The Music Programs of the Tertiary Institutions

The music programs of 29 Australian conservatoria, universities and music schools are described here briefly in their own words. Students and teachers will find the information useful in searching for the best match to serve their needs for professional education in music.

More detailed information about courses, faculty members and other matters can be found on the websites by clicking at the first few words of each description.1

New South Wales

The Australian International Conservatorium of Music

Rozelle, Sydney

The Australian International Conservatorium of Music (AICM) is a not-for-profit, independent conservatorium.

Through our degree programs, master-classes and events, the AICM provides a culturally diverse, intellectually challenging and academically rigorous environment to encourage the development of our students. We provide a quality tertiary education in a range of performance areas as well as composition, multimedia, management and pedagogy. Our supportive learning environment offers students specialised training for those wishing to embark on a professional career. Our undergraduate programs merge performance training with academic rigour, and offer flexible pathway options for students according to their specific needs and focus. We are distinctive in our emphasis on performance and individual study designs.

Diploma of Music (Performance) – 2 years

Bachelor of Music (Performance) – 3 years

Entry by audition and interview, FEE-HELP also available.

Phone: (02) 9555 1666. Email:

Australian Institute of Music


The Australian Institute of Music (AIM) is a Sydney based music institute which aims to foster excellence in education and training for careers in the music, entertainment, and performing arts industry.

The AIM campus is spread across five buildings, in addition to the Pilgrim Theatre for the Australian Academy of Dramatic Art (AADA – a department of AIM). AIM students benefit from access to industry-leading facilities such as live performance spaces, modern classroom facilities and Q Studios — AIM’s state-of-the-art recording studios, which have been set up to promote the nurturing and development of AIM talent.

Best possible education With purpose-built facilities, a diverse student body, and industry connections, AIM students receive quality education through a wide range of music diplomas, degrees and graduate study programs. The diverse combination of professional music courses, which includes Audio, Composition & Music Production, Classical Performance, Contemporary Performance, Music Theatre and Entertainment & Arts Management, are designed to give students the best possible opportunity to succeed. AIM also offers acting and theatre making courses through AADA, in addition to AIM High School and individual lessons though Open AIM and Young AIM.

Student life The chance to network with other musicians, engineers, producers and managers provides invaluable training and opportunities that will advance AIM students in the music industry. Students are able to study a wide variety of music genres on any instrument or voice, developing their skills and performance capability by frequenting various Sydney premier venues and nightspots, or even at AIM’s home-based performance studios.

Professional staff and services With a generous staff-to-student ratio, AIM has an exceptional list of music and performing arts teachers. AIM also has a full time student services support team, admissions, marketing and web team, and a dedicated music library.

Open day AIM Open day took place on Saturday 18 August 2012 from 10am-3pm. It was your chance to see AIM up close, meet the music teachers, chat to current students and have your questions answered to find the right information to help you choose your ideal course at AIM.

Our campus will be packed with interactive ways for you to discover what studying here will be like. The free event will involve campus tours, music workshops, master classes, live performances and the opportunity to sit in and network with experts at the popular music and entertainment industry panel.

For more information about all things AIM and AADA, visit the official website, or call +61 (0)2 9219 5444.

Macquarie University

North Ryde, Sydney

One of the hardest things about creativity is knowing how to use it. Our musical heroes don’t just fall over a new idea and effortlessly create their work: all the best artists, from the lead singer to the sound engineer, learned how to do what they do, and use those lessons to channel their inspiration into their art. Increasingly, higher education courses — such as Contemporary Music at Macquarie University — are helping musicians find their own way of working, and launching the artists of tomorrow.

Artists are always looking for the spark of a new idea, so broadening your musical horizons is vital. Contemporary Music students can choose everything from performance and musicianship, including vocals, guitar, and rhythm, to music production technology, including MIDI and audio composition, DJ practice, and interactive audio. There are also theory and history areas, like musicology, popular music studies, screen music and soundtracks, and music business. You can develop your talents whilst also learning how to use them in industry.

There’s so much more to the music industry than simply making music: many of Macquarie’s students and graduates are signed musical artists, but others have made careers in music journalism, publishing, marketing, events management, recording, advertising and teaching. Contemporary Music gives you an understanding of today’s dynamic music business, which is relevant in almost every area of the industry you can imagine.

