University of Technology Sydney

026412 Music Moves

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Education: Initial Teacher Education
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade, no marks


This subject explores musical 'knowing' through the moving body – an embodied cognition approach. Through the development of movement and dance skills, students are provided with ways of demonstrating their musical understanding in response to a range of repertoire, including works by Australian composers, and students' own compositions. Literature, stories, dance and art works combine to develop rich scenarios for interpretation of musical ideas. Insights into musical learning through an embodied approach are analysed through neuroscientific and psychological research.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Develop movement and dance skills to demonstrate musical understanding; (GTS 2.1)
b. Analyse literature that supports an embodied approach to learning about music; (GTS 1.2)
c. Design and choreograph movement composition to reflect thematic stimulus; (GTS 2.1)
d. Identify and apply contemporary Australian art music or devise own composition to relate to the movement composition and thematic stimulus; (GTS 2.1)
e. Apply effective communication, with use of appropriate language, to describe composition process. (GTS 3.5)

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject engages with the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs), which are tailored to the Graduate Attributes set for all graduates of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

  • Employ contemporary technologies effectively for diverse purposes (GTS 2, 4) (1.5)
  • Analyse and synthesise research and engage in inquiry (GTS 3) (2.1)
  • Communicate effectively using diverse modes and technologies (GTS 2, 3, 4) (6.1)

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

The subject addresses the following course intended learning objectives:

1. Professional Readiness
1.4 Act as a developer of learning with colleagues and possess collaborative skills (GTS 7)

2. Critical and Creative Inquiry
2.1 Analyse and synthesise research and engage in inquiry (GTS 3)
2.2 Make well-informed contributions to contemporary debates pertinent to education (GTS 3)

6. Effective Communication
6.1 Communicate effectively using diverse modes and technologies (GTS 2, 3, 4)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject includes structured workshops, active movement and music skill development, collaborative and individual creative composition activities, individual research and engagement in assessment tasks that critically examine and apply current research in this area. Performance of in-class tasks will be critiqued by tutor and peers to provide ongoing formative feedback to students.

Content (topics)

Students will develop a knowledge of basic movement experiences involving the elements of Space, Energy, Time and Body, expressing the basic elements in music of Pitch, Duration, Tone Colour, Texture, Structure and Dynamics. This will be explored in tandem with Australian and contemporary musical repertoire, literature, art works and other materials. Underpinning the practice of design and choreography of movement with music will be analysis of Embodiment research and learning about music. These activities will develop their ability to move to express musical understanding and ideas, artistic integration, and how embodiment enriches and enhances learning in the Arts.


Assessment task 1: Essay - Assessment Task 1 (individual) Embodiment and Learning in Music.


b and e

Weight: 40%

1500 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Clarity of description and understanding of EC and MNS 30 b 2.1
Depth of understanding through analysis of literature 30 b 2.1
Effectiveness of justification 30 e 6.1
Accuracy, clarity and cohesiveness of the written text, including accurate referencing 10 e 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Assessment Task 2 (group) Integrated artistic work.


a, c, d and e

Weight: 60%
Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Effectiveness of use of movement elements to design dance work (individual - the choreographer) Or Appropriateness of repertoire (individual - the musician) Or Depth of description (individual - the commentator) 50 c, d, e 6.1
Appropriateness of relationship of dance work, repertoire and stimulus (group) 25 c, d 6.1
Quality of the performance in terms of a well-rehearsed, organised and presented, polished work (group) 25 a 1.5
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

Attendance at all workshops is essential in this subject as learning, knowledge and development of skills is body-based, involves collaborative composition and discussion, and there is no substitute for these activities. A maximum of one workshop only can be missed, and students should advise the tutor in a timely manner if they are unable to attend. If a student misses more than one workshops, the individual component of Task 2 will not be assessed (UTS Rule 3.8). Both assessment tasks must be passed in order to fulfil all criteria to pass this subject.


Alerby, E., & Ferm, C. (2005). Learning music: Embodied experience in the life-world. Philosophy of Music Education Review (Project Muse), 13(2), 177-185.

