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August 08, 2020, 07:33:02 pm

Author Topic: USyd Unit Reviews  (Read 7108 times)

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angewina_naguen

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Re: USyd Unit Reviews
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2020, 11:15:06 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: MCGY2010 Harmony and Analysis 3

Contact Hours: 1x 1 hour lecture, 1x 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: MCGY1009

Assessment: Weekly assignments (50%), final examination (50%)

Lecture Recordings? Yes. I did MCGY2010 during COVID-19 so the lectures were pre-recorded but usually, they are uploaded after the lecture is delivered.

Notes/Materials Available: None

Textbook: Workbook for Harmonic Practice in Tonal Music 2nd Edition (Robert Gauldin)

Lecturer(s): Lewis Cornwell

Year & Semester of completion: 2020 Semester 1

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 78 DI

Comments: MCGY2010 builds on from everything that was covered in MCGY1008 and MCGY1009. The delivery of learning is consistent with the two previous units and had a great sense of continuity. I had a different tutor this semester which I was quite concerned about at first but Marcus was equally great at responding to emails and roasting me in my assignment feedback. I also found MCGY2010 one of the smoothest transitions to online learning out of all of my subjects. Initially, I found the Zoom tutorials quite challenging to stay engaged in but by forcing myself to print out the worksheets and actually participate in the classes, I ended up gaining a lot out of them.

As for the assessments, I actually am really relieved that weekly quizzes were not a part of this unit. I found these super stressful to complete in MCGY1008 and MCGY1009 so to only have to worry about the assignments and the exam was a relief. I also liked how Lewis made the exam open-book but still provided a time limit for us to submit it because it was basically just like every other Harmony exam but done from the comfort of my own home. The only assignment I really disliked was the "fugue fortnight", as I have now dubbed it, because it was a total nightmare. It was my worst mark out of all my assignments and dragged my final result down like crazy. Moral of the story is that I can appreciate good counterpoint; I just can not write it myself. Otherwise, MCGY2010 was far more enjoyable than last year's Harmony units because I knew what I was doing and learnt from my mistakes.

Overall, I think MCGY2010 was enjoyable and rewarding to do. Minus the fugue and canon weeks, everything else was a dramatic improvement for me from the previous semesters so I left the course feeling more confident in my analysis skills. As always, we owe a huge deal of the subject's success and enriching program to Lewis' delivery and effective communication with us via email and Canvas. I am keen to see how what we have learnt in the unit will translate into our final Harmony subject next semester  ;D
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 10:38:34 pm by angewina_naguen »

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angewina_naguen

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Re: USyd Unit Reviews
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2020, 10:37:59 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: MCGY1003 Aural Perception 2

Contact Hours: 1x 1 hour Lab, 1x 1 hour Solfege tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: MCGY1002

Assessment: Weekly Lab assessments (25%), weekly Solfege assessments (15%), Lab examination (35%), Solfege examination (25%).

Lecture Recordings? Yes; the tutorials were pre-recorded because of COVID-19.

Notes/Materials Available: None

Textbooks: Manual for Ear Training and Sight Singing 2nd Edition (Gary S. Karpinski), Anthology for Sight Singing (Gary S. Karpinski and Richard Kram).

Lecturer(s): None; you will be assigned with a tutor for both classes. I had Anthony Hamad for Lab and Alex Chilvers for Solfege.

Year & Semester of completion: 2020, Semester 1

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating: 3/5

Your Mark/Grade: 0 UC; due to COVID-19, I received a Unit Continuing indicator, instead of a traditional grade. 

Comments: Doing this unit of study during COVID-19 was quite the struggle. With the shift to online learning, the unit's reliance on in-class attendance for everything to run smoothly was really tested this semester. I already found the jump from MCGY1002 to this unit significant prior to quarantine so not having face-to-face classes proved to be a challenge. I think it could have been better handled but I also understand that it was difficult given the unique circumstances we are in.

