Module F4: Accompanist (15 credits)

The focus of this module is on practical work directly related to the duties of a musician active in worship. You should be able to draw on your other studies for the diploma as a means of enriching and developing your understanding of, and approach to, the practice of music in liturgy and worship. Much of your preparation for this module is likely to be related to your regular work as an accompanist. You may take the module as an organist and/or pianist.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will be able: (a) to accompany, both in rehearsal and performance, two contrasting liturgical compositions in such a way as to demonstrate competence as an accompanist; (b) to accompany, both in rehearsal and performance, works with which you are likely to be unfamiliar; and (c) to demonstrate fluency in a range of keyboard skills, comprising sight-reading, transposition, harmonization of a melody, and score-reading.


Although you can receive teaching in accompaniment skills you can also gain much by observing experienced accompanists and by being observed. Where you have difficulty in finding a suitable observer, much can be learnt by listening to and evaluating recordings of your own work as an accompanist in rehearsals and performances. It is expected that you will be working towards this module during both years of study for the diploma.


Assessment is based on a practical session and a series of practical tests related to accompanying. This session will take place in your own church or chapel with your own choir or music group. Two examiners will attend the session on an agreed date. Exceptionally, where this is impossible to arrange, you may be asked to submit a VHS video recording.

  1. Accompany the rehearsal and performance of repertory identified by you and approved in advance by the Academic Board (see below). This will consist of a rehearsal of two contrasting pieces of liturgical music (30 minutes), and the performance of one of them (3 to 4 minutes in performance).
  2. Accompanying the rehearsal and performance of three pieces of liturgical music chosen by the examiners (30 minutes), and the performance of one of them (2 or 3 minutes in performance). Music for the group will be provided by the examiners.
  3. A series of tests related to accompanying: sight-reading of an accompaniment, transposition of a four-part hymn or song up to one tone up or down at sight, harmonization of a hymn or song melody at sight, reading of a four-part vocal score (SATB) at sight.

When the examiners allocate grades and marks, equal weight will be given to the assessment of each of the three practical elements.

Arrangements for the assessment

You should submit a proposal for the content of the practical session to the Course Secretary before the session takes place. This should include scores of the music to be rehearsed and performed.

If there is no difficulty with your proposal, approval will be granted by the time the study period begins. If there are reservations the matter will be resolved as quickly as possible. The Course Secretary will forward single copies of the items to be accompanied by you (Section 2, above) when communicating approval.