Bainbridge, M., Parnall, R., & Shortal, J. (1997). Music and dance [DVD]. Melbourne: Victorian Department of Education.

Carline, S. (2011). Lesson plans for creative dance: Connecting with literature, arts, and music. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Chaganti, S. (2018). Strange footing: Poetic form and dance in the late middle ages. Chicago; London: The University of Chicago Press.

Corness, G. (2008). The musical experience through the lens of embodiment. Leonardo Music Journal, 18, 21-24.

De Jaegher, H., & Di Paolo, E. (2007). Participatory sense-making. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 6(4), 485-507. doi:10.1007/s11097-007-9076-9

Doerr, E. (2007). Rudolf laban. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.

Falin, J. R. (2015). Using music to enhance student learning: A practical guide for elementary classroom teachers. New York NY: Routledge.

Fraleigh, S. H. (1987). Dance and the lived body: A descriptive aesthetics. PIttsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Hermans, C., & Bremmer, M. (2015). Embodiment in arts education teaching and learning with the body in the arts. Paper presented at the Embodiment in Arts Education, Amsterdam University of the Arts.

Hubrich, S. G. B. (2016). The performer’s body in creative interpretations of repertoire music. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 15(3-4), 337-352. doi:10.1177/1474022216647711

Kirsch Louise, P., Dawson, K., & Cross Emily, S. (2015). Dance experience sculpts aesthetic perception and related brain circuits. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1337(1), 130-139. doi:10.1111/nyas.12634

Lee, K. M., Barrett, K. C., Kim, Y., Lim, Y., & Lee, K. (2015). Dance and music in “gangnam style”: How dance observation affects meter perception. PLoS ONE, 10(8), e0134725. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0134725

Leman, M. (2016). The expressive moment : How interaction (with music) shapes human empowerment. London, England: MIT.

Leman, M., & Maes, P.-J. (2015). The role of embodiment in the perception of music. Empirical Musicology Review, 9(3-4), 236-246. doi:10.18061/emr.v9i3-4.4498

Maes, P.-J., Leman, M., Palmer, C., & Wanderley, M. (2014). Action-based effects on music perception. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(1008). doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.01008

Maes, P.-J., Van Dyck, E., Lesaffre, M., Leman, M., & Kroonenberg, P. (2014). The coupling of action and perception in musical meaning formation. Music Perception, 32(1), 67-84. doi:10.1525/MP.2014.32.1.67

Mathias, B., Palmer, C., Perrin, F., & Tillman, B. (2015). Sensorimotor learning enhances expectations during auditory perception. Cerebral Cortex, 25(8), 2238-2254.

Noland, C. (2009). Agency and embodiment: Performing gestures/producing culture. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Olsen, A. (2014). The place of dance: A somatic guide to dancing and dance making. Middletown, Connecticut USA Wesleyan University Press.

Phillips-Silver, J. (2009). On the meaning of movement in music, development and the brain. Contemporary Music Review, 28(3), 293-314. doi:10.1080/07494460903404394

Phillips-Silver, J., & Trainor, L. J. (2007). Hearing what the body feels: Auditory encoding of rhythmic movement. Cognition, 105(3), 533-546. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2006.11.006

Scheff, H. (2014). Experiencing dance: From student to dance artist. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Schiavio, A., & Høffding, S. (2015). Playing together without communicating? A pre-reflective and enactive account of joint musical performance. Musicae Scientiae, 19(4), 366-388. doi:10.1177/1029864915593333

Sevdalis, V., & Keller, P. E. (2011). Captured by motion: Dance, action understanding, and social cognition. Brain and Cognition, 77(2), 231-236. doi:

Walton, A. E., Washburn, A., Richardson, M. J., & Chemero, A. (2018). Empathy and groove in musical movement. Paper presented at the UC Irvine: A Body of Knowledge Conference 2016, UC Irvine.

Woodard, K. (2009). Recovering disembodied spirits: Teaching movement to musicians. British Journal of Music Education, 26(2), 153-172. doi:10.1017/S0265051709008419