Unit of competency details

CUSMPF503A - Perform accompaniment (Release 2)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUAMPF503 - Perform accompanimentUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Minor edits to elements and performance criteria to clarify intent. 14/Jan/2016
Supersedes and is equivalent to CUSMPF14A - Perform accompanimentUnit has been updated and is equivalent to CUSMPF14A. 28/Oct/2010

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
2 (this release) 02/Nov/2011
(View details for release 1) 29/Oct/2010

Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping

Training packages that include this unit


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 perform for audiences as an accompanist. High-level technical skills are required to ensure that the accompaniment matches and complements the performance of solo performers or groups, such as choirs. The ability to collaborate with and support performers during performances is essential.

Application of the Unit

Solo accompanists apply the skills and knowledge outlined in this unit. Piano is the primary instrument for accompaniment, but other instruments can be used depending on the nature of a performance.

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. Prepare to perform accompaniment

1.1 Discuss and confirm artistic vision and expected performance outcomes with appropriate personnel 

1.2 Confirm own status and contribution within the overall concept, ensuring that own artistic and professional integrity are maintained

1.3 Ensure that accompaniment is within own technical and artistic level of ability

1.4 Undertake adequate personal practice to achieve the required standard before combined rehearsal period begins

1.5 Take direction from and maintain support for the principal artists in rehearsals

1.6 Develop and use strategies to overcome the effects of performance anxiety 

2. Provide accompaniment for performers

2.1 Ensure that musical content is appropriate to the instrument, context and standard of performers

2.2 In collaboration with appropriate personnel, apply music knowledge  to adapt music for the content and context of the performance

2.3 Ensure that accompaniment underpins and enhances the performance

2.4 Emphasise elements of the music appropriately for the performance

2.5 Maintain energy levels, concentration and focus throughout the performance

2.6 Ensure that practice and performance sessions allow for reasonable rest breaks appropriate to the performance context

2.7 Ensure that rehearsal and performance conditions are safe and ergonomically adequate for correct posture

3. Provide stimulus and support for performers

3.1 Continuously monitor and adjust to the needs of the performers' own performance

3.2 Ensure that accompaniment complements the inherent qualities of performers and follows the overall performance

3.3 Respond in a sensitive and informed way to the technical demands  of the performance

3.4 Ensure that accompaniment gives clear and accurate guidance to performers as required and is capable of being reproduced exactly

3.5 Listen  and adjust volume of playing to the needs of performers and context of activity throughout the performance

3.6 Maintain balance consistently between performers and accompaniment

4. Interact with performers

4.1 Respond sensitively to performers' emotional state

4.2 Respond sensitively to performers' artistic requirements to ensure planned performance outcomes are achieved

4.3 Adapt accompaniment to particular methods and styles of performers as required to achieve agreed performance outcomes

4.4 Ensure that conduct and appearance are appropriate to the performance context

4.5 Take and give cues reliably, promptly, accurately and sensitively

5. Evaluate performance

5.1 Contribute to evaluation of the performance of performers in a sensitive, constructive and unbiased way

5.2 Evaluate own performance as accompanist and note areas for future improvement

5.3 Seek feedback on own performance from appropriate personnel and incorporate suggestions into overall strategies for improving own accompaniment skills 

Required Skills and Knowledge

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

Required skills 

  • communication and teamwork skills sufficient to:
  • interpret music appropriately for performances
  • collaborate effectively with other artists and technical personnel to achieve planned outcomes
  • work with performers to achieve best performance outcomes
  • listening skills in the context of:
  • demonstrating empathy with performers
  • listening critically to and adjusting own performance to achieve the required sound and to support performers
  • responding to other players and adjusting own performance in ensemble
  • technical and problem-solving skills sufficient to:
  • use a range of instrumental techniques in selected area of specialisation
  • tune instrument to achieve intonation
  • use a variety of rhythms, time signatures, beat patterns and rhythmic styles relevant to specialisation
  • use a variety of scales, chord sequences and music systems in selected area of specialisation
  • learning skills in the context of:
  • using feedback to identify strengths and weaknesses in technique to improve own technical facility
  • extending repertoire knowledge
  • self-management and planning skills sufficient to:
  • plan practice time prior to performance to improve technical facility
  • allow sufficient time for warm-up prior to performances
  • maintain an appropriate standard of personal presentation
  • initiative, enterprise and creativity in the context of:
  • supporting performers to deal with contingencies during performances
  • phrasing and shaping music appropriately
  • understanding and expressing appropriate musical nuance

