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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

MUSS1324 Ensemble Performance

20 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr Mic Spencer

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan), Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

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 a group performance project run by the School of Music. This may involve participating in a concert and preceding rehearsal period with an orchestra, choir, small band or world music ensemble, though the precise ensembles run will vary from year to year. 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 across most of the semester leading to a concert, which may take place in the evening or at a weekend. There may also be rehearsals on a concert weekend. Assessment is based on practical work in rehearsal and performance, with an extremely strong emphasis being placed on attendance.


This module gives students 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
1. Demonstrate an awareness of the range of fundamental skills required for collaborative performance
2. Engage practically in music-making and work
3. Work effectively in a group
4. Engage in self-directed learning
5. Demonstrate an ability to reflect critically on their own progress and achievement
6. 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 in which they participate. 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 semester. Activities have typically included orchestral projects, choral projects, popular and world music ensembles, chamber ensembles, and a new music ensemble. These have been directed and mentored by staff, and often some sessions are student-led. 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.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning162.0010.00
Private study hours132.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)156.00

Private study

20 hours monitoring and documenting their activities and producing reflective report
100 hours in individual practice
12 hours doing relevant listening and exploring the context of the repertoire

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
ReportEnsemble Activity Report (800–1000 words)20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Poor engagement with the project will result in a penalty in the final module mark; persistent lack of engagement will result in failure.Owing to the group nature of Ensemble Performance, and the requirements of the module learning outcomes (notably 2, 3 and 6) it is not possible to undertake a resit of the practical component for this module.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 19/05/2023 12:50:18


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