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Te toi whakairo, ka ihiihi, ka wehiwehi, ka aweawe te ao katoa. 
Artistic excellence makes the world sit up in wonder.

Music is a fundamental form of expression, both personal and cultural. Value is placed upon the musical heritages of New Zealand’s diverse cultures, including traditional and contemporary Maori musical arts. By making, sharing, and responding to music, students contribute to the cultural life of their schools, whanau, peer groups, and communities (The New Zealand Curriculum). 

By participating in Music at Ōtaki College students will develop their confidence and self-esteem. They will be encouraged to perform in front of their peers on a regular basis both as a soloist and within group situations. Students will extend their knowledge by sharing their creative ideas in composition and learn to communicate effectively through written and spoken language. As they analyse and respond to different forms of music, they gain insight into their own culture and start to appreciate others cultural heritage. Students will work collaboratively to build their interpersonal skills and will be supported to contribute their ideas, abilities, and energies to various local arts events; this will enrich the cultural life of the college, whanau, and wider community.

All students in Years 9 – 13 who choose music as an option will be expected to take instrumental lessons either privately or as part of the school itinerant scheme. This ensures that they have another teacher to support them in their performances. Year 7 and 8 are encouraged to enrol in the Ōtaki Music Centre programme run after school at the college.

During the junior years (years 7-10) students will be introduced to the language of music, performance/audience etiquette, and participate in a range of performances to build confidence. Senior Music will continue to build on this prior learning, with students having the ability to build individual courses.

Year 7 & 8: This is a 10 week course. Students will learn to perform on keyboard and guitar and start to compose their own music while learning the language of Music.

Year 9: Music is a half year option. Students will perform in a group and as a soloist, explore their creativity through composing their own music and start to learn how to use music software for this. As they do these tasks they will increase their knowledge of musical language.

Year 10: Music is still a half year option and there is a focus on preparing students for NCEA. As with Year 9 students are expected to perform as a soloist and in a group. There will be the opportunity to do group composition and individual composition using Music software Sibelius and Mixcraft. Students will work through a book to help them become familiar with interpreting a score. This course is a pre-requisite for Level 1 Music.

Year 11 (Level 1): NCEA Level 1 Music is a course which involves Solo Performance, Group Performance, Composition, Interpretation of a score and learning how to put together a PA system. It is a course which does involve a lot of individual work and students really need to manage their time carefully so they are able to complete all tasks. Whanau will be able to attend performances. This course is a pre-requisite for NCEA Level 2 Music.

Year 12 & 13 (Level 2 & 3): NCEA Level 2 and 3 is a combined class. In this class most students will make up an individual course which they will decide at the beginning of the year with the help of their teacher. Generally there will be opportunities for Performance, composition and research into other aspects of music study. Level 2 will need to be achieved before Level 3 is started. NCEA Level 3 music is a pathway into tertiary music study.

Students will be supported to develop the following key competencies (identified in the NZ curriculum):
  • Thinking – Students will develop their understanding of music and learn to communicate their creative ideas through composition and performance.
  • Using language, symbols, and texts – Students will learn the language of music and how to read and write music.
  • Managing self – The students will be required to be self managing to prepare for individual performances effectively, complete individual composition tasks, and contribute effectively to group tasks.
  • Relating to others - In Music students will be working in groups to create their own music and perform together. They will need to be willing to work with a variety of different people.
  • Participating and contributing – Students will contribute their ideas and skills to group performances and compositions and participate in school and community performances. 
Music is an approved UE subject and offers the opportunity to gain level 1 and 2 literacy. International students or those students transferring from another school should have either studied music or be able to play an instrument. Admission is upon teacher discretion.