Associate Degree

of Music

Awarded as part of the Bachelor of Music

Awarded as part of the Bachelor of Music

   COURSE SUMMARY
   Qualification / Award MU04 Associate Degree of Music
   Course Duration 2 years full-time / 4 years part-time
   Credit Points 96 credit points
   Delivery On Campus
   Available to Domestic (FEE-HELP available)/International
   ATAR N/A
   IELTS 6.0 with no band less than 6.0
   CRICOS Code 075645J
  Financial Information  Course Fees Page
   AQF Level 6
   Key Dates Application Deadlines and other Key Course Dates
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The Associate Degree of Music, nested within the Bachelor of Music, caters for students who wish to develop their technical, artistic and analytical skills without concentrating on high-level performance. The course aims to produce well-rounded musicians who can apply their skills in diverse areas, including community, regional, youth and church ensembles.

The course features private tuition with industry experts for voice and instrument studies and extensive performance and studio experience. Offering multiple performance genres, regular performance opportunities and a strong project emphasis, the Bachelor of Music is an industry-standard degree for aspiring musicians.

Classical
This course provides musicians with the high level training in performance, musicianship, ensemble work, musicality and breadth of musical knowledge required for a life in classical music. Students are exposed to a wide range of music across history as well as one-on-one tuition with exceptional tutors on their instrument.

Contemporary
This course prepares musicians for a career in the ever-changing world of contemporary music. Artistic, technical, practical and musicianship skills are honed to create a well-rounded musician prepared for the diverse work lives led by industry professionals.

Jazz
This course offers multiple experiences in improvisation, ensemble work, arrangement and performance designed to prepare students for the highly skilled world of jazz musicianship. Students are encouraged to partake in multiple performance opportunities and workshops to help them think on their feet and engage with the jazz ethos.   


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Australian Applicants with recent Secondary Education (School Leavers)

Educational Prerequisites 

  • NSW higher School Certificate or its interstate or overseas equivalent, or
  • Attainment of tertiary qualification, or satisfactory completion of at least one year‚Äôs full-time load in a tertiary course.

Artistic and Academic Skill Assessment

  • Audition: Applicant should prepare to present (2) pieces demonstrating their skill on their major instrument (including voice).
  • Interview: conducted concurrently with the audition. Applicants will discuss their previous musical experience, personal motivation and aspirations.
  • Musical knowledge: In the audition students will be assessed on their current musical knowledge and this will determine whether they go into a beginner or advanced stream in theory units.

International Student

In addition to meeting the educational, artistic and academic prerequisites above international applicants who have not completed an educational qualification in English have to provide proof of proficiency in English through internationally recognised tests such as IELTS or TOEFL, or through satisfactory completion of an approved course at one of the College’s partner language colleges.


  Examination Minimum Score 
   IELTS 6.0 with no band less than 6.0
  TOEFL iBT (Internet-based) 60* with no score less than 60
  PTE Academic 50 with no score less than 43

For other other ways of demonstrating English Language Proficiency visit the English Language Proficiency Requirements page.

Overseas students applying for admission to Excelsia College courses must have reached the age of 18 years by the commencement of their studies.  Excelsia College will not admit overseas students who have not yet reached 18 years of age.

Visit the International Student page


Applicants with work and life experience

Applicants must demonstrate that they have been involved in some form of high level music making for at least 3 years. This could include professional music making, community music making, worship leading.

  • Audition: Applicant should prepare to present (2) pieces demonstrating their skill on their major instrument (including voice).
  • Interview: conducted concurrently with the audition. Applicants will discuss their previous musical experience, personal motivation and aspirations.
  • Musical knowledge: In the audition students will be assessed on their current musical knowledge and this will determine whether they go into a beginner or advanced stream in theory units.

Applicants with Higher Education

Artistic and Academic Skill Assessment

  • Audition: Applicant should prepare to present (2) pieces demonstrating their skill on their major instrument (including voice).
  • Interview: conducted concurrently with the audition. Applicants will discuss their previous musical experience, personal motivation and aspirations.
  • Musical knowledge: In the audition students will be assessed on their current musical knowledge and this will determine whether they go into a beginner or advanced stream in theory units.