The changed assessment and examination procedures did help to an extent. It was really tedious and time-consuming scanning my homework for Lab and recording the exercises for Solfege but the flexibility of when we submit the assignments was great. I established for myself a routine of submitting them a day before which granted me a little more sleep on the morning Lab was usually due on and to only have to worry about watching the tutorial for Solfege. I felt like the final exam was poorly scheduled though because I had mine right in the middle of two other subjects and we were notified fairly last minute about it. Conducting it over Zoom also was not particularly the best move either because of my internet being difficult. Otherwise, I am glad they decided to make this unit UC instead of pass/fail or keeping the traditional grading system because despite the other problems with the unit, I did feel like a lot more stress that could have come from this unit was avoided.

I personally feel a bit worried about going into Aural Perception 3 given how I barely managed to get through this unit. I do commend Anthony and Alex's efforts to make the content as comprehensive as possible with the added challenge of navigating online learning and I appreciated the responsiveness to my questions over email. I hope our classes will be conducted in person next semester because it will make a world of a difference and will help me experience and apply the skills we use in the unit better.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 10:38:03 pm by angewina_naguen »

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alisontungmy

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Re: USyd Unit Reviews
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2020, 12:44:45 am »
+6
Subject Code/Name: MATH1902 Linear Algebra(Advanced)

Contact Hours: 2x 1 hour lecture, 1x 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge/Pre-requisite: HSC Extension 2 or 90 in HSC Extension 1

Assessment:  2x 5% assignment, 1x 10% assignment, best 10 of 12 weekly WebWork quizzes(10%), final exam(70%)

Lecture Recordings?  Yes, lectures were pre-recorded into different parts due to COVID

Notes/Materials Available:  Lecture notes from lectures are modified and uploaded

Textbook: David Poole, Linear Algebra: A Modern Introduction(did not use)

Lecturer(s): Nathan Brownlowe

Year & Semester of completion: Sem 1 2020

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating:  5/5

Your Grade: Credit(screwed up final exam, was getting a mid DI average before that)

Comments: Didnít know what to expect when enrolling into advanced stream at first, but it is worth it! It was different and new compared to high school maths(for whoever who see this in the future, you would have done some linear algebra in the new syllabus) and the lecturers and tutors made it easy to understand. It was also very helpful that the teaching team is almost always on Ed forums solving and answering our question, providing tips for assignments etc.

The assignments requires critical thinking and a great grasp and application of different concepts, which was quite challenging for me at first. But after looking at the normal level tutorial questions and assignments, which were quite straightforward compared to advanced, I decided to stay in advanced to challenge myself (and since it is first sem, why not just give it a go?), also meeting like minded people who loved maths.
Note: lectures go more in depth compared to normal level unit
« Last Edit: July 16, 2020, 11:07:14 pm by alisontungmy »
HSC 2018: Mathematics(94)
HSC 2019: Maths Ext.1(94), Maths Ext.2(84), Music 2(97), Biology(90), Physics(85), Standard English(84)
Uni 2020-2024: Bachelor of Education(Secondary: Maths)/ Bachelor of Science at USyd

alisontungmy

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Re: USyd Unit Reviews
« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2020, 10:33:31 pm »
+3
Subject Code/Name: MATH1921 Calculus of one variable(Advanced)

Contact Hours: 2x 1 hour lecture, 1x 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge/Pre-requisite: HSC Extension 2 or 90 in HSC Extension 1

Assessment:  2x 5% assignment, 2x 10% quizzes, final exam(70%)

Lecture Recordings?  Yes, lectures were uploaded around the usual  lecture times due to COVID

Notes/Materials Available:  Lecture notes from lectures are modified and uploaded, typed lecture notes also available on canvas and Kopystop

Textbook: Daniel Daners, Lecture Notes for MATH 1921/1931:. Available in print from KopyStop, 55 Mountain St, Broadway. (Available free on Canvas, only used this mostly)
Michael Spivak, Calculus, reference covering advanced topics
Gordon Monro, Proofs & problems in calculus, reference on how to think about proofs
James Stewart, Calculus, reference for routine exercises

Lecturer(s): Daniel Daners

Year & Semester of completion: Sem 1 2020

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating:  5/5

Your Grade: Distinction

Comments: Had the same initial feelings as linear algebra, Didnít know what to expect when enrolling into advanced stream at first, but it is challenging and fun! It picked straight up from where the extension 2 syllabus ended(future students might find some overlap in high school and this unit due to the new syllabus. The discussions on Ed forums and the tutorial questions were challenging(but having detailed tutorial solutions were very helpful to understand where I get confused.

