Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Music 2019

Standard 93305

Part A: Commentary

The changes this year to the format and structure of Scholarship Music led to a much more diverse range of students submitting portfolios. The quality of submissions was very high overall, with some outstanding portfolios noted.

Candidates who had prepared all aspects of their portfolio specifically targeted to Scholarship Music tended to achieve better overall compared to those who did not.  In particular,  it is expected that a performance should be a continuous and unedited recording made at a particular performance event, in front of an audience. This is indicated in the 2020 assessment specifications.

Incorrect file formats were problematic for markers in some instances and teachers and candidates must check the submission instructions carefully to ensure files can be opened and video / audio can be played.

The use of the resources on the Music subject page on the NZQA website is encouraged. These include the Scholarship performance standard, assessment specifications and assessment schedule.

Part B: Report on performance

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • demonstrated highly advanced technical skills integrated with critical thinking in a portfolio that was prepared especially for Scholarship Music.
    • For Performance this was the preparation of a carefully planned and authentic performance in front of an audience, demonstrating appropriate stage etiquette and communication with the audience through aspects such as introduction of pieces and acknowledgement of applause, as well as communication with the accompanist and / or other performers.
    • For Composition this was the preparation of a portfolio of works which were well presented and showed careful consideration of instrumentation and structure. Recordings of the works (both visual scores and audio) demonstrated an exceptional level of quality and musical communication
  • provided a critical reflection which showed a high level of insight and reflected upon the whole process (from planning to performance / completion and beyond). The writing was of exceptional quality, well structured, and supported by references to other material and sources and / or annotations and / or links made to the score, and used terminology confidently.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • for Performance, demonstrated advanced technical skills and understanding of their selected repertoire throughout the entire performance and maintained and communicated their musical intentions from the beginning until the end
  • for Composition, demonstrated originality and a comprehensive understanding of composition techniques across their work(s); showed technical understanding of the instruments composed for, and the genres and styles composed in
  • for Musicology, demonstrated insight and perception through an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of a work of appropriate length, showing consistency throughout and making strong and applicable connections to the score
  • submitted a critical reflection which was original, showed a high level of communication skills, and made relevant links to their portfolio and other sources consistently throughout.

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • submitted a portfolio that did not meet the specified guidelines (e.g. a performance portfolio that was only 8 minutes long – essentially only half a portfolio)
  • did not prepare a portfolio specifically for Scholarship Music but pieced together performances and / or written material
  • for Performance, did not demonstrate or sustain a high level of technical ability on their chosen instrument
  • for Composition, submitted works which lacked an understanding of instrumentation writing skills and thematic development, or musical structure
  • for Musicology, did not demonstrate an advanced understanding of their chosen work(s), and  analysis included errors and / or a lack of comprehensive detail
  • presented, for the critical analysis,  a commentary describing rather than reflecting upon their portfolio submission, often lacking substance and falling well short of the word limit; and / or showing poor communication
  • rather than a personalised critical reflection, wrote an analysis of the works or an historical essay
  • copied the formatting and the phrasing of the online exemplar of the critical reflection, showing a lack of original thought.

Subject page

Previous years’ reports

2018 (PDF, 84KB)

2017 (PDF, 44KB)

2016 (PDF, 188KB)

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