Ensemble Year Three

Unit of Study - Ensemble 301

The following applies to Year Three Bachelor of Music students.

Unit Outlines

Unit NameEnsemble 301: Leadership and Performance
Unit CodeENSEMB 301
Unit DescriptionIn this Unit students will:
• 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 Duration1 Semester (12 weeks)
Year LevelYear 3, Semester 2
Unit CoordinatorCaleb Garfinkel
Teaching StaffCaleb Garfinkel
Pre/Co-requisitesA pass in Ensemble 201
Credit Points10 credit points
Mode of Deliveryx 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
o 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 unit Ensemble 301 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
Semester 2
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.

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 6 performances.
Ongoing40%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 615%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 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

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 

#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, 51, 4
2A depth of disciplinary knowledge in a professionally applicable specialisation2, 4, 51, 4
3An understanding of the processes of musical scholarship and research3, 52, 4
4The ability to work both independently and collaboratively in diverse and complex musical settings1, 2, 51, 2, 3, 4
5Effective written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills4, 52, 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 practicesNANA
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 knowledge2, 3, 51, 2, 3, 4, 71, 4
2The ability to apply knowledge and skills in innovative ways1, 44, 5, 6, 71, 4
3A commitment to lifelong learning3, 4, 51, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 72, 4
4Effective communication skills for diverse contexts4, 53, 5, 6, 73, 4
5The capacity to work independently and collaboratively1, 3, 43, 4, 5, 6, 71, 2, 3, 4