Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Music 2018

Standard 93305

Part A: Commentary

The majority of submissions for the portfolio continue to be from performers, then composition, followed by musicology. Of the performers, piano remains the most popular instrument, however there was also an array of instruments and styles, including bagpipes, brass, electric guitar and voice.

Many composition submissions showed evidence that they had been performed in live settings, or composed for particular groups within the candidate’s school. The most successful performance portfolios came from students who had prepared their performance specifically for the scholarship music context.

2018 was the final year of the written examination, and we are excited to move forward with the new format. With that mind, teachers and candidates need to be careful of factors such as the choice of submission material, performance length, and the use of correct file types for submissions.

Further considerations for portfolio submissions:

  • Performance AND Composition:  Include scores of all pieces performed and composed with the submission. Composition scores should be annotated as per the criteria.
  • Performance: Ensure the performance is clearly in front of an audience, and the performer can be clearly seen.
  • Ensure that the length of the submission does not exceed the time limit specified in the criteria. Candidates need to consider this when choosing repertoire.

Part B: Report on performance

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • completed two essays that had well-structured and succinct answers (often accompanied by a clear plan on the planning page) that covered all aspects of the questions selected (i.e. full detailed answers to parts (a) and (b) of each question) and each paragraph was supported with detailed, specific, and appropriate evidence
  • integrated accurate and appropriate musical terminology into answers - this was done throughout their essays which demonstrated their high level of understanding of the elements, characteristics, and features of the works analysed
  • showed an advanced level of understanding of the work and the context in which it was written - candidates drew upon their understanding of the work’s place in regards to its historical and cultural context and/or the period and genre to show a greater level of insight (i.e. they wrote about more than just what could be described from analysing the score)
  • provided a portfolio that was well presented and carefully chosen to meet the guidelines of the scholarship criteria; for example, performance repertoire was within the time limit, varied, and demonstrated a highly advanced level of technical ability and musical awareness/understanding of the works. Compositions were highly creative, well structured, and instrumentation carefully considered.
  • provided a critical analysis that was insightful, highly reflective, and which analyses the whole process (e.g. from planning to performance) and well as future steps. The reflection was original and did not draw from material from the exemplar online.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • accurately identified most key aspects from the scores (elements, characteristics, features relevant to the question chosen - and correctly identified important aspects specific to the essay question e.g. period the work was written) and used some specific, appropriate evidence from the scores to support their answers
  • used appropriate terminology
  • answered both sections of the question well but may have answered one part more fully and at a deeper level than the other
  • provided portfolios which demonstrated advanced technical skills and understanding of their chosen works (performance); originality and comprehensive understanding of elements, characteristics, and performance techniques (composition); an in-depth critical discussion which clearly analysed the effectiveness/success of work in regards to the musical contribution of significant elements used (musicology).

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • did not fully answer the essay questions (e.g. answered Section A but not Section B) or did not attempt the question at all
  • misread the instructions and used the same extract for more than one essay answer, misinterpreted the question or key words in the question, or did not understand or accurately identify structure/form and mood
  • did not accurately identify elements, features, and characteristics in the score/s (e.g. word painting was frequently misunderstood with incorrect examples from the score used to support answers)
  • discussed material which was not relevant to the question
  • used incorrect terminology
  • did not use evidence from the score to support their answers
  • misidentified the period the work was written in, and generally demonstrated a lack of knowledge of the work analysed
  • provided a portfolio which did not meet the criteria (e.g. performance or composition(s) totalling less than half of the 15 minutes) or one which does not fulfil the guidelines (e.g. musicology – does not provide an examination of 5 musical elements).
  • wrote a commentary which described rather than reflected upon and analysed their works for their critical analysis submission. Many are still following the structure and format of the exemplar online, rather than demonstrating their own flair or originality  and some candidates did not supply a critical analysis/reflection at all.

Subject page

Previous years’ reports

2017 (PDF, 44KB)
2016 (PDF, 188KB)

Skip to main page content Accessibility page with list of access keys Home Page Site Map Contact Us