Hands-on experience is key to learning, and Macquarie encourages students to create while they learn. You can develop your next project in fully equipped music studios, rehearsal and performance spaces, with support from lecturers and researchers who are also practising artists and industry professionals. Contemporary Music at Macquarie provides a well-rounded foundation for beginners, with capability to guide and support advanced learning and research.

Music units are open to all students undertaking a Bachelor of Arts degree, so you don’t need any previous musical training, a portfolio, or an audition. Current technology and up-to-date resources are central to Contemporary Music, ensuring you are always ahead in today’s rapidly evolving music industry.

To find out more about how you can turn your passion into a career in the music industry, contact Lisa Cuffe at Macquarie University on (02) 9850 2257, or email

Newcastle Conservatorium of Music

University of Newcastle, Newcastle

The Bachelor of Music degree prepares students for a musical career at a professional standard. The degree is conducted over three years of full-time study or part-time equivalent. It aims to develop musical skills by providing every opportunity to develop individual creativity while receiving high quality training in music. Students can specialise in performance (instrumental/voice), composition, creative music production (technology), musicology, or may combine these areas into a double major.

There are many opportunities to perform in and create for a diverse array of ensembles and bands such as jazz, pop and world music, symphonic and wind orchestras, chamber and large choirs, small, medium and hybrid groups. Digital ensembles such as creating and performing with MIDI controlled devices or a laptop orchestra are also on offer. Music production skills are crucial to the modern musician, and all students have the opportunity to develop skills in this area.

Information: Phone: (02) 4921 8900. Email:

Southern Cross University


Bachelor of Contemporary Music

The hands-on, practical yet creative Bachelor of Contemporary Music degree offers learning in a music industry environment and engages students from the start of the course. Students can specialise in performance, professional industry studies and/or music education.

Major Areas of Study are:

Performance — allows specialisation in the student’s chosen instrument (guitar, bass, keyboard classes are supported by ensemble classes which provide industry-relevant training in playing in bands.

Industry and Audio Production — prepares students for working professionally in the music industry. Other areas include conducting business in the music industry, marketing musical products and managing a career as an independent musician.

Music Education — These units provide vocational skills specifically required for secondary music teaching, and also essential for teaching music in other contexts.

Phone: Freecall 1800 626 481

Sydney Conservatorium of Music

University of Sydney, Sydney

Music in the 21st century is all pervasive. Never in the history of our distinctive art form has there been a wider array of opportunities for the composers, performers, educators and scholars in the pursuit of musical excellence. From the concert hall to the big screen, the orchestra pit to the iPhone, or from the Xbox to the opera theatre, the demand for our art has never been greater.

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music is this nation’s premier tertiary music institution and plays a pivotal role in the Australian musical landscape, particularly in the Asia Pacific. Ideally situated at the centre of Sydney’s CBD and arts precinct and minutes from the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Conservatorium provides a comprehensive musical education, imparting the necessary knowledge, skills, and aesthetic to thrive in this exciting new century of music.

Our degree programs at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels underscore the four key areas of performance, composition, music education, and musicology. Mentored by leaders in your chosen field, you may specialise in your area of interest or explore combinations of areas to satisfy your creative energies. As a student of the University of Sydney, you will be an engaged member of a community of scholars comprising the top 40 universities in the world, including Harvard, Yale, Oxford, and Cambridge.

Sydney Conservatorium graduates go on to have successful careers as soloists or orchestral musicians, composers, academics and educators, critics, writers, and arts administrators. The keys to our graduate successes are the highly dedicated faculty of teachers, performers and scholars and a diverse and highly talented student body – all of whom share a passion for music making.

We make no apology for the fact that entry into the Sydney Conservatorium of Music is highly competitive. If you study with us, you can expect to be challenged beyond your perceived boundary of technical ability and musical creativity. We can assure you, however, that the skills you develop and the experience gained in your time at the Conservatorium will be a touchstone of excellence and a capstone educational experience for the rest of your life.

We invite you to come and share in our dynamic musical world.