Applicants with VET or TAFE studies

Artistic and Academic Skill Assessment

  • Audition: Applicant should prepare to present (2) pieces demonstrating their skill on their major instrument (including voice).
  • Interview: conducted concurrently with the audition. Applicants will discuss their previous musical experience, personal motivation and aspirations.
  • Musical knowledge: In the audition students will be assessed on their current musical knowledge and this will determine whether they go into a beginner or advanced stream in theory units.

CREDIT AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING (RPL)

If the applicant is successful they will be issued an offer letter and a written agreement. Students will need to respond to the offer within 6 weeks. This is done online and a confirmation will be emailed back to the applicant. At this point, applicants are welcome to apply for Credit or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). If you are eligible for credit or RPL, you may be exempt from completing some units and you may be able to finish your degree in a shorter amount of time.

Please refer to the Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy reference.


Download the Student Selection and Admissions Policy and Procedure.

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The Associate Degree of Music is predicated on the understanding that para-professional musicians will commonly engage in ‚Äėportfolio‚Äô careers requiring versatile, flexible and adaptable skills including performing, composing, arranging, producing, directing, and teaching. Using these skills (and, in some cases, with further study) our current graduates have secured, and future graduates are expected to secure, employment as:

  1. Performers (accompanists, band members, session musicians)
  2. Composers and arrangers
  3. Arts administrators, promoters, fundraisers and event planners
  4. Audio engineers (studio and live sound)
  5. Private teachers

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Course Units

SEMESTER ONE

The Performance sequence of units is a degree-long study of the student’s major instrument (including voice), comprising a weekly one-hour individual lesson with a specialist tutor and a performance workshop.  The tutor works with the student to develop and refine technical and interpretive skills and build a suitable repertoire.  Tuition is offered in voice, studio guitar and all orchestral instruments.  The performance workshop addresses all aspects of performing.  As well as hosting a forum to discuss performance issues, it provides students with the opportunity to perform for fellow students and faculty of the School of Music; receive feedback from tutors and visiting musicians; evaluate the performances of their peers; and participate in production roles.  In Performance I students commence the journey towards mastery of their instrument and confidence in performance.

Large Ensemble I (Choral) is the first of a series of six Large Ensemble Studies units providing rehearsal and performance experience in a large choral group.  It enables students to develop their skills in pitch, rhythm, sight-singing and score-reading while studying a variety of vocal ensemble elements, such as intonation, choral blending, balance and contemporary techniques.  All students participate in the first two semesters of choral studies before choosing whether to continue in the choral sequence, or stream into the Large Ensemble (Orchestral) sequence for the remainder of their degree.

The series of small ensemble units is designed to maximise skill outcomes in all aspects of small ensemble performance skills in a choice of classical, vocal, jazz, rock, world music, contemporary and worship ensembles.

The emphasis in Aural Perception I is on initial skill development. Students will work on dictation and Solfège exercises using basic diatonic pitch (melodic and harmonic) materials in major and minor keys, and rhythms using beat and pulse values in simple and compound meters; that is, materials common in 17th and 18th century art music (and much folk and 20th century popular music)

The Early Music History sequence of units surveys music style throughout history, from ancient to classical and contemporary, assisting students to examine musical development

Functional Keyboard equips students with the basic practical keyboard skills needed to support their musical development. Aspects including technical work, sight-reading, accompaniment, transposition, improvisation, figured-bass reading and harmony over basic chord charts are covered in this study.

The formation units of study recognise that the spiritual, emotional and professional development of a person are closely interlinked, and that wellbeing and development of mature identity relies on the integration of character, values and ethics in the professional context, as well as application of one’s worldview and cultural inheritance in the social and cultural context in which one lives and works.

SEMESTER TWO

This unit is the second in a sequence of six units of study in the students‚Äô principal instrument or voice. The sequence as a whole is designed to maximise skill outcomes in all aspects of instrumental/vocal performance. Performance II consists of two components which operate concurrently and sympathetically ‚Äď a weekly one-hour individual tuition session with a specialist tutor, and a weekly 2.5 hour performance workshop class

Large Ensemble II (Choral) is the second of a series of six Large Ensemble Studies units providing rehearsal and performance experience in a large choral group.  Via participation in the Excelsia College Choir, students will further develop their vocal skills in the areas of intonation, rhythm, sight-singing, score-reading and contemporary choral techniques in rehearsal and performance situations.  At the end of this unit students choose whether to continue in the choral sequence, or stream into the Large Ensemble (Orchestral) sequence for the remainder of their degree.