Not needing to wake up for 8am lectures due to COVID was great(while also messing up my daily study schedule by catching up at a different time ahaha)

The assignments again requires critical thinking and a great grasp and application of different concepts, which was quite challenging for me at first. Persistence and constant practice were really important as all of the assignments were challenging, and sometimes no one gets full mark in quizzes and in the final exams. Overall if you loved calculus in high school and have a passion for maths, you will enjoy this unit :D
Note: lectures go more in depth compared to normal level
« Last Edit: July 16, 2020, 11:09:15 pm by alisontungmy »
HSC 2018: Mathematics(94)
HSC 2019: Maths Ext.1(94), Maths Ext.2(84), Music 2(97), Biology(90), Physics(85), Standard English(84)
Uni 2020-2024: Bachelor of Education(Secondary: Maths)/ Bachelor of Science at USyd

alisontungmy

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Re: USyd Unit Reviews
« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2020, 11:36:48 pm »
+4
Subject Code/Name: BIOL1996 Life and Evolution(Special Studies Program)

Contact Hours: 2x 1 hour lecture(with Advanced), 1x 3 hour lab(with BIOL1998 Human Bio SSP)

Assumed Knowledge/Pre-requisite: 90 or above in HSC Biology

Assessment:  Lab book(5%), Pre lab quizzes(5%), MtDNA report(30%), Wildlife forensics presentation(20%), Final exam(40%)

Lecture Recordings? Yes, pre recorded due to COVID

Notes/Materials Available:  none

Textbook: Knox, B., Ladiges, P., Evans, B. & Saint, R. (2014) Biology: An Australian Focus 5th Edition. McGraw-Hill Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney.

Lecturer(s): too many to list(they were all great), unit coordinator: Ros Gloag

Year & Semester of completion: Sem 1 2020

Difficulty: 2/5

Overall Rating: 5/5

Your Mark/Grade: Distinction

Comments: This unit was amazing! All levels of this unit(1006,1906,1996) share the same lectures but what differs was the lab content and assignments. The lecture content overlaps quite a bit with HSC Biology so I didnít find it hard to study for.
SSP didnít have a mid-semester test unlike Advanced and normal, and the labs are more focused on the microbiology side(with DNAs) compared to the other 2 levels which is more focused on flora and fauna etc. I wish I can take all levels of this but i canít :(
It was sad that we couldnít complete much labs on campus, I would have loved analysing my own maternal ancestry through my MtDNA, but Ros, Madeleine and lab demos did a great job with online teaching. They gave very detailed and useful feedback for assignments which will be useful in future science assignments and presentations. I loved this unit so much :D
HSC 2018: Mathematics(94)
HSC 2019: Maths Ext.1(94), Maths Ext.2(84), Music 2(97), Biology(90), Physics(85), Standard English(84)
Uni 2020-2024: Bachelor of Education(Secondary: Maths)/ Bachelor of Science at USyd

alisontungmy

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Re: USyd Unit Reviews
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2020, 08:42:45 pm »
+2
Subject Code/Name: EDUF1018 Education, Teachers and Teaching

Contact Hours: 1x 1hr lecture, 1x 2hr tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: n/a

Assessment:  Weekly reflections(60%), Critical Narrative(40%) (a group assignment was cancelled and weighting was re-distributed)

Lecture Recordings?  Yes, lectures are pre recorded due to COVID

Notes/Materials Available:  N/a

Textbook: n/a, but there are required readings every week available on library website

