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Singing for HSC Music 1 & 2

Studying music and choosing to sing for your HSC is an exciting, challenging and rewarding time of growth and intense learning.

Our studio is experienced in facilitating students through the NSW HSC Music 1 and Music 2 syllabi, and the assessment criteria and requirements of each syllabus. We are proud to have nurtured many HSC students and maintain connections with the music departments of our local schools.

Many of our HSC students continue on to successfully study at tertiary levels, and there are many transferrable skills acquired through the process of studying Music through Years 10, 11 and 12.

  • High level vocal technique and control, artistic ownership and expressive flair.

  • Increased aural skills and the ability to critically listen and analyse pieces of contemporary and classical music.

  • Confident musicianship skills, performance and stagecraft.

  • Ability to lead collaborative contexts that typically include (depending on chosen repertoire) working with live accompaniment, such as a pianist or guitarist, a band, a duo, backing vocalists and/or producers.

  • Students take part in multiple peer-to-peer feedback and support sessions through school, as well as through our studio.

When to begin

Students looking to study HSC Music are recommended to begin vocal training and singing/musicianship lessons as early as possible. We recommend this for two reasons:

  • Students undergo voice changes as they reach puberty and these developmental changes naturally affect their vocal control and technique for some time. Lessons guide students to understand their own, unique instrument, adjusting their singing skill as they grow. This reduces the risk of inefficient or poor vocal techniques and habits to develop.

By Year 10, and most certainly by Year 11, it is expected that students show competent, pre-requisite technical, aural, musicianship and performance skills. Singers should ideally be able to perform and show an understanding of the following:

  • Vocal technique, posture, alignment, correct breathing and stable airflow.

  • Resonance and placement.

  • Registration: Smooth movement and transition between lower, middle and upper registers.

  • Ability to control dynamic and tonal variation.

  • Able to read, follow and understand notation, sheet music and music terminology.

  • Able to communicate music terminology and show a level of experience in collaborative performance.

  • Demonstrate critical listening (listening to a piece and 'pulling it apart' to identify sections, movements and music concepts/vocal textures).

  • Some confidence in performance and ability and/or willingness to overcome performance issues.

  • Have an interest in vocal arranging and music directing, as it pertains to their choice in repertoire and topics.

What is involved?

HSC students of our studio typically take part in the following with an aim to develop high level skills aligned with the NSW Music 1/2 Syllabi, assessment and examination criteria:

  • Weekly One-One Singing Lessons & Vocal Training (45min lessons are a minimum from Year 11).

  • Workshops and tutorials in Music Theory, Critical Listening & Performance Skills

  • Assessed Performance Events.

  • Vocal arranging and music directing to assist with repertoire design and performance.

  • Accompaniment, backing vocals and extensive rehearsals.

  • Test examination practice based on previous HSC exams.

Hear from some of our previous HSC students

Ava completed her HSC in 2020 with a Band 6 in Music 1

What would you recommend to students if they were to be doing the HSC as a Singer?

I would recommend choosing songs that mean something to you, this way you can develop an emotional connection with them. Choosing the right songs will make it easier for you to push through to the finish line as you will be singing songs that you truly love!

You must practice! When I was doing my HSC I ensured I practiced every second night. Having a study routine in year 12 is important for all subjects especially when studying music as a singer, as practicing your technique and what you have learned that week from your teacher is your study! This is essential for you to reach that band 6.

Another thing that helped me was to get ahead with my theory, making sure I put in the effort and time into my theory assessments not just my practical ones. This is the part I believe most singers undertaking the HSC neglect. I was terrible at theory but I made sure I scheduled time for it way before any assessments or tests were due. I also made sure I put hours into checking with my singing teacher and my school teacher to make sure I was on track before submitting anything. I know theory seems real hard at first but trust me, if you nail the first couple of terms it will take the excess pressure off your shoulders.

How did you grow as a singer and musician throughout the process?

Throughout the HSC experience, I grew as a musician and a singer as I was constantly learning new skills and was being pushed out of my comfort zone. Specifically with performing and with music theory. Comparing where I am now to how I was at the beginning of my HSC journey I was challenged with new concepts and songs that helped me activate the 'next level' of my singing!

Is there anything else you would like to tell future students?

Yes! The biggest thing I value now that I have finished school is that you must have the right support around you! I found that the support I had from my Vocal Coach Vee and all of the teachers at the studio helped me get the results I wanted. They taught me that what I put in is what I will get out of it. Makes sure you pick the brains of your teachers and their knowledge but also trust them and let them push you out of your comfort zone! If you are reading this right now just know that you will be in good hands.

Getting Started

To get started, contact our studio or book an introductory vocal assessment and lesson. You may also download our HSC Singing Info PDF below:

HSC Singing
Download PDF • 141KB

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