficiently meet the specified guidelines e.g. a performance portfolio that was only 8 minutes long (essentially only half a portfolio)
  • did not meet the criteria as outlined on the NZQA site (e.g. the recording was edited, or not one recording made specifically for NCEA scholarship music
  • provided collaborative works instead of just their own work
  • did not complete some elements of the musicology portfolio as per the guidelines provided
  • did not demonstrate a high level of technical ability on their chosen instrument during their performance
  • submitted a composition which lacked advanced instrumentation writing skills, and thematic development
  • did not demonstrate advanced understanding of their chosen works (included errors, or lack of detail in their musicology analysis)
  • wrote a commentary that described rather than reflected / analysed
  • discussed at length aspects of their musical background and achievements as a performer / composer / musician, which were not relevant nor required
  • did not complete a substantial critical reflection, falling well short of the 3,000 word recommendation resulting in lack of detail, little to no sources, and minimal evidence
  • lacked originality in their critical reflection, drawing on wording from previous year’s exemplars.

Subject page


Previous years' reports

2021 (PDF, 148KB)

2020 (PDF, 153KB)

2019 (PDF, 225KB)

2018 (PDF, 101KB)

2017 (PDF, 47KB)

2016 (PDF, 192KB)

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