BA Music and Drama / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Solo Performance 1

Unit code MUSC10600
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by School of Arts, Languages and Cultures
Available as a free choice unit? No


Description: Each student will undertake advanced study on their first instrument, up to public performance standard, with regular instruction from a specialist teacher and an individually tailored programme of study. Each student will attend rehearsals with an approved university ensemble or choir, thereby gaining insights into how works are prepared for public performance of a high standard. Practical studies are complemented by a block of lectures in the first half of the semester, designed to allow students to enhance their understanding of the benefits of an informed approach to performance.


This course unit is also available to incoming study abroad students as a semester one option (MUSC10601) and as a semester two option (MUSC10602). If you would like to take this option please contact the Music Administrator.


' To consolidate secure technical foundation within a developing self-directed environment, such that the student is prepared to proceed to MUSC 20600 Solo Performance II if appropriate;
- To develop interpretative and critical skills in core repertoire at an appropriate level;
- To reinforce performance skills through contextual study, which increases understanding of how music works in performance and the environments in which it is performed, thus highlighting the inherent interconnections between practice and theory of performance.


Repertoire to be chosen in consultation with instrumental or vocal teacher. Students prepare a mock recital in January, and an assessed recital in early May, each of which is 10 minutes.

Teaching and learning methods

Individual lessons with specialist tutor.

Opportunities for attendance at performance masterclasses and workshops

Concert attendance

Lenagan Library listening resources, JRULM Naxos and Classics Online streaming.

Performance-theory component: lectures and tutorial.

Knowledge and understanding

Demonstrate through performance a developing understanding of how music works and the contexts for which it is written.

Show an emerging ability to assess and discuss the relationship between practice and theory of performance.

Intellectual skills

Show through performance that they have begun to develop skills in analysing and interpreting musical materials related to performance, together with an emerging critical awareness of the contexts of and problems associated with these processes.

Practical skills

Demonstrate developing advanced technical skills on one instrument or voice, with evidence of increasingly sensitive artistry and musicianship, strong projection and developing personal expression

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Produce increasingly advanced performances with a disciplined approach to time management, self-motivation and critical self-awareness.

Demonstrate the confidence and interpersonal skills to work effectively in small groups, showing skills relating to teamwork, negotiation, decision-making and leadership

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Surveying repertoire, analysing and showing understanding of the repertoire you are performing;
Inventing a creative concept and putting it into motion, coming up with your own ideas, and not relying on your teacher to do the thinking for you;
Being responsible for overseeing a creative product from inception through to final performance.
Project management
Developing effective and efficient practicing habits, setting and achieving goals, effective collaboration with other musicians as appropriate
Self-awareness (knowing your strengths and skills and having the confidence to put these across through performance); Willingness to learn (being inquisitive about such issues as repertoire and performance practice, enthusiastic and open to new ideas, making decisions, assessing progress and making changes if necessary);

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Oral assessment/presentation 10%
Practical skills assessment 90%

Feedback methods

Written feedback will be provided within the SALC 15-day marking period for the performance-theory block of the course. Verbal feedback will be provided for practical component of the course throughout the academic year; written feedback for the performance will be provided at the end of Semester 1.

Recommended reading

Bowen, José A., 'Finding the Music in Musicology: Performance History and Musical Works', in: Nicholas Cook and Mark Everist (eds.), Rethinking Music, Oxford, 1999

Butt, John, Playing with History: The Historical Approach to Musical Performance (Musical Performance and Reception), Cambridge, 2002

Grier, James, The Critical Editing of Music: History, Method, and Practice, Cambridge, 1996

Lawson, Colin and Robin Stowell, The Historical Performance of Music: An Introduction (Cambridge Handbooks to the Historical Performance of Music), Cambridge, 1999

Rink, John (ed.), Musical Performance: A Guide to Understanding, Cambridge, 2002

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 5
Project supervision 18
Tutorials 1
Independent study hours
Independent study 176

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Alexander Gagatsis Unit coordinator

Additional notes


Numerous additional performance opportunities exist within MUMS concerts and ensembles. 

The course is enhanced by the existence of numerous professional concerts within the dept (incl. Quatuor Danel concerts and Thursday lunchtime concerts) and performance workshops.


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