Exploring Musical Engagement

Subject MUSI90146 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 2 hour lecture/seminar per week during the semester.
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours.



Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
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: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Prof Gary Mcpherson


Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
T: +613 99053471 or +613 83444337
E: dstrover@unimelb.edu.au / jessyew@unimelb.edu.au

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music
VCA and MCM Student Centre

Contact: www.vcam.unimelb.edu.au/contact
Web: www.conservatorium.unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject examines how music pervades everyday life and impacts on the ways in which people from a range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds experience the world together. Principles of psychology and sociology are used to better understand the diverse experiences of listeners, composers and performers. Special focus is given to understanding what motivates involvement in western music as performers and how to advocate for a comprehensive musical experience and education in schools and community settings.


On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • understand what motivates people to be involved in musical performance;
  • demonstrate understanding of how audiences perceive their relationship to the performer and the music;
  • demonstrate understanding of the psychological and sociological aspects of performance;
  • examine how people identify with music and the values that are implicit in musical preferences;
  • reflect on the social responsibility of the performer;
  • demonstrate understanding of how music pervades everyday life and what makes many people want to live their lives with music
  • understand active musical engagement in performing, teaching and learning;
  • assess the ways in which psychology and sociology can explain people’s diverse experience of, and engagement with music, focusing on how music is used, acquired and made in a range of formal and informal musical settings; and
  • understand how people listen to music, manage their emotions, moods and identities with music, and use music for therapy, persuasion and social control.


Contribution to seminar discussion and lectures (10%); a critical appraisal (1000 words), due in week 6 of the semester (25%); an oral presentation in class (25%); an essay (2000 words), due in the final week of semester (40%).
100% attendance is expected, less than 80% will result in a fail in the subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Readings will be available online through the LMS prior to the commencement of the subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate the capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection;
  • demonstrate skills in evaluative thinking, and in the application of theoretical criteria to practical outcomes; and
  • demonstrate analytical skills in the context of social behaviour.

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