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Unit information: Practical studies: Performance in 2019/20

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing and student choice.

Unit name Practical studies: Performance
Unit code MUSI10058
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Kate Guthrie
Open unit status Not open

Normally Grade VIII in Associated Board Examination



School/department Department of Music
Faculty Faculty of Arts


Students prepare a short solo performace of 10 minutes (given in the summer term) on their prinicpal instrument (or voice) and develop the disciplines of repertoire selection and development, effective self-presentation in a performance context and a professional attitude towards workshops and lessons with approved teachers.


This unit aims to develop existing practical skills leading towards an assessed 10-minute solo performance in preparation for which students will benefit from a programme of instrumental or vocal lessons. The process of negotiation required in producing the desired sound from the notated scores, and communicating the individual interpretation of that score in performance, is fundamental to solo performance and it is expected that this skill will develop throughout the year and will translate into an effective solo performance. The unit is intended to provide a secure foundation for further performance units involving solo performance at subsequent stages in the BA programme and is an essential pre-requisite for those units.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. perform a technically-competent short recital on their principal instrument (or voice), displaying, where appropriate, effective communication with the accompanist in performance
  2. apply recommended principles of repertoire selection and programme planning
  3. develop and display a confident attitude towards presentational aspects of their recital
  4. master the most fruitful techniques of individual practice
  5. respond thoughtfully to constructive criticism of their playing (in workshops and lessons).

For students taking the non-performance route through this unit: become aware of contemporary performance issues

7. to develop accessible media-friendly writing styles

8. to be able to critically evaluate performance

Teaching details

Twelve 1-hour one-to-one lessons over the year (24 weeks) with an approved instrumental or vocal teacher.

Participation in group workshops and masterclasses.

Assessment Details

First Year Performance Studies may be assessed in one of three ways:

1) One 10-minute recital that may be presented as a solo or ensemble performance (100%) in the May/June assessment period, of pieces prepared throughout the academic year, reflecting ILOs 1-5.

2) One 10-minute ensemble performance (100%) in the May-June assessment period, of pieces prepared throughout the academic year, reflecting ILOs 1-5. Students wishing to pursue performance at second year level will not normally be assessed in this way, though solo recitals accompanied by an ensemble are encouraged.

3) A portfolio of live concert reviews totalling between 2000-2500 words (approx. 5 reviews) submitted on Blackboard (ILOs 6-8)

Please note that students opting for an ensemble piece as their recital will not be able to take solo performance in subsequent years.

Reading and References

  • Brendel, A., Music Sounded Out (London, 1993)
  • Dunsby, J., Performing Music: Shared Concerns (Oxford, 1993)
  • J.Rink (ed.), Musical Performance: A Guide to Understanding (Cambridge, 2003)