Module Catalogue 2022/23

MUS3014 : Major Specialist Study: Performance

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Larry Zazzo
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 20.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
MUS2058Performance Studies 2
MUS2059Contemporary Music Practice 2
Pre Requisite Comment

Satisfactory progress (60% or above) in MUS2058 or MUS2059

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



1.       to engage in a high-level programme of instrument or vocal performance.
2.       to consolidate and develop musical, technical, expressive and critical skills in performance practice.
3.       to demonstrate professional attitude and practice in preparation and performance.

By the end of this module you should have acquired: knowledge of performance practice issues stemming from the studied repertoire; knowledge, including an appropriate degree of memorisation, of the pieces learnt during the year; and awareness of professional performance standards (e.g. presentation, preparation, programme notes).

Because of the nature of instrumental study, tuition primarily takes place in one-to-one sessions with an external (approved) instrumental / vocal tutor (assigned to the student by the module leader and/or one of the heads of instrumental studies). Students are also required to attend some internal sessions (workshops) which might consist of instrumental master classes, guidance on performance formats, stagecraft, assessment etc. One-to-one tutorials are available with the module leader(s) in order for students to discuss their programmes. Time spent in supporting activities strengthens students' teamwork, and broadens their interpretative flexibility.

Assessment: A Specialist Study Project Proposal incorporating commentary on the previous year's recital video and examiners' feedback to be submitted in the middle of Semester 1 (10%), interim recital, (20% ) and end of year performance of no more than 40 minutes duration, together with appropriate accompanying documentation (programme notes incorporating self-reflection and critical knowledge of observed live performances) (70%).

Outline Of Syllabus

Students prepare two recitals: one 15 minute interim recital (Semester 1) and one 40 minute final recital (Semester 2). Students are supported in this process through consultation with the module leader(s) and a series of 18 one hour one-to-one lessons (or ensemble coaching sessions) with a specialist instrumental or vocal tutor, supplemented by occasional workshops with Heads of Studies and guest tutors. as well as tutorials on Programme Notes, Stagecraft, and Assessment. The module requires approximately 380 hours of private study (individual practice and / or ensemble rehearsal).

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of this module you should have acquired:
1.       knowledge of performance practice issues stemming from the studied repertoire.
2.       knowledge including an appropriate degree of memorisation of the pieces learnt during the year.
3.       awareness of professional performance standards, including programme planning, preparation and the writing of informative and engaging programme notes.
4.       Knowledge of how to apply the established Assessment Criteria to one's own performance and to those of others.

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of this module you should be able to:
1.       design and pursue a year's programme of performance (in conjunction with your tutor)
2.       maintain a professional standard of preparation, practice and research into the chosen field.
3.       think critically and analytically about your chosen pieces, their styles, structures and interpretations
4.       give performances of the highest standard both musically and technically
5.       undertake a large- scale project, with a large degree of independent work.
6.       plan and execute performances that are challenging and of appropriate duration.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture31:003:00Lectures and materials on module function, performance anxiety and programme notes (PIP)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical22:004:00Rehearsals/Performances in student concerts (once per term) (PIP)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical181:0018:001:1 instrumental & vocal lessons (arranged individually with tutor) (PIP)
Guided Independent StudySkills practice1362:00362:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00Workshops on stagecraft and peer assessment (PIP)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00Workshop Yoga (PIP)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery160:308:001:1 tutorials on practice and recital programme preparation (PIP or online)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Individual lessons are the mode for the development of appropriate technical and interpretative skills. Group workshops provide further development of a range of performing, wellbeing, rehearsing and research skills. Individual tutorials provide opportunities for performance feedback and review, as well as programme planning.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Performance151A20Interim Recital (15 minutes, video/remote option available)
Performance402A70Final Recital (35-40 minutes, video/remote option available)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M10Specialist Project Proposal Form (see below)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The summative Specialist Project Proposal, submitted mid-term in Semester 1, will encourage students to reflect critically on the video of their previous year's final recital, and to better understand examiners' marking criteria. It also requires creative research and the formulation of a plan of study leading to two professional level performances. Recitals accessible to the public provide a forum in which to display technical, musical, expressive and presentational skills developed in the course of the module.

The formally- written programme notes (with Bibliography) accompanying your final recital will aid a potential audience and examiners in appreciating your performance and in understanding your choice of repertoire, and will provide a narrative of your development over the year under an appropriately formulated plan of study; these notes may document your working processes in tuition, practice and outside research, and include examples of how your regular participation in student performances and workshops and your active engagement with professional concerts may have impacted on these working processes.

Your tutor's report will be available to the assessment panel for consultation at the time of your end-of-year recital.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes

Music Technicians/ Technical Staff (Fred Hollingworth, Rob Blazey ) required for weekly student performances

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.