HSC Music Tutoring

HSC Music Tutor – Music 2, Music Extension & Music 1 Courses

Online HSC Music Tutoring Available!

As a retired but highly experienced HSC Marker and Senior Marker (of over 20 years) and cowriter of the current Music Syllabus (Music 1, Music 2 and Extension Courses), I am able to ensure each student is thoroughly prepared for all aspects of the Preliminary and HSC Music assessments and examinations.

“Mrs King helped me immensely during my preparations for HSC Music, both in composition and musicology. She proved to be extremely experienced and knowledgeable as a musicology teacher, and taught me important analytical skills, both for score reading and aural listening. I felt confident and prepared for my HSC music exam because of Mrs King’s quality tutoring.

She always tailored the lessons to my specific needs, and provided me adequate resources and methods to tackle every challenge. Not only that, but I was equipped with musicology tools and skills that was beneficial even for further musical studies at an undergraduate level.”

hsc-music-student  Sherilyn Ku, BMus (Piano Performance), LMusA  

HSC Music Workshops

Individually designed music workshops, tailored to students’ specific needs.

Grow Students’ Confidence

Nurture Students’ Love of Music

Powerfully Equipping Students for HSC Music Success

Achieving your personal best through encouragement and modelling.

“Jennifer King is a passionate and creative Music Educator. She has led tutorial workshops for my HSC Music students in Aural, Musicology, Composition, Viva Voces and Performance students. Jennifer is a very knowledgeable and resourceful Music teacher. She coached one of my composition students, who was successful in gaining a place in the Composition course at Sydney University.  

Jennifer has been inspirational and has assisted with many programming sessions. She has an excellent knowledge of the secondary music syllabus and is a well-respected Music Educator in the community.“

Mrs Therese Jackson, B.M.E., M. Mus., Ass.Dip Mus. Teaching, Master Religious Ed., A.T.C.L., L.T.C.L., Secondary Music Teacher, Sydney


My students consistently gain the top HSC Music result for their school, often listed in the SMH receiving Band 6 and Encore Nominations for essays and compositions.

Below are some of the areas I can help you with:

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HSC Music Composition : How to develop your best marks in writing a Composition? (Band 6 Music 2 and Band 4 Extension)

Develop understanding of composition techniques through analysis and confidence through practice.

“Jennifer coached one of my composition students, who was successful in gaining a place in the Composition course at Sydney University.“

Mrs Therese Jackson Secondary Music Teacher, B.M.E., M. Mus., Ass.Dip Mus. Teaching, Master Religious Ed., A.T.C.L., L.T.C.L., Sydney

My students consistently gain Band 6 and Encore Nominations for their compositions.

This is achieved through developing an understanding of:

  1. Syllabus requirements and what is expected to gain a Band 6
  2. What makes a successful composition
  3. The features of a band 6 Portfolio
  4. Various musical styles, through analysis of relevant musicological studies, allowing the student to develop the appropriate skills to write strong musical ideas and techniques necessary to develop a composition
  5. The chosen performance media for their composition and compositional stylistic features of the area of study (Mandatory or Elective Topics)
  6. Proof reading of the completed composition to ensure all score conventions have been consistently and that the work has met HSC guidelines
  7. Advice offered for the recording of the composition

Regularly I have referred HSC music students to Jennifer for guidance with their compositions. The students have all returned with very positive feedback. Student assessment marks have been consistently higher after Jennifer’s organised, thorough and informed lessons.”

AC, Music Teacher, Sydney

HSC Music Performance : How to develop your best marks in Performance

Mini master classes on your chosen instrument.

I offer:

  1. Advice on stylistic interpretation (for any instrument/voice, in any style for all three courses of HSC music), ensuring students gain their best marks and meet the Marking Guidelines and Syllabus requirements.
  2. Opportunities to perform under examination conditions (in a small recital space) but in a non-threatening environment.
  3. Written reports based on the HSC Marking guidelines (relevant to each course) and mini master classes on how to improve their performance based on the feed back offered.

These sessions may be for individual students or as a small class and are especially effective when organised about a month before a performance assessment and before Preliminary and Trial and HSC examinations.

Developing refined skills of interpretation underpins all successful performances.

Jennifer attends our HSC Performance afternoon and her extensive feedback is very valuable for the students in their final weeks of HSC preparation.”

