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The Waid Academy

Higher Music


Throughout the year, you will study the 3 main elements of Music – Performing, Composing, and Understanding Music.


you will study 2 instruments (voice counts as an instrument if you are a singer) and this leads to an assessment by a Visiting Examiner in March (May for Advanced Higher). You may study performing with a school-based instructor, a private teacher, in class or you may even be self-taught. 


You will produce a piece of music that shows how you have used your creativity to develop your musical ideas. You will accompany your piece with a written statement that describes the decisions you made about your piece and the impact it had on the final outcome. Your composition and supporting statement will be submitted to the SQA as your assignment in early April. 

Understanding Music

You will study many styles of music beginning in Renaissance Period right though to modern chart music.  You will learn to identify specific music concepts that describe the music and its characteristics.  This element is assessed in a formal listening exam during the main exam diet.

As in all other subjects, presentation for a Course Award depends on successfully completing end of unit assessments and progress throughout the year.  At all times, you will be supported to achieve the best outcome.

Recommended Entry Requirements:


Students will be expected to have achieved National 5 Music. Pupils who achieved a C at National 5 level in S4 might well find the work overly challenging for presentation in S5 but should not be discouraged from discussing their suitability with their teacher: Higher over 2 years also a possible progression route.

Advanced Higher

Students will be expected to have achieved Higher Music.

Whatever your background in Music, you should consult a member of the Music Department as soon as possible about your suitability for the level of course you wish to undertake.