Home Music Academic Academic Curriculum for Music

The academic curriculum for Music is subdivided into a Junior phase (Arts and Culture) and a Senior phase (Subject Music).

Arts and Culture

Arts and Culture is taken by all boys in Grades 8 and 9. 

Grade 8 Music Programme

All Grade 8 boys are taught to play an instrument with either full time or peripatetic music staff within a group context. This is not charged to the parents but is part of the academic programme. These lessons take place during one 45-minute lesson per week. Art and Music are semesterised for Grade 8, so music will only be taken for half of the year.  

Instruments offered are Violin, Guitar, Saxophone, Voice and African Marimbas.

The theoretical content is flexible and variable yet also fun, practical and informative which may include studying music of the world, and electronic music production.  

Grade 9 Music Programme

This learning area is commonly referred to as 'Arts and Culture' and follows the prescribed National Curriculum. Boys in Grade 9 get to choose 2 out of Music, Art and Drama. They then have 3 lessons for each per 2-week cycle for the whole year.

Subject Music

Music in Grade 10 to 12 is offered as a designated IEB matriculation subject at Hilton College, following the National Curriculum Statement. Learners are taught during class time in which they have 9 lessons per cycle over a two-week period.

Subject Music is divided between four Learning Areas:

  • Learning Outcome 1: Practical
  • Learning Outcome 3: Theory
  • Learning Outcome 2: Improvisation/ Composition/ Arranging
  • Learning Outcome 4: History 

The four learning outcomes are covered equally over the two-week cycle. The inclusion of Music Technology and other music related topics in the curriculum allows the students to have a wider focus than was allowed under the previous curriculum.

Internal Practical Music Examinations

Each Subject Music learner is required to play an internally-assessed Practical Music examination each term.


It is expected that pupils will play a minimum of TWO Grade 5 pieces and ONE Grade 6 (UNISA, ABRSM, Trinity) piece during their final IEB External Practical Music examination in their matric year, including Scales or Technical exercises as well. However, at Hilton College, we aim for our boys to achieve at least a Grade 7 music level.


For instrumentalists a variety of TEN different scales (Maj./Min./Arp./Chrom./ Dom.7th;Dim. 7th) must be played from your prescribed syllabus scale requirements. Singers must present the prescribed Vocal Studies/scales from their Grade.

Sight-reading/sight-singing and aural training:

Boys are expected to fulfil the external music examining bodies requirements, as stipulated in their respective syllabi. Boys are trained either in Subject Music class (academic learners) or, with their peripatetic instrumental music teacher (non-academic learners).  

External Theory and Practical Examinations 

Subject Music learners will be encouraged to write and play externally-assessed Theory and Practical music examinations (UNISA, ABRSM; Trinity Rockschool; Trinity Guildhall), which are usually held in April and October. Entrance to these examinations will be assessed upon an individual basis and in consultation with the parents.    

The Music Department Staff