Margaret Ferguson, Head of Music, Kincoppal-Rose Bay School, Rose Bay

Refinement of performance skills for an examination requires a thorough understanding of the music being played, and a detailed analysis of this music. Whether preparing for HSC, IB or Diploma exams, students need to develop an understanding of each work they present, so they achieve appropriate stylistic interpretations, reflecting their skills in their chosen instrument or voice.

As part of interpretation preparation, students are guided through the importance of understanding phrasing and the impact of the phrasing on the structure of the music and  their interpretation.

In addition, students are encouraged to explore the subtleties of appropriate dynamics, rubato and expressive techniques, relevant to the style and genre of the chosen repertoire. Refinement of interpretation and the opportunity to allow the music to “breathe” underpins a musical reading, enabling the student to demonstrate a highly sensitive and personalised performance.

It is also vital to develop a sense of recital, where the student demonstrates their technical prowess and the necessary stamina needed for a demanding performance examination.

In addition, insightful interpretation assures the student of demonstrating a sophisticated and authoritative performance.

Contact me to learn more about mini master classes on your chosen instrument

Music 2 Musicology Essay : How to develop your best marks in writing a Musicology essay

Maintain a positive approach to writing music essays.

“Mrs King was invaluable when it came to my music extension musicology paper. Her extensive knowledge helped me achieve an E4!”

VK, Student, 2017

The majority of my students consistently gain Band 6 and some Encore nominations for their essays.

This is achieved through:

  1. Selecting interesting topics and works reflecting the student’s interest and experience.
  2. Opportunities to read and review completed essays
  3. Observing the features that are necessary for a band 6 music Portfolio
  4. Following Syllabus guidelines on appropriate essay style
  5. Analysis of essay techniques:
    • writing of a strong aim or hypothesis (which incorporates the concepts of music)
    • writing the body of the essay using best language practice in developing the essay
    • when and how to incorporate quotations and musical examples
    • writing a conclusion
  6. Refining research skills
  7. Guiding students in the most successful ways to analyse music and meet syllabus requirements
  8. Proof reading of finished work to ensure all guidelines are met

Music 1 Viva Voce : How to achieve your personal best in Viva Voces

Viva Voce examinations form part of the MSC Music 1 examination process and are also offered as a Musicology Elective (instead of performance or composition). In Music 2 and Extension courses, Viva Voces are used as an assessment tool for task requirements.

Many students find Vivas very confronting and unsettling, where in fact, if they know what is expected they should be able to gain some of their highest marks. Many weaker performers achieve excellent HSC Music 1 results through choosing this option.

The key to success is developing a strong and imaginative title or aim supported by relevant musical quotes and practical demonstrations. For this exam, students are able to chose their topic and their aim, so this means they should pick something they like. As a result, they should enjoy this area of study and feel confident in their exam presentation.

How to develop your best marks in Music 1 Viva Voces

I offer models and advice on how to present a Viva Voce.

This includes suggestions related to:

  1. The content
  2. Developing a title and refining your aim
  3. The appropriate choice and length of aural excerpts
  4. Best choice of the music concepts related to these excerpts
  5. Designing an outline to ensure the student’s best results
  6. Developing study notes to enable the student tp give their best answers developed from the Viva Outline

In addition, students are able to practice their presentations under examination conditions, with critical written feedback using HSC Music 1 Marking Guidelines.

Sight Singing : How to develop confidence and techniques to ensure HSC success

Most of my HSC students have poor or no sight singing skills when they begin lessons with me.

My technique ensures success, and so students are able to overcome their stress and lack of confidence.

I offer assistance in developing:

  • Basic sight singing strategies
  • What to look for in the test given
  • Practice techniques
  • Skills in reading short melodic patterns
  • HSC level sight singing examples
  • Practice examination experience and reports using HSC Marking Guidelines

After only 5 minutes there is a change in attitude from “hopeless” to a feeling “I can do this” and at least pass this section of the Mandatory Performance examination.

Preparing for Music 2 and/or Extension Viva Voce Assessment

This assessment offers students the opportunity to show their strengths and refine their Aural skills and Musicological understandings, necessary for the written paper.

My Viva tutoring enables students to critically review and refine their Vivas, ensuring they use appropriate integrated performance and musicological examples linked to their aim and supported by the Concepts of Music. In addition, they have an opportunity to practice their viva presentations with the appropriate Marking Guideline feed back.

