Ensemble Year Two

Unit of Study - Ensemble 201

The following applies to Year Two Bachelor of Music students.

Unit Outlines

Unit NameENSEMBLE: Methods
Unit CodeENSEMB 201
Unit DescriptionIn this Unit students will learn how to:
• Prepare and rehearse music at an advancing in an ensemble of peers for performance.
• Investigate group performance styles and rehearsal methods.
• Reflect and self-critique performances at an advancing level in order to further develop practice methodology.
• Communicate in ensembles and develop leadership skills to achieve increasingly refined musical concepts.
Award(s)Bachelor of Music
Unit Duration1 Semester (12 weeks)
Year LevelYear 2, Semester 2
Unit CoordinatorCaleb Garfinkel
Teaching StaffCaleb Garfinkel
Pre/Co-requisitesSatisfactory completion of Ensemble 101
Credit Points10 credit points
Mode of Deliveryx Face to face
x E-learning (online)
o Intensive/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
Number of timetabled hours per week
• Lecture Theory 1 hour
• Practical Session - 1 hour
• Tutorial - n/a
• Personal Independent Study - 7 hours
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 Ensemble 201 unit aims to develop and extend ensemble performance and leadership instrumental skills as a leader and ensemble member, showing significant development from ensemble performances in the first year of the unit. Students will enhance critical evaluation skills to be self-directed and to assist in the collaborative development of other performance students.

Students will present weekly performances and assist in providing constructive criticism for other members in Ensemble workshops, and present an end of semester programme of ensemble works. Students are recommended to incorporate skills learned in other units in their ongoing performance, including Composition and Music Technology.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Select and perform a diverse and varied program of appropriate repertoire in group performance demonstrating advancing leadership and musicality.
  2. Rehearse material in an increasingly effective manner, demonstrating self-directed problem solving and analytic skills by solving high-level technical difficulties through effective rehearsal methods.
  3. Rehearse, study and perform a variety of styles and genres, demonstrating an expanding appreciation and awareness across Western musical styles in developing a sophisticated musical vocabulary.
  4. Compare and implement stagecraft elements, learning methods and collaborative leadership qualities in direction of an ensemble or choir.
  5. Use and apply highly developed analytical, self-critique and problem-solving skills in written work, showing a thorough awareness of musical concepts and demands on performers, and sincere self-analysis.
  6. Employ Arranging principles and notation skills reinterpreting and presenting pieces for performance based on available resources and personal musical investigation.

Teaching Outline

Ensemble considers individual progress made through student’s self-directed practice in the context of leading and playing with other musicians in ensemble, small group or choir scenarios, requiring a considered degree of leadership and arranging skills to direct groups. Pieces presented for ensemble performance will utilise notation skills from other areas of the course, requiring presentation of lead sheets or scores as part of an ensemble review outcome.

Year 2
Semester 2
Students will investigate ensemble formations and rehearsal methods, exploring advancing and less common groupings and method, directing peers to achieve specific musical outcomes. Students will perform pieces with an ensemble, including works in development for investigation and a program of minimum 3 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 other students, and complete a review of an external performance.
Lesson Material Covered
• Extended ensemble styles, preparation and leadership.
• Choir and conducting, arranging for choir, backing vocal and harmonisation. Vocal performance, a cappella, theatre and pit singing.
• Incorporating improvisation into performance styles, interacting and listening.
• Performing critically and effectively, refining performance and rehearsal.

Student Assessment

Assessment TypeWhen assessedWeighting
(% 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 8 performances.
Ongoing40%1, 2, 3, 4
Assessment 2: Live Performance Review Type: 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 615%2, 4
Assessment 3: Ensemble Preparation Report
Type: 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 1015%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 1430%1, 2, 3

Prescribed and recommended readings:

Library Resources
Online Resources (books/video)
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


Recommended Reading List

Cameron, J. (2016). The Artist’s Way. London, England: Penguin.

Green, B., & Gallwey, W. T. (1987). The Inner Game of Music. New York, NY: Pan Macmillan.

Werner, K. and Aebersold, J. (1996). Effortless Mastery. New Albany, IN: Jamey Aebersold Jazz.

Wooten, V. (2008). The Music Lesson: A spiritual search for growth through music. New York, NY: Penguin.


Reference Materials

Peer-reviewed journals and websites (advised during lectures). Some examples are listed below.

Haden, J. (2012). Be Graceful Under Pressure: 7 Tips. Inc. (June 13) Retrieved from:

Hammond, K., Rabinowitz, K., & Alldis, D. (2009).  Mind, Body and Soul. The Guardian (May 10). Retrieved from: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2009/may/10/tips-stage-performance-singing.

Hooper, T. (2011).  Performing Live: Stage Presence Tips. Yahoo Contributor Network, (April 14). Retrieved from: http://voices.yahoo.com/performing-live-stage-presence-tips-8267817.html.

Kasanoff, B. (2013).  Concert Pianist: how to perform under pressure. LinkedIN (March 27) Retrieved from: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20130327122022-36792-concert-pianist-how-to-perform-under-pressure.

Robley, C. (2018).  The DIY Musician’s Complete Guide to Touring. DIY Musician (February 2). Retrieved from:  http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/the-diy-musicians-complete-guide-to-touring/

#Course Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should be able to demonstrate:
Unit Learning OutcomesAssessments
1 A broad knowledge of the applied, theoretical and historical basis of the discipline1, 2, 41, 4
2A depth of disciplinary knowledge in a professionally applicable specialisation3, 5, 61, 4
3An understanding of the processes of musical scholarship and research52, 4
4The ability to work both independently and collaboratively in diverse and complex musical settings1, 2, 31, 2, 3, 4
5Effective written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills4, 5, 62, 3
6Critical thinking and analytical skills appropriate to a range of contexts including further study4, 52, 3
7The ability to apply specific musical skills to a wide range of professional contexts2, 3, 41, 4
8The capacity to apply technological and creative solutions to contemporary musical practices64
9The ability to incorporate knowledge from the business and legal fields to a portfolio career in the music profession.NANA

#Graduate Attribute
Successful completion of this unit will contribute to the attainment of the following graduate attributes:
Unit Learning OutcomesCourse Learning OutcomesAssessments
1Deep disciplinary knowledge1, 51, 2, 3, 4, 71, 4
2The ability to apply knowledge and skills in innovative ways2, 3, 64, 5, 6, 7 1, 4
3A commitment to lifelong learning2, 3, 51, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 72, 4
4Effective communication skills for diverse contexts2, 3, 4, 53, 5, 6, 73, 4
5The capacity to work independently and collaboratively1, 2, 3, 63, 4, 5, 6, 71, 2, 3, 4