Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This practical unit draws together students from different levels of musical experience at pre-tertiary level, and consolidates essential musicianship and technical skills to underpin the input of music to electronic hardware and software via traditional (piano) keyboard. Whether students are experienced keyboard players or beginners, they will develop basic keyboard proficiency in a contemporary music idiom, and begin to develop skills in keyboard improvisation. Because each student will commence at a different level of proficiency, a personalised creative contract will form the basis of both instruction and examination of this keyboard component.

The unit also allows students to develop skills in elements of technical performance skills such as the assembly of various elements of technology for music performance (e.g. microphones, amplifiers, speakers, other electronic components, hardware, software).

This unit prepares students for the next unit in the sequence, MUSC2455 Performance Skills 2.

The corequisite unit MUSC1591 Music Large Ensemble 1 will typically be as a member of the Symphonic Chorus in order to develop awareness and experience in how the human voice can be applied in large ensembles and acoustic circumstances.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 1 core unit in the Music major sequence

Students are able to (1) demonstrate fundamental control of hands and accurate playing of melodies, bass lines, and chords upon the piano keyboard; (2) apply knowledge of traditional and contemporary harmonies to the execution of chords upon the piano keyboard; (3) execute proficiency in simple improvisation; (4) demonstrate proficiency in installing, setting up and operating electronic music hardware; and (5) demonstrate awareness of biomechanical/performance health concepts.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) keyboard exam; (2) technology tests; and (3) online readings, tests, and reflective practice journal. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the keyboard exam component.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Chris Tonkin
Unit rules
successful audition comprising an interview AND either a composition portfolio (any style
or genre, and either written
or sound)
OR a musical performance on the instrument/voice of their choice
MUSC1591 Music Large Ensemble 1 AND enrolled in Bachelor of Music degree
MUSC1401 Practical Studies 1 MUSC1741 Practical Studies A MUSC1341 Principal Studies 1
Contact hours
individual/group lessons: 12 hours per semester

Students are strongly encouraged to procure a simple 61-note electronic (piano) keyboard, digital piano, or piano

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.