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Unit outline_

JAZZ3012: Jazz Small Ensemble 5

Semester 1, 2021 [Normal day] - Sydney

Each ensemble consists of a basic rhythmic section with one or more additional instruments to make up the traditional 'Combo' format. The musical content involves performance of small ensemble works and arrangements including original works by the students themselves in a nominated jazz ensemble. Enrolment is subject to audition, and availability of places.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Jazz
Credit points 3
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator David Theak,
Lecturer(s) Andrew Dickeson,
Carl Dewhurst,
Craig Scott,
Judy Bailey,
Phillip Slater,
Darren Heinrich,
James Greening,
Hannah James,
Matthew McMahon,
Warwick Alder,
Steve Brien,
Steve Barry,
Cameron Undy,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Small continuous assessment Small ensemble participation and professionalism
30% Ongoing n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Participation Small ensemble artistry
Participation, skills-based assessment
30% Ongoing n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Skills-based evaluation Small ensemble arrangements
20% Week 04 5 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Skills-based evaluation Small ensemble arrangement 2
20% Week 08 5 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3

Assessment summary

  • Attendance ensembles: Students are expected to attend every rehearsal
  • Small ensemble arrangements:
    1. Fully Arranged Chart: The student must compose and/or arrange a complete work for the instrumentation of the ensemble. These completed charts must be presented and copied to a professional standard ie the work must be able to be performed and rehearsed in the composer's absence. These charts, at a minimum, should contain introductions, voiced head, background figures and more than a basic head/solo/head structure. These charts arrangements can be refined over the course of the semester, however, the initial presentation must be of the level mentioned and any revisions should be fully copied in preparation for the next week's class.
    2. Conceptual chart: The student must bring in transposed lead sheets and have a strong concept of how the composition is to evolve. Through detailed discussion with the ensemble and lecturer, the piece should take approx. 50 - 60mins to shape into a performable work. Although these concepts can be refined throughout the course of the semesters, a final fully notated version of these conceptual works must be notated as per the requirement in (a) no later than the final performance.
  • Professionalism: Candidates must behave in a professional manner. This includes attending rehearsals as per conservatorium guidelines and having your music properly prepared i.e. charts, taped, transposed, clearly copied and being ready to perform. If a member of the ensemble cannot make a rehearsal they must organise a deputy of a similar standard to attend the rehearsal on their behalf. It is common professional practice to notify the bandleader (in this case lecturer) of your absence and agree on a suitable deputy before the deputy is booked
  • Ensemble artistry: The candidate's ensemble skills will be assessed throughout the semester. Blending, accompaniment, time feel, sound, pitch, overall ensemble conception, playing for the group's interests, artistic input are some of the factors assessed
  • Punctuality: Be ready to make music at the allotted time. To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, and to be late is inexcusable.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The following assessment criteria are used for performance work in this unit of study:

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Comprehensive and outstanding technical control and musical integrity in relation to developmental expectations. Musical individuality consistently projected to create a persuasive personal representation of the work. Performance flair indicative of soloist standard. A mark of 95 or above indicates extraordinary technical virtuosity and musical artistry.


75 - 84

Excellent technical, musical and stylistic achievement. Consistently coherent and expressive performance. Some personal interpretation of the work suggesting soloist potential. 


65 - 74

Confident technique with evidence of solid musicality and some stylistic achievement. Occasional lapses indicative of unresolved technical, artistic and/or stylistic issues. Projects potential for further development.


50 - 64

Satisfactory level of preparation and musical engagement. Some inconsistencies in musicianship, style and/or technique. Musical imagination and overall performance sense developing though some insecurity in this area.


0 - 49

Unsatisfactory technical achievement and/or unsatisfactory level of musical and artistic engagement. Limitations may be of such a scale and consistency as to call into question the student’s future direction in the programme.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Weekly Small ensemble rehearsal Online class (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: Students are expected to attend a minimum of 90% of timetabled activities for a unit of study, unless granted exemption by the Dean, Head of School or professor most concerned. The Dean, Head of School or professor most concerned may determine that a student fails a unit of study because of inadequate attendance. Alternatively, at their discretion, they may set additional assessment items where attendance is lower than 90%.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 3 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 60-75 hours of student effort in total.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate a knowledge of jazz performance practice in small jazz ensembles
  • LO2. competently perform in jazz ensembles at the Conservatorium and in the wider jazz community
  • LO3. lead an ensemble, write arrangements for an ensemble, perform in an ensemble as both a section player and a soloist and be fully conversant with a wide variety of jazz performance situations.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

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