Lecturer(s): too much to list

Year & Semester of completion: 2020 sem 1

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating:  4/5

Your Mark/Grade: Distinction

Comments: A lot of interesting content about pedagogies are covered, it was interesting that certain pedagogical practices are always around us in school.
Although there are relatively less contact hours for this unit, the readings and weekly 300 word reflections takes up quite some time(it is hard to be concise, and Iím not a great writer)
Note that different tutors have different requirements for the weekly reflection, most wants a pure analysis of readings+lectures, while others want an interweaving analysis of readings+lectures+tutorial+real life examples(mine wanted the later)
Some lecturers repeat the content in the required readings, which was quite boring, but other lecturers did well by further exploring those pedagogical theories.
To be honest I didnít expect the huge amount of writing and analytical thinking needed for this unit, I can say that I spent more time on this unit compared to my 6cp science units oops. Overall it was fun but it did made me doubt if I should transfer to B. Sci/M. Math science(as I hate writing)
Sorry for the lack of structure in comments XD
HSC 2018: Mathematics(94)
HSC 2019: Maths Ext.1(94), Maths Ext.2(84), Music 2(97), Biology(90), Physics(85), Standard English(84)
Uni 2020-2024: Bachelor of Education(Secondary: Maths)/ Bachelor of Science at USyd

alisontungmy

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Re: USyd Unit Reviews
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2020, 09:08:04 pm »
+3
Subject Code/Name: GEOS1001 Earth, Environment and Society

Contact Hours: 1x 2hr lecture, 1x 2hr computer lab

Assumed Knowledge: n/a

Assessment:  Poster(15%), Group presentation(15%), Essay(30%), Final Exam(40%), tutorial participation(0% but marks can be deducted if you did not submit practical maps)
Lecture Recordings?  yes, lectures were delivered live on zoom and recorded due to COVID

Notes/Materials Available:  N/a

Textbook: no

Lecturer(s): Bree Morgan, Bill Pritchard, Damian Field, Sabin Zahirovic

Year & Semester of completion: 2020 sem 1

Difficulty: 3.5/5

Overall Rating:  3.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: Credit

Comments: This was a fun unit overall, it covers the surface of various geological concepts and some political geography related to climate change. Some lecturers were quite dry, which made the 2hr straight of lecture dreadful XD. All the lecturers were quite nice and helpful tho.
The tutorials were...not so great off-campus. Being off campus made the already slow ArcGIS even more slower. One single click took 5 minutes to load and it took me 7 hours to finish a practical once. It also takes up a lot of storage space on my computer so it made my computer even slower. But otherwise, the practical concepts were fun(despite the horrible app)
Note: The poster and essay had quite a close due date, so start doing it whenever possible.
HSC 2018: Mathematics(94)
HSC 2019: Maths Ext.1(94), Maths Ext.2(84), Music 2(97), Biology(90), Physics(85), Standard English(84)
Uni 2020-2024: Bachelor of Education(Secondary: Maths)/ Bachelor of Science at USyd

angewina_naguen

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Re: USyd Unit Reviews
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2020, 10:23:15 pm »
+3
Subject Code/Name: ENSE2043 Choir 3

Contact Hours: 1x 3 hour rehearsal; this was adjusted due to COVID-19 though and all rehearsals were independently conducted.

Assumed Knowledge: You will complete a short pitch and range test before rehearsals for voice placement. I did Choirs 1 and 2 last year which meant I was already placed in my voice part.

Assessment: Continual assessment of professional demeanour and ensemble skills demonstrated during rehearsals and performances (90%), Warm-up assignment (10%).

Lecture Recordings? None

Notes/Materials Available: None

Textbook: None; you borrow the score for whatever work is being studied and performed for the semester from the Con library before the first rehearsal.

Lecturer(s): Elizabeth (Liz) Scott

Year & Semester of completion: 2020, Semester 1

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 82 DI

Comments: This semester, we did Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem as our core repertoire for choir. Prior to the semester, I was involved in another choir which did Joseph Haydn's Requiem and the resemblance between the two still amazes me. I was initially excited to sing the work and have another semester of ensemble skills development but COVID-19 really jeopardised my experience of this unit.

