Master of Music (Performance Teaching)

Course MC-MUSPT (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Year and Campus: 2012 - Parkville
CRICOS Code: 076226J
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Duration & Credit Points: 150 credit points taken over 18 months full time. This course is available as full or part time.


Mr Ian Godfrey


Melbourne Conservatorium of Music

T: +613 90353471
E: /

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
VCA and Music Student Centre


Course Overview:

The Master of Music (Performance Teaching) degree is unique in Australia and the region. This degree will provide a specific pathway from the new generation Bachelor of Music into a professional coursework Masters qualification for the majority of music graduates who intend to pursue a portfolio career as a performer-teacher.

The curriculum includes advanced level music performance studies in the student’s principal instrument or voice, in a second instrument or voice, and in ensemble conducting. Four specialized methodology studies for teaching instruments and voice (with associated professional practice) serve as core subjects, two of which also introduce students to research principles and methods. Building on the performance, teaching and research strengths of the Conservatorium’s staff, the degree offers a comprehensive range of elective subjects designed to broaden, extend and enrich students’ professional competencies. From the three elective subjects to be chosen, students select a pathway that will create a capstone experience in performance, pedagogy or research.

Graduates will be qualified to work as performer-teachers in a variety of educational situations including community, private provider and further education (TAFE) settings and as instrumental/vocal instructors in schools. However, this course will not in itself enable graduates to gain full teacher registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching, although this degree can also lead to advanced standing in Graduate Diploma of Education courses.


On completion of this course, graduates will be able to demonstrate

  • a high standard of performance on their selected instrument or voice as required of a teacher of music performance;
  • a professional level of expertise and competence as an instrumental or vocal music teacher;
  • excellent communication skills in diverse contexts including clear articulation of the issues concerning instrumental or vocal music teaching and performance;
  • an applied understanding of research principles and methods applicable to music performance learning and teaching and including skills in critical reflection, writing and artistic communication;
  • the application of the links between planning, teaching and evaluating for learning in the context of music performance;
  • a range of teaching approaches and the use of a variety of technologies in the delivery of instrumental or vocal individual lessons that will serve to foster independent, reflective, motivated and cooperative learning;
  • a mature engagement with and understanding of the principles of teamwork in collaborative music making;
  • an enhanced ability to apply their expertise in music performance teaching to a range of individual students with specific needs and from culturally diverse backgrounds;
  • a commitment to developing and refining their performance and teaching practices; and
  • a coherent personal philosophy of instrumental or vocal music teaching.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

This course is offered as a 1.5 year full time course, enrolment as a part time student is also available and the course would take 3 years part time.

Subject Options:

Course Structure

The subjects listed in the first two categories below are core subjects of the course.

Students must complete 37.5 credit points of subjects in the third category (elective subjects) where a minimum of 25 credit points of study must be identified as a research project or a specialisation; the subject(s) comprising the research project or specialisation would normally be undertaken in the second and third semesters of the course.

For an explanation of the pathway to completion by either a research project or a specialisation see the section on Elective Subjects.

Music Performance Subjects

Students must complete 50 points of core Music Performance subjects as follows:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2

Methods of Teaching Subjects applied to Music Performance

Students must complete 62.5 points of Methods of Teaching applied to Music Performance subjects as follows:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2012

Elective Subjects

Elective Subjects (37.5 points) provide students with opportunities to acquire further new knowledge and skills in pedagogically relevant music subjects, many of which are already offered at the graduate level by the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. In addition, one or more elective studies, some in combination with one of the core subjects, will form the 25 credit points of research project or specialisation required for a Masters Coursework degree. The elective subject(s) forming the research project or specialisation would normally be undertaken in the second and third semesters of the course.

The full list of elective subjects includes the following:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
March, August, December
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 2
Not offered in 2012

Please note we are awaiting availability of the following subject in this category: Musical Engagement. This subject is planned for semester 2.

The following elective subjects will generally be offered as intensive subjects over 2 weekends: MUSI90013 Advanced in Music Technology; MUSI90046 Arranging for Band; MUSI90015 Band Direction; MUSI90014 Choral Direction; MUSI90003 Orchestral Conducting and MUSI90012 Teaching Aural Musicianship.

In order to complete the Master of Music (Performance Teaching) students must complete 37.5 points of elective subjects, which will make up the specialisation.

There are 3 pathways to meet this requirement:

Research Project

Enrol in MUSI90052 Professional Research Project (25 points) and 12.5 points of elective subjects.