Phone: (02) 9351 1216. Email:

University of New England


Courses and units at UNE are designed to enable students to gain a real understanding for the underlying unity in all music studies. Students not only participate in UNE’s stimulating intellectual community, but also benefit from Armidale’s unique cultural environment. Students can join a variety of traditional and/or world music ensembles to gain a breadth of experience that prepares them for a variety of careers. Many students live in one of the student colleges, which are a special part of the UNE experience. Off-campus students benefit from UNE’s expertise in providing units in online and other distance education modes.

The majority of undergraduate students at UNE study music through either the Bachelor of Music (3 years full-time equivalent) course or the combined Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Teaching (4 years full-time equivalent). Some units may be undertaken in other generalist courses.

Phone: (02) 6773 6564

University of New South Wales

Kensington, Sydney

The Engaged Musician

People ‘make music’ in various ways: as performers, composers, producers, and curators or in their various combinations. At a professional level music making requires technical and stylistic mastery, and often an engagement with key issues that underlie music’s complexity and universality as a form of human behaviour. Music’s status as art, as psychological and cultural experience, and as agent of social action and change are, therefore, among the key issues that are foundational to the UNSW music program. The music program at UNSW seeks to instill in the student the pursuit of excellence and develop the skills and knowledge to make music with confidence, artistic conviction and social commitment.

Our program nurtures the student’s aspirations to develop their ability to the highest standards in performing, composing, researching, producing, or teaching by instilling the self-awareness that only with a solid technical, aesthetic, critical and intellectual foundation to draw upon, can the student ever truly reach their potential.

To achieve this potential, the new Bachelor of Music at UNSW offers four major streams. Music Creative Practice offers intensive pre-professional training in performance or composition in a self-selected musical style or tradition, including Classical, Jazz and World Music. Music Inquiry provides a rigorous course of study in historical musicology, ethnomusicology and the psychology of music. Sonic Arts focuses on the use of sound as a means for a broad-range of creative investigations and applications and provides foundational skills and knowledge in sound recording and processing, post-production techniques, digital sound manipulation, acoustics, and psychoacoustics. And Music Pedagogy delivers a comprehensive program of study in musicianship, musicology, pedagogical methods, and educational and motivational psychology specifically for studio music teaching. Graduates in all four major streams may also pursue, concurrently, qualifications in music education.

Underlying the common core theoretical and critical subjects are the enduring themes of music as art, music as experience, and music as social action. Studies in various musical styles, genres and cultures and diverse ensemble practices, including orchestra, wind band, Balinese gamelan, West African percussion, large and small jazz ensembles, Cuban-based conjunto, large and small choirs, handbells, and intercultural music groups, are available to all streams.

The program prepares students for professional work in areas as wide-ranging as music performance, arranging and composing, music studio teaching, research, broadcasting and recording, sound engineering, music journalism, and arts administration. Students may also study, concurrently, other programs in Arts, Teacher Education, Science, Advanced Science, and Engineering to advance their career prospects.


The University of Technology Sydney


Bachelor of Sound and Music Design

This undergraduate course is designed to develop practitioners in sound and music design with a strong base of artistic, professional and theoretical skills. Studies will focus on developing cross-disciplinary design skills and application of these skills in work-related projects.

Why sound and music design at UTS?

  • This course offers a unique, contemporary sound and music degree experience by merging art and technology across domains of composition, entertainment and audio technology, as well as combining features of music and audio engineering with interaction design.
  • This course appeals to students with an interest in music, creative arts, design and technology or multimedia.
  • The studio-based and professional practice subjects are highly flexible, allowing students to foster their specialisation and interests through practical projects, critical review, documentation development and collaboration with industry professionals. The degree can be combined with the Bachelor of Arts in International Studies.

Phone: Freecall 1300 ASK UTS (1300 275 887).

University of Western Sydney


Bachelor of Music

The UWS Bachelor of Music takes an eclectic, modern and inclusive approach to music repertoire, performance and sound design. It gives students the opportunity to develop their professional and creative potential in making and appreciating many different types of music. Students study music from earlier historical periods while focusing on the repertoire and media of the 20th and 21st centuries, and take advantage of state of the art recording studios, multimedia labs, and digital audio/video suites. They gain practical experience in performance as soloist and in groups, in concert administration, recording, composition, audio production, film music, arranging music, music analysis and musicological research. High-level training is provided in a studio context, as well as a lecture/workshop/tutorial environment. Students can major in composition, sound technologies and music performance, with fourth year honours available to meritorious students. Composers, performers, technologists and musicologists may also enrol in a research or practice-based Master of Arts (honours), PhD or Doctorate of Creative Arts.