The assessment for this unit was more formal than last year's. Due to the pandemic, we had to submit recordings of the allocated movements for the week. I tried to approach it with as much enthusiasm as possible and to give the whole shift to online learning the benefit of the doubt but the routine became incredibly tedious, energy-draining and even, to an extent, a nuisance. Finding a quiet place to complete the recording was a challenge because no matter where I was, there was always noise coming from either in or out of the house. I also am a huge perfectionist so each recording took an insane number of takes (the most difficult movement took me 74 times to perfect) to get through the movements with everything pitch perfect. Factor in as well the time I spent uploading and re-uploading (if it failed the first time) each video and I ended up spending an entire day just on this one unit. I did like completing the warm-up assignment because I felt like it gave me the opportunity to exercise my creativity and it allowed me to make an educational resource that I could use as a choral conductor myself one day. I also liked how it was something that was graded with an actual criteria, rather than based off abstract judgements like the rest of the marks I received/did not receive for my participation in the ensemble.

In short, this is not how choir is supposed to be at the Con and while I did find fun in singing the Requiem through each week, it was the worst of my units to do in quarantine. The only reason why I did not it rate it lower was because of how kind, responsive and encouraging Liz and the rest of the creative team who were in charge of the unit were with me. Choir really is one of those subjects that loses its effectiveness when conducted remotely and I hope next semester's students who enrol in it have a far more enjoyable experience aligning with the true joy that choir can give someone.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2020, 10:37:09 pm by angewina_naguen »

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97.50

-UNI 2019-2022-
Bachelor of Music (Music Education) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music

angewina_naguen

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Re: USyd Unit Reviews
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2020, 10:20:35 pm »
+1
Subject Code/Name: MCGY3602 Understanding East Asian Music

Contact Hours: 1x 2 hour seminar

Assumed Knowledge: None

Assessment: Academic blog post (20%); Class participation (30%); Major essay (50%).

Lecture Recordings? Yes; they are usually uploaded after the class but due to COVID-19, they were often pre-recorded.

Notes/Materials Available: None

Textbook: None; set readings are assigned on Canvas for each week and can be retrieved from the USYD library.

Lecturer(s): Catherine Ingram, Lewis Cornwell and weekly guest lecturers

Year & Semester of completion: 2020, Semester 1

Difficulty: 3/5

Overall Rating: 4/5

Your Mark/Grade: 94 HD

Comments: For this semester, I took MCGY3602 to fulfil my mandatory musicology ethnographical studies unit for my principal study. Unlike the other musicology units I have taken at the Con so far, this unit challenged myself and my peers to explore music with a variety of ways of thinking, especially those beyond the eurocentrism that had, for most of us, been ingrained as a result of our musical training and upbringing. The unit focuses on Chinese, Korean and Japanese music, with weekly guests that are invited based on the topic we were covering for the week. I initially came into the unit quite nervous and only really being familiar with the popular music of these cultures, and to an extent the traditional music of Japan because of my mum, but found myself engaging deeply with the diverse range of genres and musical styles explored in the unit.

For a 6cp unit, MCGY3602 was very light in workload and, to an extent, felt more like a 3cp subject. This made my experience taking it in quarantine really pleasant because I only had to focus on getting a reading (which was roughly 20-30 pages long) and maybe four discussion questions done each week. We were also assigned to do one in-class presentation based on one of the readings. I chose to do mine on the music in Akira Kurosawa's Ran which was heaps of fun because I actually studied it in Year 11 for English. Having the opportunity to analyse the music and to draw connections between it and the concepts we were learning about in class was highly beneficial for developing my critical analysis and thinking skills. I also enjoyed visiting the White Rabbit Gallery again for my first assignment and combining my passion for art with musical analysis. The only heavy aspect of this unit was the major essay which was 3000 words. I struggled with choosing the right works to explore at first because of how broad the essay questions were but found my footing, partially because I knew at last what I was doing but also because of the ever-increasing closeness of the deadline. Overall, the assessments were fun to complete and I have no regrets for the subject in terms of how I conducted myself with the work we had in it.