Developing Examination Strategies for the HSC Music Written Paper

“Mrs King’s wonderful in-depth musical analysis and thorough explanation of theory gave me the skills and understanding I needed to excel in HSC Music 2 and Extension.”

Rebecca Hart, HSC 2013, Opera Singer

Students will refine short answers examination techniques, by working through past papers, so developing the necessary analytical and language skills to respond to all questions. This will result in best response practices, with appropriate references to relevant Musical Concepts.

“… I was privileged to have great lessons with Mrs King just before the HSC. It was very intense yet so helpful and enjoyable. Not a second was wasted.”

Bartosz, HSC 2017, now studying at the Sydney Conservatorium

Ensuring success for Question 4 of the Written Paper

All my students are ensured of gaining their personal best.

Question 4 of the Written paper is demanding and all students find the management of time and working out how to best answer the question challenging. I have developed successful strategies to answer the extended response focus of question 4, and thus alleviate some of the pressure students face with this final part of their examination.

To achieve this students must adhere to a strict time management plan, ensuring each student has sufficient time to write a detailed answer supported by musical quotes and to finish the written paper

” … Mrs Jennifer King was highly recommended to me by a professional musician as an expert on preparation for HSC Written exam.

It was really true  – I asked her for lessons for my son just before the exam and she managed to find time and was so helpful.

It was an intense, professional, effective and enjoyable time as well as very rewarding.

Thank you so much Jennifer, I really appreciate your wonderful cooperation with parents.”

Ela, Parent, Sydney

HSC Music Independent Entry Students

HSC Music Independent Entry Students

What if I want to study Music for the HSC and there is no class available in my school?

As a cowriter of the current Music Syllabus (Music 1, Music 2 and Extension Courses), my students feel confident in meeting the demands of the multifaceted Music Curriculum and thus feel thoroughly prepared for all aspects of the Preliminary and HSC Music assessments and examinations.

Students can now study HSC Music independently!

As an “outside tutor” (Section: 11.9.4), I am able to prepare students who are unable to have lessons at school. They will be assured of meeting the BOTES Syllabus requirement, as set out under the ACER Manual requirements for the HSC. I offer all 3 Music courses – 1, 2 & Extension Courses. All my students who have taken this option of study have gained outstanding results of Band 6 in their HSC.

HSC Music Consultant for Teachers and Schools

As part of my skills as a music educator I develop HSC Music workshops for schools and am available for marking and mentoring school HSC Music teachers and classes.

Find out more about HSC Music Teacher and School Support

HSC Music Workshops

In addition to offering HSC Music workshops for schools, I have had extensive experience in delivering valuable HSC Music workshops and Performance Master Classes through the Sydney Conservatorium Open Academy and in other venues.

For students or teachers wishing to gain the benefits of a focussed HSC music workshop, please contact me.

Learn More about HSC Music Workshops

Consistently High HSC Music Results

Students tell me after studying with me their results improve substantially, this of course depend on their skills, but my students’ HSC Music results are often their best.

“It was a fantastic privilege to have learned under the tutelage of someone as knowledgeable and passionate as Jennifer King”  

WW, Student, Sydney

Many of my ex-students are currently studying Music at University, (completing degrees at various levels: Bachelor, Masters and Doctorate), while others are practising musicians and music educators (instrument teachers, secondary music teachers and tertiary lecturers) both here and abroad. While those who did not follow a music career still find their lives enriched through music.

“As a student of over 16 years and working in a field unrelated to music, our ongoing piano lessons give me an outlet for my creative expression that truly enriches my life. Jennifer’s love and passion for music is truly something special and I can guarantee that it will rub off on you.”

Timothy J. Williams, BSci (Computer Science), Senior Software Developer

“My time with Mrs King was instrumental to setting me on my path as a professional musician and teacher myself.  I highly recommend that students serious about their music spend time with her!”
Dr Jonathan Ong, (gaining 1st in State for HSC Music 2001), B.Mus (Hons) M.Mus, Doctorate of Musical Arts, Kawai Artist

There can be no greater reward for a teacher, but to to know they have helped their students to achieve their dreams and continue their love of music.