The UWS Bachelor of Music develops innovative, articulate musicians who contribute to the music community and the culture it serves. Career opportunities include performance, teaching, artistic direction, composition, film music, sound design, audio engineering, convergent media, arts administration, concert management, and community music.

A Master of Creative Music Therapy offers specialist training in this area and a Master of Teaching offers specialist teacher training. Selection is by an interview and audition process which takes into account personal aptitude, professional experience and educational qualifications.

For more information please visit the [ website]. Emails: Director of Academic Program (Music) Diana Blom: Academic Course Adviser (Music) Ian Stevenson:

Wesley Institute

Drummoyne, Sydney

If you have ever dreamed about making a difference with your music, take a good look at the Wesley Institute’s Music School and our exceptional music courses. As well as a great line-up of teachers and industry professionals, the School of Music offers performance, teaching and practice facilities ranging from small studios, purpose-built classrooms to technical laboratories and theatre spaces. In addition, at Wesley Institute, teacher training can be combined with your music course if you are interested in teaching music.

When you choose our music courses you choose to study in a supportive and caring Christian learning environment as Wesley Institute values academic excellence paired with spiritual growth.

  • Bachelor of Music
  • Associate Degree of Music – after completion of the second year.
  • Master of Music with majors in Performance, Contemporary Composition and Arts Management
  • Graduate Diploma in Education (Secondary).

Phone: (02) 9819 8824. Email:


Box Hill Institute

Box Hill, Melbourne

Whether you’re interested in performance, musical theatre, composition, audio production or the business of music, Box Hill Institute offers a progressive range of courses, from certificates to bachelor degrees. In fact, Box Hill Institute was the first TAFE institute in Australia to offer a degree in applied music, whether in performance, composition or audio production.

The Centre for Creative Industries offers two Music Business courses; the Diploma of Music Business and the Bachelor of Applied Business in Music Industry. The Diploma course is a one year full time course that offers students an overview of the music industry and the chance to participate in a range of music industry activities including running music events and working in our MiBO office. The Bachelor of Applied Business in Music Industry is a three year full time course. This degree requires students to study the music industry with more depth and breadth than the Diploma course requires.

Entry is by audition, interview and musicianship test. Information: call 1300 BOX HILL (1300 269 445)

Melbourne Conservatorium of Music

University of Melbourne, Parkville, Melbourne

Melbourne Conservatorium introduces the Master of Music Performance Teaching

The Master of Music (Performance Teaching) at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM), University of Melbourne is breaking new ground in Australia, creating well-equipped leaders in the field of instrumental and vocal music education.

Offered for the first time in 2012, the new coursework Masters provides a highly focused degree which enables specialist instrumental and vocal teachers to work in schools as well as community and private provider settings.

Together with performance-teaching pedagogy and a comprehensive range of electives, the MMus (Performance Teaching) includes:

  • Advanced music performance tuition;
  • Second instrument studies;
  • Ensemble participation;
  • Conducting

The course also offers the opportunity for Primary Level Suzuki Teacher Accreditation through an elective subject.

MCM Director Professor Gary McPherson is enthusiastic about the new degree. ‘This Masters provides transformative change for the way we train Australian music teachers. Not only will it continue to enhance the participants’ musical skills as instrumentalists/vocalists, but it will also ensure that they graduate understanding contemporary techniques for teaching instruments/voice and ensembles, in addition to developing understandings of the very latest international research on instrumental/vocal pedagogy,’ he said.

Music educators around Australia are welcoming the new program with keen interest. Andrew Mott, Head of Music at Caulfield Grammar in Melbourne, is excited about the new MMus (Performance Teaching) degree as it will provide participants with a thorough training in a range of practical and pedagogical skills.’ The field of instrumental music education is in need of performer/teachers who are accomplished in a host of skills and who possess the confidence and understandings to lead and engage their students in a field they themselves love,’ he said.

‘Successful educators possess sound musical judgment and have a sense of style across a range of musical settings. They also understand the fundamentals of what makes a successful music program and how it can be maintained. The profession will thrive with teachers who understand the difference between merely recreating music and truly expressing it. Outstanding instrumental music teachers not only equip their students with a variety of artistic disciplines, but a range of skills that are transferable in innumerable ways,’ Andrew Mott said.

