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EDMU508 Music Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 1

Unit rationale, description and aim

In order to plan and deliver lessons that promote learner engagement and enhance student learning, intending secondary teachers need knowledge and understanding of the senior secondary curriculum, along with theoretical frameworks and pedagogical approaches that are emblematic of teaching in their chosen teaching areas, including teaching/learning that responds to the high-stakes assessment that is a usual feature of senior secondary schooling.

In this unit, pre-service teachers will consider the place of Music in contemporary Australian society, and the senior secondary Music curriculum, in particular. They will explore a range of evidence-based approaches for curriculum development and alignment and to plan for effective teaching and learning, including formative and summative assessment. Pre-service teachers will learn approaches for building knowledge of Music and how to provide constructive feedback and reporting. They will learn approaches for engaging senior secondary learners and to meet the learning needs of diverse students in the senior secondary years. They will further develop skills to shape the dialogic talk of the classroom. Pre-service teachers will formulate unit and assessment plans in order to demonstrate a knowledge of curriculum, learning and assessment theory. They will assemble a resource folio to demonstrate capacity to collect, create and critique resources for effective teaching and learning and to link with curriculum. They will investigate issues and considerations of curriculum implementation as found in the practical reality of schools.

The aim of this unit is for the pre-service teacher to develop their pedagogical content knowledge through becoming familiar with the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for teaching Music at a senior secondary level.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

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

LO1 - articulate and apply the aims, content, structure, outcomes and perspectives of the Stage 5 Music Syllabus (GA5, GA8; APST 2.1)

LO2 - critically evaluate and implement a range of teaching, assessment and feedback strategies, including ICT, for teaching Music skills concepts and for engaging diverse learners in co-curriculum contexts (GA5, GA8; APST 1.5, 2.6, 3.1, 3.3, 3.5, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2)

LO3 - apply knowledge of curriculum, learning and student characteristics to prepare, manage and conduct instrumental and vocal ensemble rehearsals, in a range of genre and styles, catering for a diversity of learner strengths and needs sensitively (GA5, GA8; APST 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5, 4.2, 5.2)

LO4 - critically examine, evaluate, arrange and develop appropriate resources for secondary school co-curricular ensembles, differentiating to meet the needs of learners across the full range of abilities, reflecting the diversity of students’ cultural and social backgrounds and linking to Music curriculum content (GA5, GA8; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 3.1, 3.4)

LO5 - utilise music software safely, responsibly and ethically, to compose, notate and record music to expand co-curriculum learning opportunities for students in secondary school Music ensembles (GA10; APST 2.6, 3.4, 4.5)

Graduate attributes

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


On successful completion of this unit, pre-service teachers should be able to:

1.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students and how these may affect learning.

1.3 Demonstrate knowledge of teaching strategies that are responsive to the learning strengths and needs of students from diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.

1.5 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of strategies for differentiating teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities. 

2.1 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the concepts, substance and structure of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area.

2.2 Organise content into an effective learning and teaching sequence.

2.3 Use curriculum, assessment and reporting knowledge to design learning sequences and lesson plans.

2.6 Implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students.

3.1 Set learning goals that provide achievable challenges for students of varying abilities and characteristics.

3.2 Plan lesson sequences using knowledge of student learning, content and effective teaching strategies.

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

3.4 Demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning.

3.5 Demonstrate a range of verbal and non-verbal communication strategies to support student engagement.

4.1 Identify strategies to support inclusive student participation and engagement in classroom activities.

4.2 Demonstrate the capacity to organise classroom activities and provide clear directions.

4.5 Demonstrate an understanding of the relevant issues and the strategies available to support the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.

5.1 Demonstrate understanding of assessment strategies, including informal and formal, diagnostic, formative and summative approaches to assess student learning.

5.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the purpose of providing timely and appropriate feedback to students about their learning.


Topics will include:

  • The connections between the curriculum and the co-curriculum in school Music, and the role of the co-curriculum in broadening and deepening learning opportunities for students
  • Appropriate pedagogies for leading school ensembles including choirs and small ensembles
  • Conducting and rehearsal techniques for co-curricular groups, including verbal and non-verbal communication strategies
  • The importance of and strategies for providing timely and appropriate feedback to students
  • Resources and repertoire for ensembles in the secondary school in a range of genre and styles and catering to diverse learner strengths and needs
  • Evaluating and selecting repertoire suited to skills and needs of diverse learners
  • Arrangement techniques for preparing performance pieces for students across the full range of abilities
  • Software programs and the use of music technology to support ensemble rehearsals and performances and develop learners’ musical skills and conceptual understandings
  • Aural discrimination of a range of musical repertoire enabling enhanced identification of key concepts in music
  • Professional music performances for schools and their associated opportunities for professional development.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

This unit applies a social constructivist approach to develop the pre-service teacher’s understanding of effective pedagogies through active engagement and collaborative learning. The pre-service teacher will build an understanding of teaching strategies through critical reading, lecturer modelling, discussion, and practice in tutorials. The pre-service teacher’s skills of professional communication and ability to work collaboratively will be practised through group work. The pre-service teacher’s teaching skills of planning and assessing, and their ability to locate and synthesise information, will be developed through designing curriculum appropriate for a Music context. The pre-service teacher will continue to gather and reflect upon evidence of attainment of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers: Graduate.