Over my years of teaching HSC Music Courses, I have had 6 students achieve top of the state in Music and at the moment, 5 ex-students with their Doctorate of Music degrees.

“Her extensive experience with the HSC and IB music programs means that she knows the best way for students to achieve the highest marks as well as the most enjoyable way of learning.” 

Jeanell Carrigan, Associate Professor, Collaborative Piano, Sydney Conservatorium of Music

A proven record of over 40 years of outstanding HSC Music results

Several of my students have topped the state in HSC Music, with regular Encore nominations and presentations at the HSC Music Encore Concert. The majority of my students gain the top levels of Band 6 (Music 1 & 2) and Band 4 (extension) levels and more recently, IB Grade 7.

“I’m sure Jennifer has a gigantic list of students with perfect marks who have topped music – of which I am eternally grateful to be part.” 

Cheryl Oxley, MAM, BMus, LMus, FTCL, Soprano, Accompanist, Hornist, Conductor, Director of GoBravo Music Studio.

HSC Music Results Achieved (2000–2020)

YEAR Music 2 Extension ENCORE/ No. 1 in HSC Music, NSW Music 1

Band 6: 98%, 97%, 96%, 93%, 92%, 91%

Band 5: 89%, 87%, 85% (never studied music before started yr 11), 84%, 83%

Musicology: 50/50

Composition: 50/50, 49/50

Performance: 50/50, 49/50

1 Musicology Essay nominated

2 Compositions nominated

2 Music 1 Vivas nominated

98%, 97%, 93%

Band 6: 97% (14/15 Composition, 10/10 Qn 4), 2×95%, 94%, 93%, 2×91%

Band 5: 2×88%

Musicology: 49/50, 46/50

Composition: 48/50

Performance: 50/50, 2×49/50, 48/50

1 Musicology Essay nominated

2 Compositions nominated

4 Performances nominated

2018 98%, 96%, 95%, 2×94%, 93%, 3×91%, 87%, 84%

50/50, 3×49/50, 48/50, 46/50


2 Musicology Essays nominated

1 Performing in Encore

2017 98%, 95%, 2 x 92%, 89%, 87%

2 x 50/50 compositions

48/50 essay


2 Compositions nominated 94%
2016 2 x 92%, 85%

45/50 essay


2015 85%
2014 98%, 95%, 2 x 92%, 89%, 88%, 85%
2013 92%, 91%, 88%, 87%

48/50 comp,

49/50 comp

Composition nominated
2012 2 x 95%, 3 x 93% 49/50 essay 2 Compositions nominated
2011 95%, 93%, 92%, 92%, 90% 49/50 2 Compositions nominated
2010 95%, 93%, 92% 2 Compositions nominated 97%
2009 98%, 94%, 93%, 91%
2008 98%, 95%, 94%, 2 x 93%, 91% 2 x 50/50, 48/50 No.1 in State for HSC Music
2007 96%, 92%, 91% 50/50
2006 93%, 2 x 92% 49/50, 46/50
2004 98%, 97%, 92% 2 x 50/50, 49/50 No.1 in State for HSC Music
2003 92%, 91%, 90% 46/50
2002 2 x 97%, 96%, 94%, 93%


2 x 49/50

2001 98%, 94%, 93%, 92%, 90% 2 x 50/50 comp, 48/50 comp No.1 in State for HSC Music
Pre 2001 Many more HSC Music Band 6 results!

Mrs King’s guidance was instrumental in guiding me to a 1st place in the state for Music in the HSC examinations.  Her deep knowledge of both music and the syllabus, coupled with a love of students and teaching make for one of the most wonderful music tutors I have ever known.  My time with Mrs King was instrumental to setting me on my path as a professional musician and teacher myself.  I highly recommend that students serious about their music spend time with her!”

Dr Jonathan Ong

First Place in NSW for HSC Music 2 and Extension Music 2001, B.Mus (Hons) M.Mus, Doctorate of Musical Arts, Kawai Artist

Need HSC Music Mentoring?

If you would like more information about HSC Music Tutoring, holiday lessons, or would like to go on my waiting list, please contact me – just follow the link below!

I am also available for music performance preparation, school HSC music workshops and music teacher mentoring. trial HSC performance assessing, composition advice and marking, Eisteddfod adjudication, and one-off lessons for specific music assignments, composition, thesis proposals and proofreading for university music degrees.