In years to come, the MMus (Performance Teaching) will have a significant positive impact on the quality of instrumental and vocal teaching offered in schools, studios and communities throughout Australia.

For more information about the MMus (Performance Teaching) visit

Monash University School of Music — Conservatorium

Clayton, Melbourne

The School of Music — Conservatorium at Monash is ranked among the best music schools in Australia, with a history of achieving excellence in teaching, and research.

The School offers a wide-ranging undergraduate program and a variety of honours and postgraduate degrees in performance, composition, musicology and ethnomusicology. With modern facilities, unique archival collections, scholarship opportunities and a reputation for supervision excellence, the Monash School of Music is home to a vibrant, nurturing and productive teaching and research environment.

Particular strengths of the School include classical, jazz and popular music studies, ethnomusicology, and contemporary composition. The School encourages and promotes diversity and integration of traditional, multi-cultural and contemporary styles of music performance, and also boasts some of the leading teachers of classical and jazz instrumental and vocal performance in the country.

Student enquiries: (course & enrolment) (03) 9905 2107. Audition enquiries: (03) 9905 0085. Email:

Victorian College of the Arts, School of Contemporary Music

Southbank, Melbourne

Music making in the 21st Century is defined by specialisation and diversity, action and interaction, multimedia and collaboration. The School of Contemporary Music at the Victorian College of the Arts embraces these things as core experiences, offering programs that prepare students and develop research within the specialisations of Contemporary Music Performance, Interactive Composition and Music Theatre.

Content is both specialised and diverse and, for example might include: creating music for gaming, animation and film; contemporary performance improvisation in jazz and world music; intensive music theatre training in singing, acting and dance.

Our alumni are an integral part of contemporary Australian music making, contemporary improvisers, performers, composers, arrangers and producers in popular, jazz, indigenous, world and experimental genres; composers; music theatre practitioners, educators, program leaders, lecturers and teachers in primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

Phone: (03) 9035 9495. Email:

Victoria University

Locations in Melbourne

Our music programs offer practical, professional standard courses at Certificate and Advanced Diploma level across two streams including performance/composition and technical (sound) production. In our courses, you will learn the skills to promote yourself, establish and expand your networks, be aware of the latest technologies and gain valuable experience.

Our performance, recording and technology workspaces are located at Kindred Studios, Newmarket studios and at the University’s Footscray Nicholson campus.

We provide a range of opportunities, including performance events and workshops with professionals, seminars and visits to production facilities. Past highlights have included:

  • workshop sessions with internationally renowned composer/performer David Bridie, local producer and in-demand studio engineer Matt Voigt, guitarist Steve Magnusson, innovative trumpeter Peter Knight, legendary engineer Michael Stavrou
  • industry showcase and awards nights
  • a 3-day music industry conference

To arrange interview/audition times: Phone: (03) 9919 3204. Email:


Central Queensland University

Mackay, Noosa, Rockhampton

The creation, performance, significance, and even the definition of music vary according to culture and social context. Music ranges from strictly organized compositions (and their recreation in performance), through improvisational music to aleatoric forms. Music can be divided into genres and sub genres, although the dividing lines and relationships between music genres are often subtle, sometimes open to individual interpretation, and occasionally controversial. Within “the arts,” music may be classified as a performing art, a fine art, or an auditory art.

CQU offers degrees through to PhD. Some courses are offered in distance education mode.

Diploma of Music Industry (Technical Production)/Bachelor of Music (Creative Music Technology) Diploma of Music Performance/Diploma of Music Industry – Business (combined)/

Bachelor of Music in various specialisations.

It also offers a Master in Creative Industries.

Phone: Freecall 132786. Email:

James Cook University


Bachelor of New Media Arts (Music and Sound Media)

If words like ‘Foley’ and ‘Max/MSP’ interest you then learning about composition and performance as part of James Cook University’s Music and Sounds Media major will be right up your alley.

Digital sound and music skills are valuable for performers, sound technicians, producers and for those pursuing a career in new media, including electronic games and mobile technologies.

Music and Sound Media brings together composition, performance and the use of technology to give you the skills needed for careers in the music industry. You are able to choose from a variety of instruments and have access to a state-of-the-art recording studio.

