Breadth options: Glee Singing

As a lot of you have contemplated during your degree: ‘should I take a breadth subject that would help me in the future or take one that’s easy and enjoyable?’

Well, that depends on you.

But for me, I’d take the latter any day.

I took level 2 Glee Singing in semester 2, 2014, because I wanted a break from my biomedical studies and meet some fresh faces. That being said, you can actually take Glee Singing at 3 different levels, each with a variation in assessment shown in the handbook:

MUSI10209 / MUSI20168 / MUSI30233

Most people choose level 2. This is because during your degree, you’re only allowed to complete 10 (125 equivalent full-time study load credit points) level 1 subjects and you’re not required to complete a level 3 breadth.

The subject at a glance

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this subject. It was easy, stress-free and fun. That being said, you sit in parts so you might get separated from your friends.

The only real downside of the subject was that we couldn’t choose which songs to sing. If we could vote for at least one song choice of our own, I would give this subject a 5 out of 5.

Oh, and one more thing – the subject is taught at the Southbank campus, which is a short tram ride down Swanston St.

The classes

The workload involves a 1-hour lecture and a 1.5-hour rehearsal each week.

The series of lectures were quite interesting. We touched on topics of what a glee club was, how the voice worked, vocal health, warming up, song structure, cover songs, performance elements and we studied a few of the songs that we were singing.

These lectures have the audio recorded and the content of the lectures are used in the weekly online multiple choice tests. There are some interesting issues raised in the lectures that you could incorporate into your essays.

The rehearsal was the best part. At the beginning of the class, we would usually spend a good 20 minutes on warm up and perhaps a solid 10 minutes on recording attendance. For the rest of the class, we would sing and listen to other parts.

For our final performance, we sang:

  • All About That Bass (Mehgan Trainor)
  • Firework (Katy Perry)
  • Mad World (Gary Jules cover) / Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder) mashup
  • Born to be wild (Steppenwolf)
  • Royals (Lorde)
  • Sing (Amanda Palmer)
  • Happy (Pharell Williams)


Okay, time to discuss the important part.

Participation (30%) is pretty much graded based on your attendance in rehearsals and your ability to recite one line from a song the lecturer ask to memorise the week before. This is usually done in roll order and you might only need to recite 3 lines during the whole semester because the roll is very long.

The online quiz (30%) is really easy, there are no time limits and you can work through it with friends – the answers are either in the lecture notes, common sense, or you can consult Dr. Google. Just make sure you submit them all before the closing date.

Participation and online quizzes are literally free marks – you can get 60% of your final grade without even writing an essay – that’s a pass! But of course we don’t want to pass, we all want that H1 and all you need is just to pass your essays.

That being said, the essays weren’t marked easily. The learning log (25%) is a 1,000 word essay on what challenges you faced and how you overcame them – pretty much a diary/journal.

The song analysis (15%) is a 500 word essay analysing the societal impact that the song of your choice had. I scored 79/100 and 65/100 for the learning log and song analysis respectively.

I didn’t do level 3 Glee Singing but from my understanding, the research task is a 1,500 word essay on anything to do with music.

A public performance during your last class is a hurdle-requirement. For our one, we were pretty much a ‘pop-up’ choir performing in front of the Victorian College of the Arts, in Southbank.

As a lecturer, Vicky was really bubbly. She would often try to get us involved with her extra-curricular work. She was helping organise the Hear The People Sing event, which was pretty much a flashmob / pop-up choir outside The State Library of Victoria with the Australian cast of Les Misérables making an appearance, and a handful of us from Glee Singing were apart of the video tutorial!

The subject overall was fantastic and saying goodbye to Glee Singing was a bittersweet moment for me.

Anyways, I’ll leave you with links to our public performances:


Editor’s note: The lovely contributor that brought you this post also writes about his road to medicine over on his blog, This is where I biomeditate. Check it out!

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