Complete Research papers are available through contacting Kitty.

Master of Teaching  - Approaches to teaching music composition in the secondary music classroom

The teaching of composition in the secondary music classroom is promoted through literature and Curriculum for its importance in developing student musicianship and creative thinking (Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority [ACARA], 2015; Guderian, 2012; Green, 2008; Jorgensen, 2008; Wiggins, 2005; Webster, 2003; Paynter & Aston 1970; Schafer, 1965). Concerns regarding pedagogical approach has resulted composition still not being present enough in the classroom  (Hayes & Kwan, 2006).

Introductory methods in teaching primary school students have been discussed in the research of Schafer (1976, 1973, 1969, 1965) to provide accessibility for students with little or no musical background. The research will focus on addressing the secondary music classroom, which includes students of differing abilities and aspirations. 


Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority. (2015). Music: Learning in Music. Retrieved from

Guderian, L. V. (2012). Music improvisation and composition in the general music curriculum. General Music Today25(3), 6-14.

Green, L. (2009). Music, informal learning and the school: A new classroom pedagogy. London: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd..

Jorgensen, E. R. (2008). The art of teaching music. Indiana: Indiana University Press.

Paynter, J., & Aston, P. (1970). Sound and silence. Cambridge University Press.

Schafer, R. M. (1965). The composer in the classroom. Canada: BMI Canada.

Webster, P. R. (2003). Conference Keynotes: Asking music students to reflect on their creative work: encouraging the revision process. Music education research5(3), 243-249.

Wiggins, J. (2005). Fostering Revision and Extension in Student Composing. Music Educators Journal91(3), 35.


Master of Music - The Protagonist in Schubert's Impromptus D.899

Schubert strongly identified his song cycle Winterreise with the Piano Impromptus D.899. Schubert’s physical health was deteriorating in his final two years, and he suffered depression in the lead up to his death. As Bevan suggests, the song cycle similarly reflects Schubert’s state of mind amidst this trauma, and perhaps this music demonstrates Schubert’s fortitude in his suffering.[1]

The protagonist in Winterreise is an outsider, alienated and with no home. “Fremd bin ich eingezogen, Fremd zieh’ ich wieder aus” (A stranger I came, a stranger I depart).[2] He describes his journey with neither origin nor goal, and his heart broken with love’s failure. As his journey continues he becomes isolated from even himself, losing his sense of identity.  As Fisk describes, the protagonist of Winterreise can also be an allegory for the Romantic Artist himself. He suggests Schubert’s feeling of estrangement from him father as a possible source for his identification with the ‘Fremdling’ (outsider) wanderer of the song cycle.[3] Schubert himself was on on a path towards the unknown and death similarly like the Wanderer in the song cycle. Youen supports the idea of Schubert’s identification to Winterreise, describing a diary from Joseph Spaun from 1858, recollecting of not only Schubert’s very own emotional response to the performance of the song cycle but also his avowal of their importance for him.[4] Kindermann suggests that perhaps Schubert’s identification with Winterreise lead him to continue and pursue a salvation denied to the wanderer through his instrumental music.[5] The Impromptu in C minor is reminiscent of the opening song “Gute Nacht” with its walking tempo, one short and one long dotted figure, constant driving motion of repeated melodic notes and turn to major ending. Similarities as such between the works allude to a continuation of a winter’s journey.


[1] Peter Gilroy Bevan, ‘Adversity: Schubert’s illnesses and their background’, in Schubert Studies, ed. Brian Newbould (Brookfield: Ashgate, 1998), 257.

[2] Susan Youens, Retracing a Winter’s Journey: Schubert’s Winterreise (New York: Cornell University Press, 1991), 120.

[3] Fisk, Returning Cycles, 11.

[4] Youens, Retracing a Winter’s Journey, 24-28.

[5] William Kinderman, ‘Wandering Archetypes in Schubert’s Instrumental Music’, 19th-Century Music 21/2 (1997), 211.