A new Study Design for Music is being introduced in 2023. The structure of VCE Music has significantly changed; there are now four VCE Music options at the Unit 3&4 level.

  • Please note that the structure of VCE Music subjects in 2023 at PHSC will be based on enrolment numbers.
  • We are initially expecting that Music Contemporary will be paired with Music Repertoire, and that Music Inquiry could run as a composite class with Music Composition.
  • It is also permitted for students to study multiple VCE Music Unit 3&4 sequences as part of their Year 12 program.

What is it and why should I do it?

The new Music Contemporary acknowledges the vast range of modern music styles/genres, and the contrasting ways in which young musicians have learnt, studied, and experienced this music. It offers a pathway for students who are interested in improvisation, embellishment (making creative choices), learning music by ear from recordings, and want to continue developing their own distinct musical 'voice'.

Students can select a group or solo setting for assessment, and will work towards putting together a program that includes:

  • an original work created by an Australian artist since 1990
  • a personally reimagined version of an existing work
  • a focus on contemporary styles, including (but not limited to): rock, pop, jazz, EDM, country, funk, and R&B.
  • students may also include an original work. However, it should be noted that it is only the performance of the work, not the composition itself, that would be assessed.

How much homework/study will I have?

All Unit 3 and 4 subjects require 3 - 5 hours of study per week.

It is expected that students will practise their chosen instrument/sound source for at least 2.5 hours per week (ie 5x 30min sessions). However, students aiming to access the highest marks will often spend at least 5 hours per week on their chosen instrument/sound source.

Students should also dedicate 1 - 2 hours per week practising general musical concepts/material studied in class.

We highly recommend that students enrol in one-on-one instrumental lessons. The PHSC Music Department provides access to highly experienced teachers across most instruments. Enrolment details can be found here:


What contributes to my study score?

Music Contemporary follows a similar structure to the previous 'Music Performance' study.

  • Units 3 & 4 SACs will combine for GA1 and be worth 30%
  • The Performance Exam will be GA2 and be worth 50%
  • The Aural and Written Exam will be GA3 and be worth 20%

Unit 3 - SACs

Task DetailsMarks%
AoS1 | A short, written/oral task10

AoS2 | 2x tasks TBC30
AoS3 | 2x tasks TBC40

Unit 4 - SAC

Task DetailsMarks%
AoS1 | NA-

AoS2 | NA-
AoS3 | 2x tasks TBC20

End of Year Examinations

Examination DetailsDuration%

Live performance drawing on skills from Outcome 1 (AoS1) in Units 3 and 4.

Solo or group setting.

Aural and written examination drawings on knowledge and skills from Outcome 3 (AoS3) in Units 3 and 4.60mins20%

How do I satisfactorily complete the unit?

To pass any VCE unit you need to demonstrate that you have met the Outcomes for each Area of Study (Aos).

Area of StudyUnit 3 OutcomesUnit 4 Outcomes

1 | Performing

Students will perform a selection of works being prepared for the performance examination, demonstrating an understanding of music style, authentic performance conventions, and a range of techniques. Students sill prepare a 'Performer's Statement of Intent' to explain their choices.Students will perform a program of works, including one work demonstrating a creative reimagining of an existing work, relevant to their performer's Statement of Intention.

2 | Analysing for performance

Students will demonstrate and discuss performance development techniques and approaches relevant to performance of selected works and an intended approach to a reimagined existing work.Students will demonstrate and discuss performance development techniques and reimagining approaches relevant to performance of selected works.

3 | Responding

Students will discuss a performer's interpretation and manipulation of musical elements and concepts in works, and identify, recreate, and notate music language concepts from examples presented.Students will discuss a performer's interpretation and manipulation of musical elements and concepts in works, identifying and transcribing short examples of music using appropriate notation.

Give me all the details I want to know more:

VCAA Music Performance

PHSC Music Performance 3&4 Wiki Page

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