You will also have the opportunity to experiment with digital or computer music technologies, enabling you to create or perform music in your own right or as part of a broader series of collaborative tasks. You will enjoy working across a range of media and creative projects where music and sound are integral elements.

Phone: (07) 4781 3166. Email:

Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University

South Bank, Brisbane, and Gold Coast

With a vibrant and highly acclaimed culture in terms of performance, pedagogy, community engagement and practice-based research across genres, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University (QCGU) is increasingly becoming the destination of choice for emerging music professionals.

Located in parklands at the heart of Brisbane’s cultural precinct, the South Bank campus is home to classical instrumental music, opera, musical theatre, jazz, composition and music technology, while the Gold Coast campus is dedicated to coaching the next generation of Australia’s popular musicians.

Acoustically, architecturally and technologically, QCGU facilities are second to none, allowing more than 850 students to apply their talents in a professional environment while connecting with like-minded young musicians.

Students are guided to find their place on the world stage, learning and performing alongside leading educators, musicians, composers and performers with international experience, and forging industry and cultural connections in Queensland, the Asia-Pacific, and beyond.

Undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs focus on highly evolved technique, repertoire and interpretation, but recognize the full range of skills to build successful and sustainable careers. The newly introduced strand My Life as a Musician addresses practical issues and prepares musicians for the realities of working life, including understanding of health, marketing and building portfolio careers.

Distinguished alumni include Megan Washington, ARIA-award winner Katie Noonan, Kate Miller-Heidke, Grammy-award winner Tim Munro, highly acclaimed composer/violist Brett Dean, ANAM Director Paul Dean, soprano Lisa Gasteen, and pianist Piers Lane.

But the success of Queensland Conservatorium alumni is also measured by their roles as educators, facilitators and performers in community settings: wherever there is music in Queensland, odds are a QCGU graduate is behind it.

As an intellectual and reflective motor behind many of the initiatives at QCGU, Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre undertakes innovative music research with relevance to twenty-first century realities in performance, education, communities and new technologies.

These projects yield articles and books, but also commercial recordings, festivals and events, including the multidisciplinary Encounters, the iPod opera iOrpheus, and the small ensemble festival Crossbows.

Such initiatives attract over $1 million a year in additional funding, have gained the Centre the 2012 Vice Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award for a research team, and inspire a cohort of over fifty musician/researchers at doctoral level.

Queensland Conservatorium is firmly dedicated to nurturing artistic integrity and academic rigour for contemporary musical realities.

Information on Queensland Conservatorium:

Listing of over 250 performances a year:

Queensland University of Technology

Kelvin Grove, Brisbane

QUT’s music course prepares aspiring musicians to adapt to the rapidly changing music industry. Music students are encouraged to create works across musical boundaries and strike out in bold new directions.

If production is your passion, you will focus on creating new music using songwriting, studio recording, sequencing, digital processing and writing for voices with acoustic and electro-acoustic instruments. If you are interested in performance you can focus on developing your unique performance style, such as new work, using digital technology, new interpretations of repertoire, and gain experience performing in a recording studio environment.

The sound design course at QUT caters for the new and emergent creative industries that operate in audio, music, visual, online and immersive environments. It involves sound art, contemporary sonic composition techniques, sound for animation, film and computer games and immersive soundscape design.

Phone: (07) 3138 5789. Email:

University of Queensland

St Lucia, Brisbane

The UQ Music Advantage provides students with exciting opportunities and choices in programs that prepare future leaders in the music professions.

The University of Queensland enjoys a long tradition of success and is a great destination for music students. A vibrant student life, stunning campus, exceptional study opportunities and inspirational staff provide a memorable experience for any student. The University has a focus on engagement, while its groundbreaking research and culture of excellence put it in the ranks of the world’s best universities.

UQ Music offers courses for undergraduates interested in a wide range of career opportunities. Our Bachelor of Music includes majors in performance, composition and musicology. During the first two years of their degree, students undertake performance studies, music history, techniques and aural studies. Students then complete a major in their final two years. Music can also be completed through dual degrees that combine a Bachelor of Music with a Bachelor of Education or Bachelor of Arts.

Popular music studies can be completed at the University of Queensland through the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Creative Arts or Bachelor of Journalism.

