World Music Choir Review

Lucy Q. is in her second year of a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Physiology and Psychology.

Before we begin, there are a few questions you must answer!

Do you love music?

Do you love singing?

Do you want to underload in a semester?

Are you going to be in Melbourne all Summer?

Perhaps a struggling uni student too poor to travel, but yearning to seek adventure in the 3 months of study freedom?

Gif: gifs tumblr

If you answered ‘yes’ to all of the questions above, then World Music Choir is the breadth for you! In addition to being offered in the Summer, it is also available in both semester 1 and 2. Get ready to travel across the world through music with this class, because as the name suggests – it is all about singing music from different areas of the world!

The lecturer Joseph, who also runs and takes all of the rehearsals, is so lovely (and even has his own wiki page, wot). He guides you step by step through the subject, from how and what to sing, to exactly what will be on the tests (there is no exam!).

Contact Hours

Summer Semester

  • 1 x 3 hour rehearsal and 1x 1.5 hour lecture for 6 weeks

Normal Semesters

  • 1 x 2 hour rehearsal and 1×1 hour lecture for 12 weeks

End of course performance

The contact hours are short and sweet, so don’t fear you will be spending your whole summer at uni!


3 hours may seem like a long time to be singing, but the time flies by! Especially if you answered yes to all of the questions above, it’ll just feel like fun! Each rehearsal starts with basic vocal warm ups, and 5 minutes of massaging the person next to you. Yes, free massage time!

A total of 5 songs were learnt:

  • Hallelujah (Canada)
  • Elesa (Traditional West Georgia)
  • An Irish Blessing (Ireland)
  • Sombamba (South Africa)
  • I’ve Got My Mind Set on You (America)

The songs are in a mix of languages, but they are all so fun and catchy which makes learning the lyrics so much easier. At the end of the course, there is a chance to take to the stage and dazzle your friends and family in a performance, at which attendance is expected.


Lectures are important as here is where you find out exactly how to prepare for assessments and what it will be on. Additionally, lectures also gave a nice overview of Joseph’s area of expertise: evolutionary music which includes content about choral singing, traditional polyphony and some music psychology. Lectopia is enabled and no textbook is required.


*Ability to sing well is not a requirement!

  • Participation (40%)
  • One-hour listening test at the end of semester (40%)
  • 2 x 15 minute written tests (10% each = 20%).
  • 100% rehearsal and performance attendance. Less than 80% attendance will result in a fail.

Participation is weighted heavily at 40%, however simply showing up to rehearsals is not enough. To stand out from the crowd you must use every opportunity you have to get noticed, especially volunteering for solo parts. Joseph will take note of your student ID and increase your participation mark.  Genuine enthusiasm, emailing or approaching him with questions can also help you get noticed.

The listening test at the end of the semester weighted at 40% involves hearing pieces of music and being able to recognise its origin and key features. All of the pieces could be tested upon will be played during the lectures. As long as you have revised well, it isn’t too daunting.

The remaining 20% are basically free marks, 2 super simple and super quick quizzes during lecture time and Joseph will teach you exactly how to tackle them. They are so straightforward that not getting full marks is hard!

Overall, the subject was a blast. I found it to be a great way to feel productive in my Summer holiday and having the opportunity to take a subject so different to my usual studies.

Good luck with your endeavours and if you choose this subject, I hope you have fun! Here is a quick look at what you can get up to in the subject, and you can find the subject in the handbook here.

– Lucy

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