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Lower Secondary Music Syllabus (a 2-year course for Lower Secondary students only)

(A) Objectives:

The lower secondary music syllabus aims to nurture student talent and interest in a musically-enriched and vibrant environment which is interesting to all levels of proficiency.  Students are encouraged to create and compose with various instruments ranging from household objects to electronic keyboards and computers. Apart from fostering team-working skills, making music together allows the students to develop a lifelong love and appreciation for all kinds of music.

(B) Topics taught include:

  • Instruments of the Orchestra
  • Appreciation of Classical Music
  • Music of our Region
  • Singing and Keyboard skills
  • Paper and Digital Music Composition

'O' Level Music Course
(a 2-year course for Upper Secondary students only)

(A) Objectives:

The ‘O’ Level Music programme aims to further develop students’ musical talents in more focused areas of music, namely in music theory and analysis, composition, and performance. They are exposed to many different types of musical performances and cultures, and are given many opportunities to perform on their chosen musical instrument, both in and out of school. The music programme also aims to expand student interest beyond the classroom into making music a personal enjoyment, passion and habit for each student.

(B) 'O' Level Music Camp

The school also holds an annual 'O' Level Music Camp for students in the East Zone, so as to enable students to network across schools. The 2-day camp focuses on refining composing, performing and analytical skills which are essential to the 'O' Level Music Programme.

(C) Topics covered during the 2-year course include:

  • Listening
  • Harmony and Analysis
  • Solo Performance and ensemble skills
  • Improvisation

  • Study of Music from the Western Tradition
  • Study of Music around the World
  • Study of Jazz
  • Study of Popular Music
  • Music Technology

(D) Criteria for Enrolment:

Selection for the EMP and O-Level Course will be based on musical concepts and skills covered in the Primary and Lower Secondary Music syllabuses, with a competent level of performance skills developed through music CCAs (e.g. display fluency and sound fundamental technique) and/or through other musical experiences.

All applicants must go through a selection exercise, which consists of a written test, and an audition. In the written test, students will listen to short musical extracts taken from both Western and non-Western musical traditions, and respond through a series of short-answer questions. The scope of the questions will include the identification and/or description of the following: 

  • Melody (e.g. accidentals, articulation; contour; intervals; mood)
  • Tonality (major and minor), pentatonic mode
  • Key signature (score reading of up to one sharp and one flat)
  • Harmony (I – V – I, I – vi – IV – V, I – IV – V – I)
  • Tempo, Rhythm and Time Signature (simple duple/triple/quadruple, compound duple/triple)
  • Instrumentation and/or tone colour (recognise and identify broad categories of musical instruments from western and non-western traditions, e.g. string, wind, percussion)
  • Dynamics
  • Musical Textures
  • Form/Structure (e.g. Binary, Ternary, Rondo, Theme and Variations, 12-bar blues, popular song structures)

For the practical audition, students will be required to perform two contrasting solo pieces on an instrument (e.g. piano, trumpet, rebab, erhu, and sitar) or voice, lasting no longer than 5 minutes in total. Students will also be required to imitate and respond to simple rhythmic and melodic fragments by clapping and singing in the aural test.

Applicants who have composed music could bring along their scores/recordings for their interview. Please note that this is not a mandatory requirement.