Australian Vocational Education and Training/CUSMPF101A Develop skills to play or sing music

CUSMPF101A - Develop skills to play or sing music


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to develop elementary skills in tuning, playing and caring for an instrument. This is the first in a series of units dealing with developing technical skills. No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement. People with little or no musical experience apply the skills and knowledge outlined in this unit. Typically they are embarking on a career in singing or playing a specific musical instrument and need close guidance and supervision.



Elements and Performance Criteria


After studying this unit you will be able to:

  • Become familiar with chosen instrument
    • Develop an understanding of how the physical characteristics of instruments and the voice affect the sound they produce in performance
    • Explore the range, capability and sound characteristics of chosen instrument or voice
    • Discuss with colleagues or teachers how the physical relationship between instrument and performer produces the required sound
    • Listen to live or recorded music featuring the chosen instrument or voice and discuss with colleagues and/or teacher how sounds and effects are achieved
    • Use appropriate methods and cleaning products to care for, move and store instrument and accessories
    • Develop listening skills to enable recognition of simple musical elements
    • Set goals for own skill development in consultation with relevant people

  • Prepare to play instrument
    • Set up instrument or warm up voice as required
    • As required, seek assistance from relevant people to tune instrument to the required pitch
    • Apply listening skills in the process of producing a range of notes, rhythms and/or chords
    • Use correct posture to extend technique and to develop healthy performance habits in line with OHS principles

  • Play simple pieces in selected style
    • In consultation with relevant people, select simple pieces and exercises suitable for practice in playing selected repertoire
    • Apply the elements of pitch, rhythm, sound colour and/or volume during practice sessions
    • Experiment with different techniques to develop proficiency in producing the required sound
    • Seek feedback on own skill development from relevant people and evaluate progress against personal goals



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Assignments for this subject would address the following areas:

Required Skills and Knowledge

Required skills
  • communication, teamwork and organisational skills sufficient to:
    • interpret music at a basic level for performance practice
    • respond appropriately to constructive feedback on own performance
    • plan own practice time and setskill-development goals
  • listening skills sufficient to:
    • monitor and adjust intonation as required
    • use appropriate sound and tone production for instrument or voice
    • reproduce basic musical patterns
  • learning skills in the context of:
    • using printed or audio tutoring resources
    • improving skills through practice
  • technical and problem-solving skills sufficient to:
    • use a basic range of techniques on chosen instrument
    • tune instrument to achieve intonation
    • discriminate pitch and/or rhythm
Required knowledge
  • basic understanding of:
    • industry, repertoire and musical terminology
    • acoustic principles relevant to selected instrument
    • instrument parts, applications, range, capabilities, care and maintenance
  • OHS practices, procedures and standards as they apply to performance practice

Key Terms


Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.
Instruments may include:
  • acoustic or electronic
  • brass
  • stringed
  • keyboards
  • wind
  • percussion
  • plucked
  • voice.
Range of an instrument may include:
  • tone colour
  • dynamics and volume
  • sound production
  • pitch, register and tessitura
  • specific effects available using a range of attacks
  • other acoustic or electronic effects.
Capability of an instrument may include:
  • application to a range of music-making activities and outcomes
  • scope and potential for solo or group performance
  • adaptability
  • size of instrument.
Accessories may include:
  • reeds
  • strings
  • bows
  • plectrums
  • mouth pieces
  • mutes
  • sticks, mallets, brushes and beaters
  • stands
  • pedals
  • microphones
  • amplifiers
  • samplers
  • mixers
  • enhancers, such as pitch and tone modulators.
Musical elements include:
  • simple melodies
  • simple rhythms
  • simple musical forms.
Relevant people may include:
  • mentor
  • teacher
  • coach
  • tutor
  • family member.
Tuning an instrument may involve:
  • adjusting:
    • pitch
    • tone colour
    • oral tract, including lip pressure and intensity of breath
    • position of the diaphragm and larynx
    • sound production
    • diameter or other instrumental dimensions, such as: >length of strings >tautness of skins >length of tubing or pipes
    • embouchure
    • settings of the instrument and relevant accessories
  • using:
    • appropriate tuning options
    • tuning keys or other tuning implements, such as tuning forks and electronic tuners
    • pitch pipes
    • electronic pitch or frequency controls
    • other musicians.
OHS principles may include:
  • industry practice and legislation
  • posture
  • appropriate hearing and volume levels for self and others
  • electrical hazards
  • length of performance and practice sessions
  • preventative practice against overuse injury.
Sound colour may involve:
  • physical elements of an instrument
  • instrumental attack and articulation
  • range of accessories
  • interaction between player and instrument
  • performer's physique
  • voice production
  • sound production
  • different instrumental combinations.
Techniques may include:
  • physical coordination in one or more of:
    • bowing
    • tonguing
    • embouchure
    • plucking
    • beating
    • fingering
    • strumming
    • pedalling
  • attack
  • dynamics
  • tempi
  • intonation
  • vocal and instrumental sound production
  • rhythms and rhythm patterns
  • chords and chord patterns
  • melodic patterns
  • playing or singing notes, short tunes and basic scales
  • playing, tapping or clapping rhythms and rhythm patterns
  • playing chords and simple chord patterns.



Assessments should address the following areas:

Evidence Guide

The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.
Overview of assessment
Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit Evidence of the ability to:
  • demonstrate basic physical capacity and coordination required to play or sing simple melodies, chords and rhythm patterns
  • respond appropriately to constructive feedback on own performance.
Context of and specific resources for assessment Assessment must ensure:
  • access to relevant instruments and equipment
  • suitable physical and acoustic environment
  • use of culturally appropriate processes, and techniques appropriate to the language and literacy capacity of learners and the work being performed.
Method of assessment The following assessment methods are appropriate for this unit:
  • direct observation of candidate in practice sessions or performances
  • testimonial from individual tutors
  • video or audio recordings of candidate's performance or practice sessions
  • written or oral questioning to assess knowledge of chosen instrument.
Guidance information for assessment Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:
  • CUSMPF102A Develop ensemble skills to perform simple musical parts.


  • the template for this subject was genreated by NTISthis!