The School of Music provides a strong and distinctive concert program each year with performances across Brisbane. In 2012, students in the UQ Symphony Orchestra performed Elgar’s Cello Concerto at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and the UQ Chorale performed Brahms’ Requiem at St John’s Cathedral.

UQ graduates have enjoyed award winning careers in the music profession as performers, conductors, composers, educators, therapists, academics and arts administrators. They are leading music learning in schools across the community and have won positions with major orchestras and ensembles. In the health sector, they are strengthening communities through the use of music in new settings.

UQ Music staff are acclaimed internationally as performers, musicologists, teachers, composers and researchers. Our ensemble in residence includes violist Patricia Pollett, pianist Liam Viney and cellist Patrick Murphy. Library facilities are first-rate and research seminars enable students to hear the latest discoveries from our staff and PhD students.

Phone: 07 3365 4949. Email:

University of Southern Queensland


Music at USQ offers a contemporary, cutting edge approach to music performance and scholarship. Our innovative new degree explores music as a living, vital creative practice that embraces contemporary artistic and technological developments. The new Music Program provides solid training in music performance, theory and contextual studies.

Students select courses in:

  • classical and contemporary performance
  • music theory and history studies
  • collaboration with other creative arts disciplines

The program includes opportunities for tuition in the following performance areas: piano; contemporary singing; pipe organ; upper strings; flute; clarinet; saxophone; brass; percussion.

Phone: (07) 4631 5315. Freecall: 1800 269 500. Email:

South Australia

Elder Conservatorium of Music

University of Adelaide, Adelaide

As one of Australia’s oldest and most distinguished tertiary music schools, the Elder Conservatorium plays a leading role in Australia’s musical landscape. Our graduates hold positions of national and international influence as performers, composers, educators, scholars and administrators.

The range of programs that we offer is unique in Australian Higher Education. Our integrated raft of certificates, diplomas, degree and postgraduate qualifications provides opportunities for multiple entry and exit points, enabling us to meet the needs and aspirations of a wide variety of students. With specialisations in performance (classical and jazz), composition, music education, sonic arts/music technology, pedagogy, musicology and our newest specialisation, Popular Music & Creative Technologies, there are many possible pathways that can be followed. We also offer general interest music courses that can be taken by students enrolled in other degree programs within the University.

Phone: (08) 8303 5995. Email:

University of South Australia


The Bachelor of Media Arts degree combines vocationally relevant skills and knowledge with a broad cultural education. Students choose to complete a Bachelor of Media Arts in one of eight Professional Majors, one of which is music.

Foundation courses provide students with a sound general knowledge of all aspects of communication, the media, Australian politics, word processing, spreadsheet and database skills, and the main principles of persuasion.

The sub-major is a cluster of six courses which enables students to study an area of intellectual interest which will help broaden their academic program.

Electives may be chosen from any of the courses offered by the University, including those from the professional major or sub-major. Students will complete eight major courses in their specialisation; six sub-major courses; four foundation courses; five elective courses and one course in Indigenous Australian studies.

Phone: (08) 8302 2376 or 1300 UNINOW (local call cost). Email:

Western Australia

Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

Edith Cowan University, Mt Lawley, Perth

WAAPA provides the most comprehensive range of performing arts training in Australia and students can choose from a range of internationally recognised courses. World-class staff working in state-of-the-art performance and teaching facilities provide rigorous and specialised training of the highest order.

In this creative and supportive environment students pursue artistic excellence both on and off the stage. Every year students, staff and critically acclaimed guest artists collaborate to present over 300 public performances – more productions and more diversity than any other arts training institution in Australia.

WAAPA graduates include well-known actors, dancers, musicians and music theatre stars Hugh Jackman, Frances O’Connor, Marcus Graham, William McInnes, Lisa McCune, Lucy Durack, Rachelle Durkin, Emma Matthews, Jamie Oehlers, Eddie Perfect and Tim Minchin (amongst many others). WAAPA designers, arts management and production graduates are highly sought after.

Student Recruitment Phone: (08) 134 ECU. Email:


University of Tasmania Conservatorium of Music


The University of Tasmania Conservatorium of Music offers students an integrated music education based on best international contemporary arts practice. It acknowledges a responsibility to provide programs and opportunities for developing traditional music craft to a high level while also reflecting the changing nature of contemporary music practice. Its particular strengths lie in the fields of composition and performance.

