FAQ for incoming Bachelor of Music and breadth students in the guitar area
The guitar is an integral part of the MCM Bachelor of Music course. Students outside of the MCM faculty may take guitar ensemble as a breadth subject (audition required) as well as Riffs 1 (Summer semester and Semester 1) and Riffs 2 (Semester 2) which focus on playing the guitar and learning about musical styles for all levels and ability. Staff from the guitar area help to deliver another music breadth subject called Rock Music from Roots to Retro, a lecture based subject exploring guitar based rock styles and idioms, open to both breadth and MCM students.
Please refer to the frequently asked questions for each of these subjects below for more information, including links to the University of Melbourne handbook.
BACHELOR OF MUSIC
A course designed to take students deeply into a study and appreciation of acoustic guitar music and guitar-centred repertoires from around the world. Students will study a program of music tailored to their needs and musical interests, ranging from classical finger-style to steel-string acoustic; Brazilian to Flamenco; contemporary electric guitar to Celtic stylings.
What makes the MCM guitar program unique is the range of specialist guitar teachers available and the breadth of performance and ensemble subjects on offer. Regular guest artists throughout the year enhance and enrich guitar classes and performances. The Guitar Perspectives year-long concert series and annual Winter Celebration festival provide a wide range of concerts and masterclasses from international and Australian guitar virtuosi.
RIFFS GUITAR CULTURES AND PRACTICE
1 AND 2
FAQ for incoming breadth students
For students outside of the MCM faculty, Riffs provides an opportunity to learn about music from around the world through the medium of the guitar, studying history, recording and popular repertoire in lectures. Riffs provides a three dimensional study of music through listening to, reading about, and performing influential and prominent guitar styles. Weekly two hour tutorials are open to all levels of playing where beginner guitar technique is developed, and more experienced players can refine and improve their existing skills.
IS THE SUBJECT OPEN TO BEGINNERS?
There are no prerequisites for this subject. It is open to beginners and more experienced players. All pieces are learnt in ensemble arrangements that range from simple to more advanced parts.
DO I NEED TO BE ABLE TO READ MUSIC?
No, it isn’t necessary to read music for this subject.
WILL I HAVE TO CARRY A GUITAR TO CLASSES?
A nylon string guitar will be provided for your use in tutorials. There is no need to carry a guitar to any classes!
DO I NEED TO BUY A GUITAR? WHAT TYPE AND WHERE CAN I BUY ONE?
You will need a guitar to practice with at home. Either nylon or steel string acoustic guitars are fine, however, nylon string guitars are a little easier to play for beginners. Good local shops are the Guitar Gallery (http://guitargallery.com.au); the Music Swop Shop (http://www.musicswopshop.com.au); or online with Altamira guitars (https://www.altamiraguitars.com.au)
FROM ROOTS TO RETRO
This subject combines Bachelor of Music students of the MCM together with breadth students of the wider university to learn about the antecedents of rock music and the emergence of rock in the mid-60s, and subsequent dominance of popular music in the 1970s. The aesthetic foundations of rock music and culture will be analysed, as well as the music's creation, performance, and modes of consumption. Through weekly lectures and a weekly one hour tutorial, students will discuss and contextualise different styles of rock music from punk, heavy metal and grunge, and more recent recasting or rock idioms.