In the Aural Perception II course unit, students will continue to develop their aural skills. Dictation and Solfège exercises will address more complex diatonic pitch (melodic, harmonic and 18th century contrapuntal) materials in Major and minor keys and more complex rhythmic divisions in simple and compound meters.

The Music History sequence of units surveys music style throughout history, from ancient to classical and contemporary, assisting students to examine musical development.

In this unit students will continue to develop their understanding of diatonic harmony by exploring more complex diatonic harmonic vocabulary and by studying sequences, controlled dissonance, basic principles of 16th century counterpoint and simple modulation.

Performing musicians require an operational understanding of a live performance space. Musicians in all genres require a foundational understanding, together with a working knowledge, of digital audio technology.

This unit aims to provide students with analytical tools, and an overview of spiritually and culturally diverse worldviews, and the relationship between Christianity and Western culture, to facilitate students’ critically informed engagement with contemporary thought that influences Australian culture, professional codes of conduct, educational frameworks, and relevant social issues. Students will develop their written and verbal communication skills for respectful dialogue and self-directed questing, and basic competence with Biblical materials and Christian values relevant to personal life and creating culture.

SEMESTER ONE

This unit is the third in a sequence of six units of study in the students‚Äô principal instrument or voice. The sequence as a whole is designed to maximise skill outcomes in all aspects of instrumental/vocal performance. Performance III consists of two components which operate concurrently and sympathetically ‚Äď a weekly one-hour individual tuition session with a specialist tutor, and a weekly 2.5 hour performance workshop class. These two components combine to inform and develop each student‚Äôs instrumental/vocal technique, appropriate interpretation, style, performance etiquette, recital practice, stage presence, concert production skills (direction, performer introduction, stage management, audio and lighting), peer and concert evaluation, self-critique and responses to professional input/assessment.

As the third unit in the Performance sequence, Performance III continues the development of the fundamental performance skills laid down in Performance I and Performance II, skills which are further developed in subsequent units.

From Large Ensemble III, students choose to take one of three Large Ensemble strands: choral, orchestral or instrumental/Big Band.  In each strand the learning and performance of a range of repertoire enables students to increase their musicality and hone their rehearsal and performance skills.

The Small Ensemble range of units enables students to develop their technical, musical and communication skills in various chamber music genres, including vocal, rock, jazz, instrumental, ethnic and contemporary Christian.  Weekly rehearsals encourage the development of teamwork in the ensemble through the regular discussion of such issues as intonation, balance, phrasing and interpretation.  In Small Ensemble I, students prepare works for two performances during regular supervised rehearsals.

In the Aural Perception III unit, students will build upon the skills developed in the Aural Perception I and Aural Perception II units, addressing yet more complex pitch and rhythmic materials. Students are encouraged when undertaking private Solfège work to accompany themselves at a keyboard instrument, and to apply the ideas and procedures studied in class to their own musical pursuits.

In a digital age, it is essential that students have a good working knowledge of ways in which music is produced digitally. This unit gives them a grounding in this by covering three important elements: digital notation programs (Sibelius and similar notation programs), digital audio workstations (Logic and similar DAW programs) and the use of MIDI.

In this unit students will continue to develop their understanding of diatonic harmony by exploring more complex diatonic harmonic vocabulary and by studying sequences, controlled dissonance, basic principles of 16th century counterpoint and simple modulation.

SEMESTER TWO

This unit is the fourth in a sequence of six units of study in the students‚Äô principal instrument or voice. The sequence as a whole is designed to maximise skill outcomes in all aspects of instrumental/vocal performance. Performance IV consists of two components which operate concurrently and sympathetically ‚Äď a weekly one-hour individual tuition session with a specialist tutor, and a weekly 2.5 hour performance workshop class. These two components combine to inform and develop each student‚Äôs instrumental/vocal technique, appropriate interpretation, style, performance etiquette, recital practice, stage presence, concert production skills (direction, performer introduction, stage management, audio and lighting), peer and concert evaluation, self-critique and responses to professional input/assessment.

