Aural Studies 1 was reviewed by Jake Farquharson. He is currently a 2nd year music student. He plays the clarinet and is thinking of doing a Musicology major, and going on to study a Master of International Relations.
When was the subject taken?
Semester 1 and 2, 2012 (Year long subject)
What topics were covered in the subject?
You get to sing and clap. You also extend upon the aural skills that you may or may not have developed in high school, looking at stuff like interval and chord recognition. The subject is divided up into four ‘streams’ in order of difficulty, and you would have already been sorted (with or without a sorting hat) if you’re studying this subject.
What textbooks/workbooks were required for the subject?
The textbooks are called “Aural Training for Musicians and Music Students”, and they come in a ‘set’ of sorts. You only have to buy the one that corresponds to the level you are currently studying, though. They’re very useful, because you use them in class, and the assessment items are all in there.
What type of assessments were they?
You get to sing and clap in front of the teacher, or in front of the whole class if you want to. You also get a spot test that tests you on the aural skills you have been learning in class, but that’s not until later on in the semester. You also have an exam where you go in and sight-read a singing and clapping exercise in front of the teacher, and you have a written exam that is similar to the spot test you’ll do in class. It’s a year-long subject, so there’s plenty of time to improve if you have any areas you aren’t confident with!
Were the lectures/tutorials recorded when you did the subject?
The lectures aren’t recorded, but attendance is. The lectures are quite entertaining, because you do lots of group singing and clapping exercises. The tutorials aren’t recorded either, but if you miss a tutorial, you can go to another one of the same level to catch up (I think…) I don’t think there’s an attendance requirement, but your attendance might be looked at if you are struggling with the subject.
How did you find the subject? Did you enjoy it?
Overall, I’d say I enjoyed this subject. After all, what other subject lets you clap and sing as assessment items? It was hard at the beginning because I had never sung before, but I feel it was all worthwhile at the end. If you can’t sing, don’t give up! If you practice it, you’ll get there in the end :)
Jake rates the subject: 4 out of 5
Handbook link: http://go.unimelb.edu.au/4epn