Bachelor of Music - Ensemble Year 3 Unit Outline

Unit of Study - Ensemble

The following applies to Year Three Bachelor of Music students.

Unit Outlines

Unit Name

ENSEMBLE: Leadership and Performance

Unit Code


Unit Description In this unit students will learn how to:
  • Prepare and rehearse music at an advanced and professional level in an ensemble of peers for performance.
  • Explore and assess extended performance and ensemble styles.
  • Reflect and critique performances at an advanced level in order to further refine practice and leadership methodology.
  • Communicate in ensembles and develop leadership skills to achieve increasingly refined musical concepts.
Award(s) Bachelor of Music

Unit Duration

1 Semester (12 weeks)

Year Level

Three, Semester 2

Unit Coordinator

Caleb Garfinkel

Teaching Staff

Caleb Garfinkel




A pass in Ensemble 201

Credit Points

10 credit points

Mode of Delivery

x Face to face
x E-learning (online)
o Ontensive/block mode (where the unit or a face to face component is delivered in a block)
x Distance/independent learning (un-timetabled)
x Full-time
x Part-time
o External
x Fast track

Student Workload Delivery/ Contact Hours

No. timetabled hours per week
  • Lecture Theory 1 hour
  • Practical Session - 1 hour
  • Tutorial - n/a
  • Personal Independent Study - 7 hour
Total hours per week - 9 hours

Resource Requirements

  • Instrument
  • Instrumental tutor (specialist instruments only)
  • Video camera (distance students)
  • Web camera (distance students)
  • Computer facilities
  • Video editing software
  • External Technical Help

Resources Provided

  • Instrumental Tutors
  • On-campus equipment and performance facilities
  • Online streaming video and additional referencing videos
  • Library resources (see prescribed or recommended texts below)


Unit Aims

The unit Ensemble 3 will refine student leadership and ensemble performance skills to present professional, diverse and confident group performances with strong leadership, organisational and collaboration skills, equipping students to perform professionally in contemporary music industry scenarios. Students will employ systematic and corrective rehearsal strategies, utilising memory skills to self-direct learning and development. A high awareness of musicality in diverse styles and performance environments will be reflected through analysis, evaluation and exploration of musical works and performances. Students will further utilise advancing skills in reflection and analysis to assist other students in refining their practice and performance goals, displaying highly refined critical evaluation skills.


Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Interpret and perform a programme of pieces demonstrating and applying advanced ensemble direction and leadership abilities.
  2. Demonstrate evidence of advanced and extensive rehearsal methods utilising appropriate preparation and problem-solving practices to prepare works for performance.
  3. Expand repertoire and stylistic influences through study and investigation of advanced and contemporary works from a variety of styles and genres
  4. Conduct, arrange and lead ensemble and group performances at an advanced level, demonstrating pedagogical methodology and leadership qualities in conflict resolution strategies and collaboration skills.
  5. Evaluate and analyse own performances and those of others using specific and highly effective analytical skills to constructively benefit peers’ performances through written and verbal analysis.


Teaching Outline

Ensemble requires clear demonstration of systematic and corrective rehearsal skills and highly effective leadership in presenting works for ensemble that show reinterpretation by the student as leader. Students will be required to present scores and demonstrate evidence of preparation strategies, as well as demonstrating sequencing skills developed in other areas of the course by using a backing track as an additional performance element.

Year 3


Students will investigate non-western and alternate ensemble formats, exploring performance styles outside of regularly performed pieces. Students will perform pieces with an ensemble, including works in development for investigation weekly, and a program of a minimum of 3 pieces for a final performance. If suitable members/groups are not accessible, students may perform with self-produced backing tracks or accompaniment technology. Students will provide constructive criticism for students, and complete a review of an external performance.

Lesson Material Covered

Non-Western ensemble styles, minimalism, free improvisation. Advanced choir performance and conducting, arranging with vocal types. Ensemble methodology, rehearsal methods, extended techniques.


Prescribed and recommended readings:

Required textbook(s)
Australian Guild of Music Instrumental Handbook in relation to chosen instrument (for list of technical requirements and suggested performance syllabus)
Library Resources
A subscription to Oxford Music Online and to Grove Music Online which includes:

  • The Grove dictionary of American music (2nd ed.).
  • The new Grove dictionary of jazz (2nd ed.).
  • The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians (2nd ed.).
  • The new Grove dictionary of opera.
  • The Oxford companion to music.
  • The Oxford dictionary of music (2nd ed.).