Suzuki Specialisation

Enrol in MUSI90158 Suzuki Practicum (25 points) and 12.5 points of elective subjects

Specialisation within an area of Music Performance and/or Music Performance Teaching

Students enrol in subjects that, with the approval of the course coordinator, represent a specialisation focused on one area. This pathway can be completed in one of two ways as follows:

(i) After completing MUSI90156 Performing to Teach 2, enrol in MUSI90157 Pedagogue Recital; plus 25 points of electives to complete the course.

(ii) After completing MUSI90503 The Teacher as Conductor, enrol in one of MUSI90015 Band Direction, MUSI90014 Choral Direction or MUSI90003 Orchestral Conducting; plus 25 points of electives to complete the course.

Entry Requirements:

The Selection Committee for the MMus(PerfTchng) course will evaluate applicants using the following criteria:

  • completion of a BMus degree with an average grade of at least 65% in the final year; or
  • completion of a three-year undergraduate degree in a discipline other than music, and successful completion of the University of Melbourne GradDipMusic (Practical Music); or
  • for applicants without a prior undergraduate degree, completion of the current University of Melbourne GradDipMus (Practical Music) combined with documented relevant professional performance experience of at least five years; or
  • a Bachelor of Fine Arts ( Contemporary Music – Improvisation) with at least H3 (65%) average in the final year or equivalent and a mark of at least 70% in your final performance exam; or
  • an undergraduate degree in a discipline other than music and a concurrent Diploma in Music (Practical), together with an additional 50 points of appropriate academic music study;


  • satisfactory completion of an audition (see details below).

The Selection Committee may conduct interviews and tests and may call for referee reports and employer references to elucidate any of the matters referred to above.

Audition: All applicants are required to undertake an audition (duration 25 min) to determine whether the applicant has the practical ability to pursue the course for which application is made. Satisfactory performance in the audition is necessary to be selected for the MMus(PerfTchng) course.

A full-fee overseas student who does not otherwise satisfy the English requirements of the course may be selected if the student has obtained a score of 550 in the American TOEFL with a TWE of 4 or an overall Band score of 6.5 in the IELTS at a sitting in the twenty-four months preceding the application.

Guaranteed Entry will be provided for students who graduate from the new Bachelor of Music with an average of not less than 65% in the final year, combined with a result of not less than H2B (70%) in the Bachelor of Music subject Music Performance 6 or Performance Study 6. Guaranteed entry applies only within 12 months of completion of the Music Performance subject.

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:

Graduate Attributes:

The graduates from the MMus(PerfTchng) course should be:

Academically excellent and musically skilled as teachers of music performance as a result of:

  • intensive and rigorous one-to-one and group tuition in performance and group-based learning in performance pedagogy and related music discipline areas; and
  • participation in a diversity of teaching and learning experiences in music including individual tuition, group tuition, practicum experience, tutorials, master classes, on-line learning, seminars, lectures, and subjects taught in intensive mode.

Artistically sophisticated with a high level of understanding of the aesthetic of their discipline, honed through learning, practice, critical reflection and performance, with high levels of personal autonomy and accountability.

Experienced in assessment practices that demand independent thinking, critical analysis and an openness to new ideas through:

  • informed discourse about instrumental and/or vocal music pedagogy; and
  • focussed study of assessment practices suitable for music performances and their implementation.

Familiar and competent with written and spoken communication, the ethics of scholarship, basic research protocols through a program of specific music performance teaching subjects, including individual tuition, applied and pedagogical music studies, and professional teaching practice.

Creative and critical music performers, teachers and thinkers with highly developed skills for on-going, self-directed professional learning.

Knowledgeable across the disciplines of music performance and instrumental / vocal teaching including the associated areas of cognitive development and psychology of music.

Accepting of the responsibility to move towards intellectual independence and towards accountability in terms of both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Able to plan and execute a research project or a capstone project in music performance, music performance teaching or conducting.

Leaders in performing and teaching communities with knowledge developed through:

  • a program of professional (teaching) practicum;
  • high level development of teamwork and group dynamic skills through participation in group activities in music learning; and
  • extensive knowledge of curriculum development and implementation that would be appropriate to a range of community, TAFE, studio and other educational settings.

Attuned to cultural diversity through:

  • the opportunities provided that involve thinking about difference in ways of being musical as well as participating in music from other times and places;
  • familiarity with culturally diverse ways of conceptualizing, discussing and teaching instrumental and vocal music; and
  • performing and learning in groups with students from varied cultural and musical backgrounds.

Active global citizens through:

  • participation throughout the course in the inherently international nature of music in all its manifestations; and
  • striving to be facilitators and communicators between the diverse cultural communities found in the range of settings where performing and/or music performance teaching takes place.

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