In hindsight, I wish I had asked more questions in class because we had many interesting and engaging guests come in to workshop with us. I felt like this was what made the unit so effective and moving for us as students. Catherine is also quite quiet and reserved from first impression but she was a highly inspiring lecturer and offered us many opportunities to exercise our creativity in this unit of study. I would strongly recommend anyone who has spare room in their degree at the Con to take this unit which will not only change how you experience music, but also how you appreciate it.

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97.50

-UNI 2019-2022-
Bachelor of Music (Music Education) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music

angewina_naguen

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Re: USyd Unit Reviews
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2020, 11:10:25 pm »
+2
Subject Code/Name: MCGY2612 Music of the Classical and Romantic Eras

Contact Hours: 1x 2 hour lecture, 1x 1 hour tutorial

Assumed Knowledge: The ability to read musical notation and basic knowledge of music theory.

Assessment: Essay (30%); Tutorial assignments and participation (30%); In-class tests (10%); 1 x 2hr exam (30%).

Lecture Recordings? Yes; these were usually uploaded after class but due to COVID-19, they pre-recorded and uploaded the night before instead.

Notes/Materials Available: None

Textbook: A History of Western Music 9th Edition (J. Peter Burkholder, Donald Jay Grout, Claude V. Palisca)

Lecturer(s): David Larkin

Year & Semester of completion: 2020 Semester 1

Difficulty: 4/5

Overall Rating: 5/5

Your Mark/Grade: 89 HD

Comments: If I could give this subject a 10/5, I would. This subject is compulsory for all classical students and music education majors to take in their degree. Despite my history of not being particularly fond of all the mandatory units I have been made to do, MCGY2612 has been hands down my favourite subject yet that I have done in university.

The assessments for this unit were difficult but intellectually stimulating. I chose to write about Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony for my tutorial assignment which I started researching for, as advice from an ex-student, as soon as the semester commenced. This really enabled me to develop a stronger grasp on the critical issues surrounding the work and to approach my assignment with more control. For my essay, I chose to write about the exotic portrayals in Bizet's The Pearl Fishers and Rimsky-Korsakov's Antar Symphony. The question was not only a thrill to respond to, but I also felt validated by the end of the unit because I took a fairly controversial argument in my essay and managed to have it approved, I assume since there was no criticism in the feedback for it, by my lecturer. I think a good unit of study should push for students to explore radical ideas and challenge accepted ways of understanding music and to inspire students to think bigger. The exams for this unit, while a total nightmare to study for because of the enormous amount of content, were great for differentiation purposes. My only qualm about the way assessments were conducted was using ProctorU for the final exam. A number of students were affected by this which meant they had to retake the exam and having to not accidentally make yourself look suspicious was just added pressure even if our exams were submitted successfully. Everything else about this unit was highly successful.

You could not imagine anyone more excited than I was to study this subject. I dedicated my entire Monday night to just completing my tutorial preparation and even doing extra reading to answer some of the general knowledge questions David asked in the tutorials. I chose to make MCGY2612 worth my time and effort and it paid off well not just with my result, but also my newfound confidence in my knowledge of Classical and Romantic music. Considering I was told by my distance education teacher in Year 11 that I was going to struggle in university if I could not handle Music 2, this unit felt like a destiny I was always meant to fulfil. All of this came down to David Larkin who really lives up to his name as being one of the best lecturers at the Con. I was fortunate to have him as a tutor as well and he responded to all my enquiries with immense help. His feedback for my assessments was also very detailed and I overall owe him the success and enjoyment I had in this unit. This unit has inspired me to take on another historical studies unit next semester for my principal study and if I were given the option to redo it, I would. In summary, I had nothing of an amazing experience in MCGY2612 and hope anyone else who picks it makes the most out of it too.

-HSC 2018-

-ATAR-
97.50

-UNI 2019-2022-
Bachelor of Music (Music Education) at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music