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MUS3018 : Minor Specialist Study: Performance

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Larry Zazzo
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


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,. 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%), and end of year performance of 25 minutes duration, together with appropriate accompanying documentation (programme notes incorporating self-reflection and critical knowledge of observed live performances and teacher's report) (90%).

Outline Of Syllabus

In addition to a Specialist Project Proposal, students prepare two recitals: one 15 minute interim recital (Semester 1 – formative/advisory mark only) and one 25 minute final recital (Semester 2-summative mark). Students are supported in this process through consultation with the module leader(s) and a series of 12 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 170 hours of private study (individual practice and / or ensemble rehearsal), and students will be asked to perform two times in the weekly Student Performances during teaching weeks.

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 ActivitiesPractical121:0012:001:1 instrumental & vocal lessons (arranged individually with tutor) (PIP)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical22:004:00Rehearsals/Performances. Participation in student concerts (once per term) (PIP)
Guided Independent StudySkills practice1166:00166:00individual practice, research, and self-reflective writing
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00Workshops on stagecraft and peer assessment (PIP)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork81:008:00Attendance and participation via weekly Canvas Discussion Boards with live, weekly professional lunchtime concerts (PIP, minimum 4 per term--but students are encouraged to attend ALL weekly lunchtime concerts)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery60:303:001:1 tutorials on practice and recital programme preparation (PIP or remote)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

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

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Performance252A90Final Recital (live, open to public). 25 minutes (please see below Assessment Rationale for defined potential recital length penalties). To be accompanied by programme notes.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M10Specialist Project Proposal Form (see below)
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Performance1AInterim recital (15 minutes)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The summative Specialist Project Proposal 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.

In accordance with practice at UK conservatories, the Dean has approved the use of fixed penalties in marking for recital length underruns and overruns, as follows:
1.Recitals that over-run by more than 10% will lose 3 points off their final mark and will be stopped in order to try and keep to the published schedule.
2.Recitals that under-run by more than 10% but less than 20% will lose 3 points off their mark.
3.Recitals that under-run by 20% or more will lose 10 points off their mark.

Reading Lists