As the fourth unit in the Performance sequence, Performance IV continues the development of the fundamental performance skills laid down in Performance I, Performance II and Performance III, skills which are further developed in subsequent units.

Large Ensemble IV is offered in three strands: choral, orchestral or instrumental (Big Band). Through weekly tutorials, students become familiar with and prepare for performance a range of repertoire.

Students in each strand are exposed to a broad range of music from a variety of genres and periods.  Students develop insight into composers, repertoire, and styles of performance relevant to the repertoire chosen.  They also increase their understanding of methods, processes and techniques for the effective conduct of rehearsals. Weekly tutorials allow for sectional and tutti work, detailed technical study, and individual and group assessment.  Regular performances (at least three during the semester) may require additional rehearsals.

In Aural Perception IV, the final unit in the sequence of Aural Perception units, students will consolidate the skills developed in prior semesters in working with diatonic pitch materials and standard rhythmic materials. This work forms the foundation for an exploration of the most common chromatic pitch materials and modulations, characteristic of much 19th century art music, as well as rhythms in mixed meters.

The Music History sequence of units surveys music style throughout history, from ancient to classical and contemporary, assisting students to examine musical development.

The skills and understandings of arranging and composing for contemporary popular, classical and jazz ensembles expand students’ ability to create music or arrange existing materials into a variety of suitable configurations. Appropriate instrumental voicings, harmonic understandings and proper preparation of score and parts using notation software are the primary learning goals.

While Formation I and II are mostly outward-looking at society and culture ‚ÄĒ the place of the student in community, Formation III and IV (Designing My Creative Career) are more inward-looking at resilience,¬† ethics, character formation and vocational calling, including professional preparation. The units are concerned with individual formation and responding to contemporary challenges in alignment, in particular, with the graduate attribute of Excelsia College.

This unit seeks to provide students with the tools necessary for sympathetic engagement with the New Testament. The unit begins with a discussion of general strategies for reading biblical literature. After a brief survey of the historical context of the New Testament, a survey is given of the four gospels and Acts. The unit then moves to the letters of Paul, the general letters, and the book of Revelation. At various points the unit specifically examines the way the biblical text has influenced Western culture in general, and has specifically influenced key cultural artefacts (films, literature, art, etc).

In the Second Instrument Study sequence of units, students have the opportunity to study an instrument / voice other than their major study area of focus.

Song Writing builds on two semesters of harmony and one semester of arranging, to focus more specifically on contemporary song writing. It is intended to be a general course on song writing, designed to build on the study of harmonic techniques as well as techniques in arrangement, to equip students with the tools needed to create their own songs in a chosen genre.

The series of small ensemble units is designed to maximise skill outcomes in all aspects of small ensemble performance skills in a choice of classical, vocal, jazz, rock, world music, contemporary and worship ensembles.

This unit provides students a broad insight into the music industries with a focus on encouraging students to consider a number of professional occupations and possible career trajectories within these industries.

The unit aims to develop students’ ability to articulate and teach their specialist musical knowledge to learners in a sympathetic, coherent and knowledgeable manner. In doing so, the unit incorporates creative approaches to teaching for a range of learning abilities and styles, underpinned by flexible methods, and with reference to new and professional research regarding teaching practice in music. The unit also pays particular attention to the building of repertoire knowledge for a diverse variety of clients, ensembles, styles and environments.

The Music History sequence of units surveys music style throughout history, from ancient to classical and contemporary, assisting students to examine musical development.

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  Applicant background
2019 Semester 2
Number of Students  Percentage of  all students
 (A) Past higher education study
(includes a bridging or enabling course)
1 33%
  (B) Past vocational education and training (VET) study 0 0%
 (C) Work and life experience
(Admitted on the basis of previous achievement not in the other three  categories)
0 0%
 (D) Recent secondary education:

  • Admitted solely on the basis of ATAR(regardless of whether this includes the impact of adjustment factors such as equity or subject bonus points)
0 0%
  • Admitted where both ATAR and additional criteria were considered (e.g. portfolio, audition, extra test, early offer conditional on minimum ATAR)
0 0%
  • Admitted on the basis of other criteria only and ATAR was not a factor (e.g. special consideration, audition alone, schools recommendation with no minimum ATAR)
0 0%
    International students 2 66%
    All students 3 100%
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