• IB Program Music

    Through the music course students develop their knowledge and potential as musicians, both personally and collaboratively.

    Involving aspects of the composition, performance and critical analysis of music, the course exposes students to forms, styles and functions of music from a wide range of historical and socio-cultural contexts. Students create, participate in, and reflect upon music from their own background and those of others. They develop practical and communicative skills which provide them with the opportunity to engage in music for further study, as well as for lifetime enjoyment.

    Both standard level (SL) and higher level (HL) music students are required to study musical perception.

    SL students in music are then required to choose one of three options:

    • creating (SLC)
    • solo performing (SLS)
    • group performing (SLG).

    HL students are required to present both creating and solo performing.

    In the teaching of the music course it should be possible to have groups of students that include both SL and HL students. Through a variety of teaching approaches, all students—whether SL or HL—will be encouraged to develop their creative and critical abilities and to enhance their appreciation and enjoyment of music.

    Music syllabus outline

    Syllabus component Suggested teaching hours
    Standard Level Students
    Suggested teaching hours
    Higher Level Students
    Music perception
    Study, analysis and examination, comparing and contrasting of musical cultures
    (compulsory for SL and HL students)
    75 90
    The development of creative skills through exploration, control and development of musical elements
    The following options are available:
    • composing
    • music technology composing
    • arranging
    • improvising
    • stylistic techniques.
    (compulsory for HL and SLC* students only)
    75 75
    Solo performing
    The development of performance skills through solo music making
    (compulsory for HL and SLS* students only)
    75 75
    Group performing
    The development of performance skills through group music making
    (compulsory for SLG* students only)
    75 N/A
    Total teaching hours 150 240 

    Key features of the curriculum and assessment models

    • Available at standard levels (SL) and higher levels (HL)
    • The minimum prescribed number of hours is 150 for SL and 240 for HL
    • Students are assessed both externally and internally
    • External assessment consists of a) the Listening paper (musical perception questions), and b) the Musical links investigation (a written media script investigating the significant musical links between two or more pieces from distinct musical cultures)
    • Internal assessment consists, at HL, of a) Creating, and b) Solo performing. At SL students choose one option from among the following: a) Creating, b) Solo performing, c) Group performing.     

    he International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) is for students aged 16-19.

    Find out more about the Diploma Programme (DP), including information on pathways to university and employment and on who can offer the programme.

    What is the DP?

    Research suggests that there are many benefits to choosing the Diploma Programme (DP). The programme aims to develop students who have excellent breadth and depth of knowledge – students who flourish physically, intellectually, emotionally and ethically.

    Find out more about the DP.

    The Diploma Programme Curriculum

    The Diploma Programme (DP) curriculum is made up of six subject groups and the DP core, comprising theory of knowledge (TOK), creativity, activity, service (CAS) and the extended essay.

    Through the DP core, students reflect on the nature of knowledge, complete independent research and undertake a project that often involves community service.

    Read about the DP curriculum.

    Assessment and exams

    The International Baccalaureate® (IB) assesses student work as direct evidence of achievement against the stated goals of the Diploma Programme (DP) courses.

    Read about assessment and exams.

    There is information on getting results, including information on how to request that an exam is remarked.

    Who is the DP for?

    The Diploma Programme (DP) is open to any student aged 16 to 19, at schools that have been authorized to implement the programme.

    Learn more about students in the DP.