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EDMU509 Music Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 2

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 education 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 - Research, analyse, evaluate and develop music repertoire for use in a range of instrumental, vocal, solo and ensemble performance with a focus on senior secondary schools (GA5, GA8; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1)

LO2 - Develop and implement a range of appropriate music pedagogy and music leadership skills for a range of school vocal and instrumental ensembles, based on key theoretical approaches. (GA1, GA5, GA7; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 3.3)

LO3 - Design, implement and critique programs for co-curricular music ensemble performance and for integration with classroom music programs for students at all levels, from diverse backgrounds and across the full range of abilities. (GA1, GA5, GA7, GA8; APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.5, 4.1, 4.2)

LO4 - Structure and implement music ensemble rehearsals and performances to engage students at all levels, from diverse backgrounds and across the full range of abilities. (GA1, GA5; APST 1.5, 2.2, 3.5, 4.1, 4.2, 5.2)

LO5 - Assess student conceptual understanding and skill attainment in co-curricular music contexts and provide timely and appropriate feedback to improve student learning and performance (GA1, GA5; APST 5.1, 5.2)

LO6 - Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the contributions of Music teachers to the common good through leadership, partnership with parents and engagement with community music activities (GA1, GA2; APST 1.3, 1.5, 3.5, 3.7, 4.1, 4.2, 7.4)

Graduate attributes

GA1 - Demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity

GA2 - Recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

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

GA7 - Work both autonomously and collaboratively 

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


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

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.

3.3 Include a range of teaching strategies.

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

3.7 Describe a broad range of strategies for involving parents/carers in the educative process.

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.

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.

7.4 Understand the role of external professionals and community representatives in broadening teachers’ professional knowledge and practice.


Topics will include:

  • Exploration and evaluation of musical activities including vocal, choral, instrumental ensemble music and individual tuition, catering to the learning strengths and needs of diverse learners in Music
  • Analysing, evaluating, developing and arranging repertoire in a range of musical genre, eras and styles, for diverse contexts and catering to the strengths and needs of diverse learners
  • Skills in planning, implementing, conducting, leading and evaluating large music vocal and instrumental ensembles for senior secondary and community contexts
  • Music aesthetics and interpretation
  • Advanced music skills across a range of music genre, styles and eras.

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 his/her ability to locate and synthesise information, will be developed through designing curriculum appropriate for a Music education 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:

Ensemble Rehearsal Program:

Develop a sequential 5-week program for rehearsal and concert performance by a senior secondary school, co-curricular music, large ensemble. Conduct a rehearsal of one chosen item from the program with the tutorial group.

The program must demonstrate knowledge of:

  • syllabus outcomes, skills and concepts
  • a range of repertoire representing a minimum of three contrasting Stage 5 or Stage 6 syllabus topics
  • a range of teaching strategies to engage students and develop their musical skills and conceptual understanding
  • strategies to cater for the strengths and needs of diverse learners.

The rehearsal and conducting must demonstrate:

  • in-depth knowledge of the repertoire
  • advanced musical competence
  • a range of appropriate pedagogies for teaching music skills and concepts
  • effective sequencing
  • capacity to organise ensemble activities
  • appropriate conducting skills, including verbal and non-verbal communication strategies and the provision of clear directions
  • Informal assessment of learners’ skills and understandings
  • timely and appropriate feedback.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

GA1, GA5, GA7, GA8

Assessment Task 2:

A: Community Music Participation:

In groups, prepare and present a musical item at a campus or community event.

Each pre-service teacher must lead one item, including:

  • select and arrange a piece to cater to the strengths and needs of the learners in your group
  • prepare and conduct a series of rehearsals in which you teach, practice and refine the piece in preparation for performance
  • lead the group’s performance
  • perform as a member of their peers’ musical items.

B: Critical Reflection:

Write a critical reflection on the professional learning gained from involvement in the community event, demonstrating understanding of:

  • engaging parents and the wider community in the educative process
  • the Music teacher’s contribution to the common good
  • relevance to the Music syllabus
  • contribution to the pre-service teacher’s professional skills, knowledge and understandings.


LO1, LO2, LO4, LO6

GA1, GA2, GA5, GA7, GA8

Representative texts and references

Relevant National, State and Territory curriculum documents.

Charlton, K. (2012). Experience music (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Higher Education

DInham, J. (2011). Delivering authentic arts education. South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage Learning.

Evans, J. & Philpott, C. (2009). A Practical Guide to teaching Music in the Secondary School. Abingdon, Oxon UK: Routledge.

Gibson, R., & Ewing R. (2011). Transforming the Curriculum through the arts. Sydney: Palgrave

Grout, D. (2009). Norton anthology of western music: Volumes 1 & 2. (12 CDs) (6th ed.). New York: Sony Music Special Products. (Accompanies Grout, D. A history of western music).

Lowe, G. (2007). The jazz and rock resource. North Ryde, NSW: McGraw-Hill.

Mark, M., & Madura, P. (2010). Music education in your hands: An introduction for future teachers. New York: Routledge.

Philpott, C., & Spruce, G. (Eds). (2006). Learning to teach music in the secondary school: A companion to school experience (2nd ed.). London: Routledge


Various choral repertoire, for example:

Dilworth, R. (2013). Choir Builders: Fundamental vocal techniques for classroom and general use. (Book and CD). Cheltenham, Vic: Hal Leonard Australia.

Hunt, P. (2008). Voiceworks 1: A handbook for singing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Band Arrangements

Various series of arrangements for Concert Band and flexible ensemble, for example:

Lautzenheiser, T. (2004). Essential elements 2000: Comprehensive band method

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