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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MUSS1324 Ensemble Performance

20 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr Emily Payne

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Normally grade 8 ABRSM/Trinity Guildhall/Rockschool or equivalent. Students will be placed in ensembles according to availability.

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Through this module you will participate in group performance projects offered by the School of Music each year. These may include participating in a concert and preceding rehearsal period with an orchestra, choir, small band or world music ensemble. Repertoire performed by these ensembles in recent years has included Mahler Symphony no. 1; Vaughan Williams Symphony no. 6; Handel Israel in Egypt and Vaughan William Mass in G minor. The School is regularly looking for students with the following specialisms: male singers, French horn, trombone, tuba, any strings (particularly violas and double basses) and occasionally bassoons. You will typically be involved in two rehearsals per week for an 8-9 week period. Note that orchestral and choral performances often take place on Sunday afternoons at 3pm, and that they are preceded by rehearsals on the Saturday immediately before and the Sunday morning. Assessment is based on practical work in rehearsal and performance, with an extremely strong emphasis being placed on attendance. You will also complete a self-assessment report at the end of the year, reflecting on your development as an ensemble performer.


On completion of this module, students should have gained experience in practical music-making through participation in small or large ensembles. They will begin to develop stylistic awareness and ensemble-playing skills. Imagination will be stimulated by interactive learning in collaboration with both staff and fellow students.

Students' self-and peer- assessment skills will be fostered, and they should demonstrate reliability and emerging professionalism in their conduct as performing musicians. They will begin to develop skills in meaningful and critical reflection on ensemble performance experiences and presenting this in an articulate manner.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- Demonstrate an awareness of the range of fundamental skills required for ensemble performance
- Engage practically in music-making
- Work effectively in a group
- Engage in self-directed learning
- Demonstrate an ability to reflect critically on their own progress and achievement
- Demonstrate an ability to cooperate with both staff and student ensemble directors.

Skills outcomes
Students will gain the opportunity to hone their instrumental skills and musicianship within the context of the given musical ensemble(s) that they participate in. Through engaged contributions to rehearsals, they will also develop their group working and professional skills in contexts reflective of those undertaken by professional musicians.


This varies from student to student and dependent on the projects available in the School each year. Activities have typically included orchestral projects, choral projects, popular and world music ensembles, chamber ensembles, and a new music ensemble. These have been both staff- and student-led (though a level of staff supervision will always be present). Projects are designed to reflect the competencies and orientations of the current cohort of students and will often respond to the School’s academic teaching and research. The nature of an individual's commitment in projects is negotiated with the module co-ordinator and ensemble directors.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning162.0032.00
Private study hours134.00
Total Contact hours66.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Practical classes (usually an average of 3 hours per week of rehearsals), private practice, listening, performance(s) and report writing. Weekly commitment will vary from student to student owing to the nature of the activities.
Students should expect to spend c. 30 hours in tutor-led rehearsals and performances, 30 hours in student-led/sectional rehearsal, c. 10 hours in independent study and related listening activity, c. 30 hours in monitoring and documenting their activities and producing written reports, and c. 100 hours in individual practice.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Ongoing feedback from tutors and peers in rehearsals, and in-course formative assessment exercises appropriate to the ensembles that students are participating in (e.g. mini-choir or sectional performances in rehearsals)

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentAttendance at rehearsals. Poor attendance at rehearsals will result in a penalty in the final module mark; extreme cases of non-attendance will result in failure.0.00
ReportSelf-reflective report 800-900 words20.00
PracticalEnsemble contribution80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 30/04/2019


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