General Description

Gig Based Learning (GBL) not only offers a philosophy for creating engaging learning experiences for students but also a framework for you to do this in your classroom.  A tried and tested GBL unit of work will be used to demonstrate how to create a unit of work with the ‘gig’ as the starting premise. 

In our exemplar unit - ‘The Pachelbel’s Canon Canon’, the gig is to create a new piece of music by taking materials from the past and reconstituting them for the present. Starting with Pachelbel’s Canon, students explore how musicians have formed a body of works (a canon) based on the chord progression and melodic content to make (arguably) new materials related to their contexts. This unveiling of musicians “stealing” from each other may also provide an impetus for a range of discussions around creativity, copyright and social justice issues. The unit is scaffolded through various integrated performance, composition and listening activities to lead students to create their own works based on the Canon progression. We chose Pachelbel’s Canon to demonstrate how new life can be breathed into old workhorses with some creative pedagogy. Join Brad Fuller and his colleague Peter Orenstein as they give you the tools needed to design your own Gig Based Learning unit of work. You will also be given access to further resources including programs, lessons plans and lesson materials from the exemplar unit of work. 


For music teachers and music tutors

Teaching Standards

1.2.2 Proficient Level - Know students and how they learn - Understand how students learn:  Structure teaching programs using research and collegial advice about how students learn.

2.1.2 Proficient Level - Know the content and how to teach it - Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area:  Apply knowledge of the content and teaching strategies of the teaching area to develop engaging teaching activities.

3.2.2 Proficient Level - Plan for and Implement Effective Teaching and Learning - Plan, structure and sequence learning programs:  Plan and implement well-structured learning and teaching programs or lesson sequences that engage students and promote learning.

6.3.2 Proficient Level - Engage in Professional Learning - Engage with colleagues and improve practice:  Contribute to collegial discussions and apply constructive feedback from colleagues to improve professional knowledge and practice.

Are you in NSW? If so, this is relevant for you

This course may contribute towards Elective PD hours. Visit for more details.

Via Zoom

This course will run via Zoom.  You will be sent the details of how to join this PD the day before the course runs.

Session - 1 - Setup

Duration - 15 min

Introduction to Brad and Pete and Music Education Philosophy

Session - 2 - Philosophy First Classroom Music Programming

Duration - 30 min

Linking music education philosophy to programming

Session - 3 - Bringing the Syllabus to Life!

Duration - 30 min

- Examining the Aims, Objectives, and Outcomes of NSW Music Syllabi

- Reconciling the Aims, Objectives, and Outcomes of NSW Music Syllabi with GBL programming

Session - 4 - Here’s One We Prepared Earlier

Duration - 60 min

A deconstruction of a unit of work that was constructed using GBL philosophies and pedagogies

Session - 5 - Guided Collaborative Programming

Duration - 60 min

Work in groups to create a GBL program

Session - 6 - Presentation of Learning

Duration - 60 min

Present collaborative program

Session - 7 - Wrap-up

Duration - 15 min

Question time


Gig Based Learning (GBL)

Gig Based Learning is a musically informed, philosophically driven learning design and facilitation process. It gives teachers tools to provide students with opportunities for active, engaging, real-world music(k)ing with/for an authentic audience. Building on the integrated learning experiences model - performance, composition, musicology, aural, GBL puts all of these experiences to work for the benefit of producing a great gig, contextualising the learning for the student so that it’s ‘just in time’ not ‘just in case’