Teaching and learning strategy described above will use an appropriate selection of approach, including, for example:

  • Weekly face-to-face lectures and / or online lectures (synchronous and asynchronous)
  • Hands-on tutorials and discussions that promote peer learning
  • Microteaching opportunities
  • Self-directed reading and research
  • Collaborative learning opportunities

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weightings are designed so that the pre-service teacher can progressively achieve the course learning outcomes and the professional standards. The Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment units in this course focus on pre-service teachers acquiring content knowledge and developing the skills to assimilate conceptual knowledge in order for that knowledge to inform skills that will be applied in practice.

The two assessment tasks are sequenced to allow feedback and progressive development. By completing Task 1 the pre-service teacher will apply knowledge of assessment strategies. In Task 2 pre-service teachers develop a program of work for senior students over a period of time.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1:

Arrange, rehearse and conduct an appropriate ensemble piece for a junior secondary (7 – 10) group of varying musical abilities and skills.

The arrangement must:

  • articulate explicit links to relevant syllabus outcomes, skills, concepts and content
  • employ appropriate repertoire, with a rationale for its selection in terms of addressing curriculum topic/s and skills, and catering to the identified strengths and needs of learners
  • be arranged to cater to the identified strengths and learning needs of the group members
  • use Music notation software for the production of individual parts and the full ensemble score

The rehearsal and conducting must demonstrate:

  • sound knowledge of the repertoire
  • musical competence
  • a range of appropriate pedagogies for teaching music skills and concepts
  • effective sequencing
  • appropriate conducting skills, including verbal and non-verbal communication strategies and the provision of clear directions
  • timely and appropriate feedback.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA5, GA8, GA10

Assessment Task 2:

CHOICE- For the purposes of national moderation all campuses must select the same task

Option A: Written Examination

Focused on linking learning, teaching and assessment resources with curriculum and co-curricular activities.

Must demonstrate analysis and critical evaluation of:

  • explicit links between selected resources and relevant syllabus skills, content, concepts and topics
  • knowledge of diverse musical genre and styles
  • knowledge of strategies to differentiate teaching to cater to the strengths and needs of diverse learners
  • knowledge of a range of strategies for assessing learning in Music
  • integration of ICT and literacy and numeracy.


Option B: Resource Folio and Presentation

Create a folio of 4 – 6 Music repertoire and learning, teaching and assessment resources, for use with classes and co-curricular ensembles, that address a range of curriculum topics and skills.

Present the folio to the group, including analysis and critical evaluation of:

  • explicit links between the selected resources and relevant syllabus skills, content, concepts and topics
  • knowledge of diverse musical genre and styles
  • knowledge of strategies to differentiate teaching to cater to the strengths and needs of diverse learners
  • knowledge of a range of strategies for assessing learning in Music
  • Integration of literacy and numeracy.


LO1, LO4

GA5, GA8

Representative texts and references

National and state curriculum documents

Backhouse. T. (1995). A cappella rehearsing for heaven: An a cappella choral workbook. Sydney: Redback Press.

Bertalot, J., (2007). Five wheels to successful sight-singing: A practical approach to teach children and adults to read music. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress.

Boosey and Hawkes. (2001). Essential elements: Books 1–3: Student books (by instrument) and Conductor’s scores. (Starter kit for beginner bands). Madison, Wis: Hal Leonard Corp.

Crocker, E. (2002). Voice builders for better choirs: A complete resource for choir directors. Book and CD. Cheltenham, Vic.: Hal Leonard Australia.

Dilworth, R. (2007). Choir builders: Fundamental vocal techniques for classroom and general use. Book and CD. Cheltenham, Vic.: Hal Leonard Australia.

Stannard, K. (2002 – 2007). Voiceworks: Handbooks for singing. (Books 1 & 2). Oxford: Oxford University Press. (SEE ALSO: Junior Voiceworks 1 & 2; Voiceplay; Voiceworks at Christmas; Young Voiceworks).

Torbay, G. (2008). Choraltime! For primary schools, Books 1–3. Cheltenham, Vic.: Hal Leonard.

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