Unit description

Provides the opportunity for students to develop their directions as contemporary musicians within their chosen studio specialisation through the advanced critique, analysis and application of melodic, harmonic and rhythmic elements of contemporary repertoire and the application of foundational techniques.

Unit content

Topic 1 – Introduction to repertoire

Topic 2 – Technical exercises to establish complex melodic lines and pre-professional harmony (four-note voicings, and arpeggios)

Topic 3 – Scale syllabus from a variety of genres

Topic 4 – Repertoire development Introduction to harmonic progressions and rhythmic technical work

Topic 5 – Scale syllabus from a variety of genres, improvisation (cyclic progressions, creative scale application ‘inside and outside’, rhythmic applications)

Topic 6 – Memorisation, chart interpretation and improvisation over harmonic progressions, stagecraft skills including presentation, band volume, personal dynamics, time management and communication skills

Topic 7 – Scale syllabus from a variety of genres, pre-professional rhythmic techniques related to soloing

Topic 8 – Application of improvisation skills to selected repertoire. Chart reading and technical work and repertoire memorisation

Topic 9 – Continuation of approaches to improvisation and technical application

Topic 10 – Application of rhythmic skills to selected repertoire. Chart reading, technical work and repertoire memorisation

Topic 11 – Application of melodic skills to selected repertoire. Chart reading, technical work and repertoire memorisation

Topic 12 – Exam preparation: Intermediate stagecraft and ensemble leadership skills.

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 1

  • Igoe, T, 2008, Groove Essentials 2.0 – the play along, Hudson Music.
  • Reed, Ted, 2001, Progressive Steps to Syncopation for the Modern Drummer, Alfred Publishing Company.
  • Stone, GL, 2002, Stick Control for the Snare Drummer, Alfred Publishing.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Tutorial on-site 30 minutes (9 per session)
Workshop on-site 1 hour (3 per session)
Workshop on-site 2 hours (12 weeks)
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Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2017 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 1

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.