Unit of competency details

CUSMPF408A - Develop performance techniques on a second instrument (Release 2)


ReleaseStatusRelease date
2 (this release)Current 02/Nov/2011
(View details for release 1) Replaced29/Oct/2010

Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUAMPF408 - Develop performance techniques on a second instrumentUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Minor edits to performance criteria to clarify intent. 14/Jan/2016


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100101 Music  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100101 Music  29/Oct/2010 
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Modification History



Release 2

Created to fix formatting errors only.

Released with CUS09 Music Training Package version 1.2

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to develop performance techniques on an instrument other than the primary instrument. While techniques for playing instruments may be completely different, the underpinning music knowledge that needs to be applied in performance remains the same.

Application of the Unit

Proficiency in a second instrument provides musicians with the flexibility to play in different combinations and allows a band or ensemble to extend the range of its repertoire.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


Not applicable

Employability Skills Information

Not applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Explore the range of the second instrument

1.1 In consultation with appropriate personnel , compare features and characteristics of second instrument  with those of primary instrument

1.2 Plan development of performance technique in a way that builds on existing techniques  and skills that can be applied to mastering the second instrument

1.3 Develop control of the range and scope  of instrument and apply to performance

1.4 Explore capability  of instrument in line with repertoire  requirements

2. Maintain and care for the instrument

2.1 Use appropriate methods to care for, move, use and store the instrument securely

2.2 Set up and/or warm up the instrument in preparation for practice and performance

2.3 Use instrumental accessories , fittings, maintenance and cleaning products to care for the instrument and enhance performance outcomes

2.4 Tune  the instrument appropriately to the required standard and tuning conventions

3. Use practice time to develop performance technique

3.1 In consultation with appropriate personnel, plan practice sessions aimed at developing techniques and overcoming technical challenges

3.2 Apply music knowledge  to facilitate development of performance technique

3.3 Systemically practise pieces using exercises  that develop technical fluency in identified areas of weakness

3.4 Plan repertoire to advance performance skills

3.5 Use good posture and appropriate finger, hand and/or body positions to maintain technical facility and healthy performance habits

3.6 Seek feedback on own skill development from appropriate personnel and adjust focus of practice sessions as required

4. Perform pieces

4.1 Use activities and physical exercises to play pieces from a range of repertoire

4.2 Perform all work following agreed tempi and musical markings where relevant

4.3 Use appropriate techniques to achieve sound control, accurate intonation, and variations in sound and tone as required

5. Evaluate own performance

5.1 Listen to the work of other musicians to set performance goals and evaluate own performance against those goals

5.2 Act on constructive feedback from relevant personnel on own performance and level of skill development

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication, teamwork and organisational skills sufficient to:
  • interpret music appropriately for performance practice
  • respond appropriately to constructive feedback on own performance
  • discuss characteristics of different instruments in the context of developing performance technique on a second instrument
  • self-management and planning skills sufficient to:
  • plan own practice time
  • setskill-development goals
  • identify areas of weakness and plan practice accordingly
  • listening skills sufficient to:
  • monitor and adjust intonation as required
  • recognise intervals, chords, scales and chord progressions in selected area of specialisation
  • use appropriate sound and tone production for instrument
  • produce a controlled sound with variations in tone as required
  • initiative and enterprise skills in the context of producing sounds in a range of ways appropriate to selected musical style and repertoire
  • learning skills in the context of:
  • improving music performance skills and expression through practice
  • applying relevant existing skills and knowledge to the task of developing performance technique on a second instrument
  • technical and problem-solving skills sufficient to:
  • use a range of instrumental techniques
  • tune instrument to achieve intonation
  • use a variety of rhythms and rhythmic styles relevant to specialisation

Required knowledge 

  • sound understanding of:
  • industry, repertoire and musical terminology
  • acoustic principles relevant to selected instrument and area of specialisation
  • instrument parts, applications, range, capabilities, care and maintenance
  • issues and challenges that arise in the context of developing performance technique on a second instrument
  • OHS principles as they apply to performing:
  • relevant legislation
  • policies and best practice relevant to particular performance contexts
  • preventative practice against overuse injury and hearing damage
  • correct posture

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:

  • perform at least three pieces that demonstrate an ability to achieve the required sound on an instrument other than the primary one
  • use aural discrimination to monitor and adjust own performance to achieve the required sound
  • learn and practise to improve own performance
  • respond positively to constructive feedback on own performance.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to relevant instrument and equipment
  • access to suitable acoustic space
  • 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:

  • observation of practice or performance sessions where the candidate is playing an instrument other than the primary one
  • written or oral questioning on technical development strategies, planning and goals with respect to developing performance technique on a second instrument
  • video and/or audio recordings of performances or practice sessions where the candidate is playing an instrument other than the primary one
  • self-evaluation sheets
  • samples of work plans for private practice sessions
  • case studies and scenarios as a basis to discuss issues and challenges that arise in the context of developing performance technique on a second instrument.

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • CUSMPF302A Prepare for performances
  • CUSMPF401A Rehearse music for group performances
  • CUSMPF402A Develop and maintain stagecraft skills
  • CUSMPF403A Develop repertoire as part of a backup group
  • CUSMPF404A Perform music as part of a group.

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.

Appropriate personnel  may include:

  • musical director
  • performer
  • mentor
  • teacher
  • coach
  • tutor
  • conductor
  • sound engineer.

Instruments  may include:

  • acoustic or electronic instruments
  • voice
  • stringed
  • keyboards
  • wind
  • percussion
  • brass
  • plucked.

Techniques  may include:

  • bowing
  • embouchure
  • plucking and picking
  • fingering
  • pedalling
  • drumming
  • physical coordination
  • ability to play rhythms and rhythm patterns
  • ability to play chords and chord patterns
  • ability to reproduce pieces from written notation, chord charts and/or aural memory and imitation.

Range and scope  of instruments may include:

  • tone colour
  • articulation
  • physical attributes and components
  • control and contrast
  • sound production
  • dynamics and volume
  • 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 in selected area of specialisation
  • scope and potential for solo or group performance in selected area of specialisation
  • adaptability
  • size of instrument
  • history in performance and customs of established performance tradition.

Repertoire  may include:

  • pieces appropriate to the selected instrument
  • improvisations on rhythmic, harmonic or melodic structures
  • songs and tunes
  • traditional patterns
  • own original work.

Accessories  may include:

  • reeds
  • strings
  • plectrums
  • mouth pieces
  • sticks, mallets, brushes and beaters
  • stands
  • pedals
  • microphones
  • amplifiers
  • samplers
  • mixers
  • enhancers.

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.

Music knowledge  may include:

  • repertoire
  • instruments
  • music analyses and research in selected area of specialisation
  • musical forms, systems, practices and customs
  • reading and writing music using written music, sheet music and chord charts
  • interpretation of directions for:
  • instrumentation
  • voicing
  • expression
  • timbre
  • attack
  • pitch
  • tempi
  • dynamics
  • solo and ensemble protocols for rehearsals and performances
  • improvisation in performance using aural cues only
  • chord and melodic formulae.

Exercises  may include:

  • scales
  • arpeggios
  • range of triads, chords or rhythms
  • breathing exercises to achieve good breath control and tone colour
  • bowing techniques to increase fluency, variety and coordination
  • embouchure to achieve correct tone production and a well-centred sound
  • fingering patterns with appropriate phrasing, articulation and dynamics
  • hand and foot patterns
  • plucking and picking patterns and exercises
  • drumming exercises with hands, mallets and beaters
  • pedalling.

Unit Sector(s)

Performing arts - music performance

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