Plus updated content bibliographies, specially-commissioned articles only available online.

A subscription to JSTOR Journals and books
A subscription to video tutorials

Recommended Reading List

Cameron, J. (2016). The Artist's Way. London: Penguin.
Green, B., & Gallwey, W. T. (1987). The Inner Game of Music. New York: Pan Macmillan.
Werner, K. and Aebersold, J. (1996). Effortless Mastery. New Albany: Jamey Aebersold Jazz.
Wooten, V. (2008). The Music Lesson: A spiritual search for growth through music. New York: Penguin.

Reference Materials

Hess, T. 2010. Top 10 Mistakes People Make When Trying To Become a Professional Musician. Tom Hess Music Corporation. Retrieved from
Hess, T. 2014. How to Become a Professional Guitarist and Musician: Facts and myths Part 1. Tom Hess Music Corporation. Retrieved from
Farley, K. Teaching Performance in the Digital Age: Computerized technologies, improvisational play techniques and interactive learning processes. Retrieved from

Mancini, D. Musician or Professional Musician? Retrieved from
Morrish, A. 2003. Improvisation and performance: A personal perspective by Andrew Morrish (4th ed.). Vol 6.  Retrieved from
Radbourne, J., Glow, H., & Johanson, K (Eds). The Audience Experience: A critical analysis of audiences in the Performing Arts.  Retrieved from



Student assessment 

Assessment Type


When assessed

(% of total unit marks)

Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1:  Ensemble Performance Active Engagement
Type: Performances and Feedback
Students will present weekly performances by performing live (on campus or via video link) or providing pre-recorded videos for distance. Performances will be based on exercises and ensemble styles and concepts demonstrated in weekly lectures. Students must present a minimum of 6 performances.



1, 2, 3, 4

Assessment 2: Live Performance Review
Type: Review

Length: 500 words
Review and critique of a professional or independent music performance external to the AGME, considering ongoing discussion areas engaged in weekly performance workshops.

Week 6


2, 4

Assessment 3: Ensemble Preparation Report
Type: Report
Length: 500
Present a report on the preparation of one of the pieces prepared for the ensemble exam. Reflect on the process of arranging and rehearsing, demonstrating ensemble leadership and organisation.

Week 10


3, 4,

Assessment 4: Ensemble Performance
Length: Minimum 3 pieces
Performance exam of Ensemble pieces. Students must present 2 pieces per enrolled ensemble member, plus 1 extra. Distance students may provide a recorded video of their performance, attending students will be allocated a time during examination week.

Week 14


1, 2, 3


Course Outcomes


Course Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should be able to:

Unit Learning Outcomes


1 A broad knowledge of the applied, theoretical and historical  basis of the discipline

1, 2, 5

1, 4

2 A depth of disciplinary knowledge in a professionally applicable specialisation

2, 4, 5

1, 4

3 An understanding of the processes of musical scholarship and research

3, 5

2, 4

4 The ability to work both independently and collaboratively in diverse and complex musical settings

1, 2, 5

1, 2, 3, 4

5 Effective written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills

4, 5

2, 3

6 Critical thinking and analytical skills appropriate  to a range of contexts including further study 4, 5 2, 3
7 The ability to apply specific musical skills to a wide range of professional contexts 2, 3, 4 1, 4
8 The capacity to apply technological and creative solutions to contemporary musical practices    
9 The ability to incorporate knowledge from the business and legal fields to a portfolio career in the music profession.




Graduate Attributes


Graduate Attribute

Successful completion of this unit will contribute to the attainment of the following graduate attributes:

Unit Learning Outcomes

Course Learning Outcomes


1 Deep disciplinary knowledge 2, 3, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 1, 4
2 The ability to apply knowledge and skills in innovative ways 1, 4 4, 5, 6, 7 1, 4
3 A commitment to lifelong learning 3, 4, 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 2, 4
4 Effective communication skills for diverse contexts 4, 5 3, 5, 6, 7 3, 4
5 The capacity to work independently and collaboratively 1, 3, 4 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 1, 2, 3, 4