The Conservatorium offers professional education and training in classical and contemporary music in the Undergraduate Courses leading to the Diploma of Music and Bachelor of Music awards, and beyond in the Postgraduate Coursework awards. Research Higher Degree awards may involve research into contemporary performance, including cross-arts, multimedia performance and explorations of new music technologies, as well as in traditional applied instrumental and composition areas. A strings program of international standing has long been a feature of the Conservatorium.

Phone: (03) 6226 7314. Email:

Northern Territory

Charles Darwin University


The Bachelor of Creative Arts and Industries (Music) offers two principal pathways of study: a Classical Music Specialisation or a Contemporary Music Specialisation. A third pathway is also offered as a combination of the two.

The Bachelor of Creative Arts and Industries (New Media Design) provides students with the knowledge and skills to become designers and developers within the creative industries by allowing them to specialise in Web Development and Design, New Media Design, Communication Design or Contemporary Music.

Freecall: 1800 061 963. Email:

Australian Capital Territory

The Australian National University School of Music


Start your career as a music professional

From 2013, the Australian National University is introducing a totally revised and updated Bachelor of Music degree, designed to prepare graduates for the ever-changing musical world of the twenty-first century. This new BMus is designed to prepare students for the ‘portfolio’ careers followed by most modern music professionals. Nowadays, a career in music requires not only advanced skills in performance, composition, improvisation and other areas of creative practice, but also familiarity with music technology, and the ability to work as an educator and facilitator of community music, and as a cultural entrepreneur.

The degree will provide students with the opportunity to develop high-level skills in musical performance across a range of genres – classical, jazz, contemporary and folk/world music. Students will work with experienced performers on the full-time staff of ANU School of Music, but will also be given a ‘performance development allowance’ to fund weekly one-to-one specialist instrumental and vocal tuition from an approved teacher; or an equivalent amount to pursue their performance studies through master classes and summer schools in Australia or overseas.

Students also have the option to pursue composition, improvisation, and multimedia creative music practice. Courses in creative practice allow students to understand the relationships between composition, improvisation, aural and music theory, and develop as composers and improvisers. All students can also explore the interrelationships between music and technology and music and policy; and to test new approaches to music education, in a variety of courses which develop students’ theoretical understanding and allow them to apply this to real-world settings.

As befits the music school of the Australian National University, the degree is designed to reflect music as it is understood and practiced in contemporary Australian society. It covers all genres (classical, jazz, contemporary, folk and world music) and offers specialist courses in indigenous Australian music, music politics and policy, and musical practice in a modern multicultural society.

Teaching and learning activities will include lectures, tutorials, ensembles, master classes, technical workshops and musical activities in the community. The educational philosophy is predicated on the notion of ‘authentic learning’ – learning by doing, in real-world musical settings. As with other degrees at ANU, the Bachelor of Music will support the development of critical and independent research skills, including research as creative and professional practice, led by staff who are themselves researchers and music practitioners.

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University of Canberra


Bachelor of Education in Secondary Teaching (Music). This course is offered to school leavers and those with no previous tertiary qualifications who would like to become secondary teachers in Music. Graduates will develop sensitivity to the needs and characteristics of learners, awareness of the social context and implications of schooling, understanding of basic education problems and issues, self-awareness including awareness of the place of the teacher’s personal theories, values and modes of operation in the motivation of learning, knowledge skills and attitudes to be an effective teacher and flexibility to enable constructive work in given education settings.

The Graduate Diploma in Education in Secondary Teaching offers the opportunity for non-teaching professionals to gain the skills and knowledge relating to secondary teaching. Core areas of the course cover approaches to effective teaching-learning experiences and promoting classroom responsiveness and positive learning outcomes for secondary students.



Representatives of individual tertiary music institutions. Entered on knowledge base 23 May 2013. Originally published in Music Forum, Vol. 18, No. 4, August (Spring) 2012, 26-37.


  1. The editor accessed the photos displayed in this article through Wikipedia on 23.5.2013. The Wikipedia articles were: Sydney Opera House, Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Adelaide Festival Centre, Perth Concert Hall (Western Australia), Hobart, Darwin Entertainment Centre, and ANU School of Music.↩︎

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