New wine in old bottles: aligning curricula, pedagogy and assessment through creative practice in classical and contemporary music

Annie Mitchell, Southern Cross University

Document Type Book chapter


New Wine in Old Bottles investigates the alignment of curricula, pedagogy and assessment in the Music Education major of Southern Cross University’s Bachelor of Contemporary Music degree through case studies of five assessment artefacts. Old Bottles refers to classical music theory, aural training, composition, conducting and performance traditions that underpin contemporary music composition, arranging, musicianship, ensemble and educational practices. New Wine is the contemporary repertoire and strategies used to teach these skills, the assessment instruments and processes measuring the acquisition of curriculum learning objectives, and their alignment to national Creative and Performing Arts Threshold Learning Outcomes (CAPA TLOs). Case studies include the composition of a fugue or sonata, orchestration of Arthur’s Theme (Allen, Bacharach, Bayer Sager and Cross, 1989), performance of a fugal arrangement of Eleanor Rigby (McCartney and Lennon, 1966), and performance of a four-part choral arrangement of Angel (McLachlan, 1997). After studying these units, students undertook a school practicum where they applied the knowledge and skills gained from these activities. This chapter addresses the themes of assessment practices in conservatoire settings, assessment artefacts, self- and peer assessment and the alignment of assessment, curricula and pedagogical practices.