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SQA News 21 September 2023

National Qualifications Music (composing) assignments - supportive resources available

The following online resources are available to support teachers and lecturers with this year’s National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Music assessments.

This includes resources to support with the reintroduction of the (composing) assignments.

SQA Understanding Standards materials

Our wide range of online Understanding Standards materials explain and illustrate the standards required in SQA assessments.

New audio presentations

We have published a series of new audio presentations for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Music assignments, which cover:

We have also created further audio presentations that discuss examples of candidate evidence. These presentations identify the key features of the composition or arrangement, along with any areas of development or inconsistencies. They also explain why marks were awarded and how the candidate could improve their assignment.

All of the candidate evidence featured in these presentations was published on the SQA secure website. Most of the materials have been selected from items presented at previous Understanding Standards events.

You can access these new audio presentations from the Understanding Standards website.

Candidate evidence and commentary materials

We also have a range of existing Understanding Standards materials that can support you with the reintroduction of the assignments.

Examples of candidate evidence for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Music assignments are available from the SQA Secure website. These examples are accompanied by a written commentary from an SQA senior examiner that explains where marks were awarded and whether the candidate met the national standards.

The Music assignment catalogue details all available candidate evidence and commentaries. It is also available on the SQA Secure website. You can use it to find specific examples, such as compositions in a particular mark range, performance plans and those with specific instrumentation.

Presentations from the Music Education Partnership Group (MEPG) event on ‘Composition - Sharing Good Practice’

On Tuesday 29 August, MEPG hosted their ‘Composition – Sharing Good Practice’ event at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Two delegates from each local authority and SCIS were invited to attend.

The event covered a range of approaches to composition, including:

Presentations from the event are now available to access from the resources section on MEPG’s website.

2023 course reports

The 2023 course reports for National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher Music courses are now available. These reports are an important resource for teachers and lecturers.

Produced by senior principal assessors and other SQA appointees, the course reports highlight areas of the 2023 Music exams and performances where learners performed well, and any areas that proved demanding.

They also contain helpful and constructive advice on preparing learners for the coming year’s assessments, as well as statistical data relating to grade boundaries.

You can download the 2023 course reports for each level from our NQ Music webpages.