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Performance Studies II (Solo Studies & Ensemble Studies) - MUS00136I

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  • Department: Music
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. John Stringer
  • Credit value: 30 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module summary

This module develops practical music-making skills and critical reflection upon those practices through engagement with individual and ensemble rehearsal and performance. It develops students’ understanding of the principles of high-level instrumental study, their critical skills in relationship to instrumental performance, and fosters self-awareness and discipline in setting and achieving specific goals.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23 to Summer Term 2022-23

Module aims

Through this module, students develop practical music-making skills both individually and as ensemble musicians. As individual musicians, they receive one-to-one tuition on one or more instruments or voice, building high-level performance and musicianship skills through technical development, awareness of repertoire and instrumental possibilities, and in the development and application of effective practice strategies. Students will approach new and demanding repertoire, and will apply and extend their existing knowledge in these new contexts. As ensemble musicians students will develop awareness of style and performance practice, of the social aspects of group music making, and skills to evaluate the individual’s role within that group context. These two aspects will continue to intertwine, starting to prepare students for high-level practical musical activity both as participants and observers.

Module learning outcomes

Through participating regularly in an ensemble, students should acquire and develop:

  • a broader knowledge of relevant repertoire, including repertoire that might feature in professional auditions
  • an increased awareness of style and performance practice
  • punctuality, preparation, focus and attention
  • an understanding of rehearsal organisation, direction and conducting, and an ability to follow the musical decisions of a director or conductor
  • technical solutions for performance challenges that differ from those presented by solo work
  • an enhanced awareness of both intonation and micro-rhythm as problems requiring collective solutions
  • an awareness of balance, blend, and foreground-background relationships through attentive listening to the total ensemble
  • an awareness of the social dynamic of performance within a collective
  • the individual responsibility that is needed for effective team work
  • the confidence and judgment necessary to evaluate the individual’s role in the collective performance, especially in cases where individual decisions are governed by knowledge of what others are playing – decisions that can only be determined within the ensemble.

Through individual instrumental lessons, associated practice, and individual performance, students should:

  • Begin to develop responsibility and initiative for effective practice
  • Develop co-operative interaction with the tutor
  • Reflect on how active participation in lessons can be achieved
  • Interact with their tutor to increase technical knowledge
  • Begin to reflect on how teacher influences will be incorporated into practice and performance
  • Discuss practice approaches with tutor, rejecting ineffective practice behaviours and incorporating effective behaviours into practice regimes
  • Begin to develop strategies for practice, based on the attainment of musical ideals
  • Develop awareness of healthy physical aspects of playing, so that body usage minimizes risk of RSI and other problems
  • Incorporate musical experiences from outside the context of lessons and practice into developing independent musical ideas
  • Acting independently and on tutor advice, begin to develop a repertoire
  • Begin to take responsibility for musical judgement
  • Acting on advice, develop strategies for coping with performance anxiety
  • Reflect on what makes a good musician and begin to think about personal goals in these terms


In addition, students will:

  • Begin to develop skills of co-operation and self-motivation
  • Develop organisational skills, and critique the development of routines to achieve specific goals over both the short and long term
  • Begin to apply broader subject content to development of their own practical skills-set


Task Length % of module mark
Ensemble repertoire report
N/A 33
Solo instrumental report
N/A 33
N/A 34

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

To pass the module you need to do the following:

  • Take regular individual vocal or instrumental lessons and complete the end-of-year Solo Studies report form to a satisfactory standard (c.500w)

  • Pass the 1st-year performance; this takes place in Week 7 of the Summer Term. You should prepare 12-15 minutes of music on your first-study instrument.

  • Participate in a departmental ensemble or a registered ensemble, complete the record of ensemble participation and complete the end-of-year ensemble repertoire report to a satisfactory standard (c.500w).


Task Length % of module mark
Ensemble repertoire report
N/A 33
Solo instrumental report
N/A 33
N/A 34

Module feedback

Marks and report to student no later than 4 weeks from submission.

Indicative reading


The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.