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  • Professional Term 2Online Scheduled




EDMU511 Music Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment 4

Unit rationale, description and aim

The co-curriculum is a vital element of a school’s Music program. It adds depth and breadth to the class curriculum, provides active, authentic learning experiences and promotes cultural understanding and social harmony. In order to build strong and vibrant music departments, Music teachers need to develop the knowledge and skills to plan and lead a range of co-curricular programs to meet the needs of students from diverse cultural and musical backgrounds

In this unit, pre-service teachers will explore, engage in and arrange repertoire for diverse co-curricular music programs, with a particular focus on Australian Indigenous music and music from non-Western cultures. They will practise advanced conducting skills and music ensemble management, and examine the connections between co-curricular music programs and the class curriculum. Contemporary pedagogical frameworks will be analysed, and applied to the leadership of advanced vocal and instrumental ensembles. Pre-service teachers will engage in and critically reflect on community music activities, to build in-depth understanding of the Music teacher’s contribution to the common good.

The aim of this unit is to enable pre-service teachers to develop the knowledge and skills to design and deliver co-curricular programs, in a range of styles that engage and challenge diverse learners.

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.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Describe the characteristics of voices and instruments, and adapt and perform repertoire for vocal and instrumental ensembles in a range of genre and styles, including music of non-Western cultures and Australian Indigenous musics (APST 1.3, 2.1, 2.4)GC4, GC5, GC6
LO2Apply knowledge of voices, instruments, repertoire and the class curriculum, to design programs for co-curricular music ensemble that integrate with classroom music programs and meet the needs of students from diverse backgrounds and across a range of abilities (APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 4.2)GC1, GC2, GC9
LO3Apply contemporary models of pedagogy, advanced conducting skills and music leadership skills to plan, rehearse and conduct music ensemble rehearsals and performances, which engage students from diverse backgrounds and across a range of abilities (APST 1.3, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3; 3.5, 4.1, 4.2)GC1, GC2, GC12
LO4Assess student conceptual understanding and skill attainment in co-curricular music contexts and provide timely and appropriate feedback to improve student performance and learning outcomes (APST 5.1, 5.2)GC1, GC7, GC9
LO5Engage in and lead community music activities, and critique the contributions of Music teachers to the common good through leadership, partnership with parents and engagement with community (APST 1.3, 1.5, 3.3, 3.5, 3.7, 4.1, 7.3, 7.4).GC1, GC2, GC6


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.

2.4  Demonstrate broad knowledge of, understanding of and respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and languages.

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.

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.

7.3  Understand strategies for working effectively, sensitively and confidentially with parents/carers

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
  • Researching, evaluating 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
  • Music from non-Western traditions
  • 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 is a 10-credit point unit and has been designed to ensure that the time needed to complete the required volume of learning to the requisite standard is approximately 150 hours in total across the semester. This includes guided teaching, independent study and preparation of assessments.

 The unit aims to build pre-service teachers’ knowledge and skills through active engagement in authentic co-curricular music activities. They will develop knowledge of repertoire, school curriculum and pedagogy for music ensembles, as well as developing their conducting skills and the ability to work autonomously, through undertaking individual planning, arranging, rehearsing and performing tasks that mimic school co-curricular programs. Their familiarity with music of non-western cultures, ability to work collaboratively and leadership skills will be developed through preparing and leading group performances for a community event, culminating in presentations to the class and/or an audience. Reflective practice and understanding of the Music teacher’s responsibility to the common good will be promoted through critical reflection on these learning experiences.

Participants will be involved in a variety of learning and teaching strategies including:

  • online lectures (synchronous and asynchronous)
  • tutorials and practical workshops including classroom and off-site activities
  • individual and collaborative learning opportunities
  • written and practical assessment tasks. 

The unit is hosted on a Learning Management System (LMS) site with resources and online links, announcements, and a discussion board to post questions and reflections that promote connection between content and educational experiences.

Mode of delivery: This unit may be offered in different modes to cater to the learning needs and preferences of a range of participants.

On Campus

Most learning activities or classes are delivered at a scheduled time, on campus, to enable in-person interactions. Activities will appear in a student’s timetable.


Learning activities are delivered through a planned mix of online and in-person classes, which may include full-day sessions and/or placements, to enable interaction. Activities that require attendance will appear in a student’s timetable.