Required knowledge 

  • music knowledge:
  • repertoire knowledge in selected area of specialisation
  • musical terminology, systems, elements and genres
  • musical styles in selected area of specialisation
  • group and solo performance protocols and customs
  • issues and challenges that arise in the context of performing as an accompanist
  • 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 proficiently as an accompanist before an audience on at least three occasions
  • listen effectively to adjust intonation and nuance in performance
  • apply interpretation and expression skills
  • communicate effectively with others involved in performances.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • access to relevant instruments and equipment
  • opportunities to accompany performers before an audience
  • appropriate venue with adequate space and acoustic qualities for solo performances
  • use of culturally appropriate processes, and techniques appropriate to the language and literacy capacity of the candidate and the work being performed.

Method of assessment 

The following assessment methods are appropriate for this unit:

  • observation or video recordings of the candidate performing accompaniments
  • written or oral questioning on performance strategies as an accompanist
  • discussion of planning for performances
  • relevant samples of artistic work with candidate's evaluation
  • authenticated details of relevant courses or training sessions
  • authenticated details of relevant artistic and/or commercial achievements
  • written or oral questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required knowledge section of this unit
  • case studies and scenarios as a basis for discussion of methods, strategies and other issues involved in being an accompanist.

Guidance information for assessment 

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

  • CUSIND501A Apply music knowledge and artistic judgement
  • CUSMPF401A Rehearse music for group performances
  • CUSMPF410A Perform music from written notation
  • CUSMPF501A Prepare a program for performance
  • CUSMPF506A Develop technical skills and expand repertoire.

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:

  • artists and performers
  • directors
  • composers
  • conductors
  • bandleaders
  • producers
  • promoters
  • mentors.

Strategies to overcome the effects of performance anxiety  may include:

  • focussing on a single element or action at a time
  • relaxation techniques, such as:
  • meditation
  • deep breathing
  • focussing on patterns rather than individual notes
  • warm-up routines.

Music knowledge  may include:

  • repertoire
  • instrument knowledge
  • findings from music analyses and research
  • musical forms, systems, practices and customs
  • music notation
  • interpretation of directions for:
  • instrumentation
  • voicing
  • expression
  • timbre
  • attack
  • pitch
  • tempi
  • dynamics
  • accompaniment protocols
  • rehearsal and performance protocols
  • chord and melodic formulae.

Technical demands  may involve:

  • techniques to control and enhance performance
  • musical elements and techniques appropriate to style of music making
  • technical requirements for ensemble partners
  • technical requirements of relevant instruments.

Listening  may include:

  • tuning instrument
  • accurate intonation and stylistic nuance in performance
  • performance collaboration
  • needs of performers for support
  • pattern and sequence recognition and memory
  • recognising music systems and practices
  • chords and keys in tonal or other musical systems
  • reproducing sequences from memory.

Strategies for improving own accompaniment skills  may include:

  • working with an appropriate tutor and/or coach
  • private practice
  • using opportunities to practise as an accompanist with principle performers in selected area of specialisation
  • participating in relevant groups or associations in selected area of specialisation
  • participating in professional development and other learning opportunities
  • attending master classes
  • attending performances
  • contributing to and participating in festivals and conferences relevant to area of specialisation
  • being involved in a range of music accompaniment activities in selected area of specialisation
  • studying performance techniques in a range of styles in selected area of specialisation
  • listening critically to a wide range of live and recorded music.

Unit Sector(s)

Performing arts - music performance