Online unscheduled

Learning activities are accessible anytime, anywhere. These units are normally delivered fully online and will not appear in a student’s timetable. 

Online scheduled

All learning activities are held online, at scheduled times, and will require some attendance to enable online interaction. Activities will appear in a student’s timetable.

Assessment strategy and rationale

A range of assessment procedures are designed to allow pre-service teachers to demonstrate progressive achievement of the unit learning outcomes and to develop graduate attributes consistent with University assessment requirements. The units in this course focus on developing understanding of, and skills across the professional knowledge, practice and engagement domains needed to meet expectations of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST): Graduate level.

Assessments are designed to engage students in authentic, practical co-curricular Music activities that mimic the ‘real-world’ of schools. The ability to design and conduct co-curricular programs and integrate them with classroom programs, and the capacity to think analytically and work autonomously, will be developed through undertaking individual planning tasks. Students will strengthen their Music leadership skills through conducting and rehearsing choral and instrumental groups that mimic school ensembles. Knowledge of music of non-western cultures, the ability to work collaboratively, and an understanding of the responsibility as Music teacher to the common good, will be developed through preparing and presenting group performances for a community event. Reflective practice is encouraged through critical reflection on these learning activities.  

Minimum Achievement Standards

The assessment tasks and their weighting for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to participate in and submit all assessment tasks and achieve a minimum overall passing grade of 50%.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment Task 1: Ensemble Rehearsal Program for Hypothetical Concert:

Part A. Design a sequential 5-week rehearsal plan (culminating in a hypothetical concert performance), for a senior secondary school, co-curricular music, large ensemble.

Part B. Conduct a rehearsal of one item selected from the program with the tutorial group, OR video yourself conducting a rehearsal with a school ensemble.

The rehearsal plan (Part A) must demonstrate knowledge of:

  • Syllabus/curriculum outcomes, skills/practices and concepts/ideas
  • A range of repertoire representing a minimum of three contrasting Stage 5 or Stage 6 (levels 9-12) curriculum areas/topics
  • A range of teaching strategies to engage learners and develop their musical skills/practices and conceptual understanding
  • Strategies to cater for the strengths and needs of diverse learners.

The rehearsal and conducting (Part B) 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

Assessment Task 2:

A/ Community Music Participation:

In small 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 the group
  • Prepare and conduct a series of rehearsals in which they 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/curriculum
  • Contribution to the pre-service teacher’s professional skills, knowledge and understandings.
  • <


LO3, LO4, LO5

Representative texts and references

Required text(s) 

Australian Curriculum

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA)

Relevant jurisdictional curriculum documents

Recommended texts

Charlton, K. (2022). Experience music (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Gibson, R., & Ewing R. (2020). Transforming the curriculum through the arts. Palgrave McMillan.

Palisca, C., Grout, D., & Burkholder, P. (2019). Norton anthology of western nusic: Volumes 1, 2 & 3. (8th ed.). W.W. Norton & Company.

Philpott, C., & Spruce, G. (Eds). (2016). Learning to teach music in the secondary school: A companion to school experience (3rd ed.). Routledge.

Various repertoire for Choirs, Concert Band and flexible ensemble, for example:

  • Dilworth, R. (2006). Choir Builders: Fundamental vocal techniques for classroom and general use. (Book and CD). Hal Leonard Corporation.
  • Hunt, P. (2008). Voiceworks 1: A handbook for singing. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (And other volumes).
  • Lautzenheiser, T. (2004). Essential Elements 2000: Comprehensive band method. Hal Leonard Corporation.

Journal articles:

Crawford, R. (2017). Creating unity through celebrating diversity: A case study that explores the impact of music education on refugee background students. International Journal of Music Education, 35(3), 343-356. doi:10.1177/0255761416659511

Harris, J., & McGuire, K. (2021). Developing Pre-Service Music Teachers’ Intercultural Understanding through a Culturally Diverse Campus Performance. Paper presented at Australian Society for Music Education (ASME) XXIII National Conference, Hobart, September-October 2021.

Hoffman, A. (2012). Performing Our World: Affirming cultural diversity through music education Music Educators Journal, 98(4), 61-65. doi:10.1177/0027432112443262 

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