Bachelor of Music

The ANU School of Music has a proud and rich history. It was the first purpose-built music school facility in Australia and for more than 50 years, the school has played a central role in the cultural life of Canberra and our region. Today the School is again at the forefront in shaping the future of music training and performance in Australia. The School's model of music education supports the vocational and professional needs of students as well as enabling them better to understand music in its broader social and cultural context.

Why study music at University?

A degree in music gives you the opportunity to develop your passion for music in the most direct ways, for instance, by improving your technical abilities and repertoire knowledge as a performer. Alongside this, you will also be trained to understand music more completely in its social and historical context and to critique and reflect upon the music you make and hear in new and sophisticated ways.

Why is this important? Today, music inhabits most of our waking hours, whether that be through car radios, mobile phones, mp3 players, Muzak, film scores or advertising. Consequently it has never been more important to understand what all this music means and how it may influence our lives and the lives others. It has also never been more important for a successful career in music for a musician to be an informed and articulate advocate for the art form.

Why study music at ANU?

As a music student at ANU you will be studying one of the most innovative, rigorous, and comprehensive tertiary courses in the country. You will be given the opportunity to experience a wide range of styles of music such as classical, jazz, contemporary, indigenous and world music as well as participate in a variety of solo and ensemble music performance programs. You will also have access to generous purpose-built facilities, including Llewellyn Hall which regularly hosts visits by national and international soloists and ensembles. ANU now also offers performance majors unparalleled flexibility, through Performance Development Allowances to tailor a program of practical instruction best suited to their individual needs.

About the ANU Bachelor of Music

The ANU Bachelor of Music prepares you for the ‘portfolio’ career followed by most modern music professionals. A successful contemporary music career 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.

Our degree is designed to reflect music as it is understood and practiced in contemporary Australian society. This education experience covers all genres (classical, jazz, contemporary, folk and world music) and offers specialist courses across four majors (performance; composition, arranging and sound design; music technology; and musicology).

Upon successful completion, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the practices, languages, forms, materials, technologies and techniques of a broad range of musics;
  2. Demonstrate deep knowledge of and proficiency in one or more areas of musical performance, composition arranging and sound design, musicology, or music technology by applying specialist cognitive and technical skills;
  3. Evaluate and interpret musical ideas and concepts by engaging with relevant research of others, and thinking creatively, critically, ethically, and independently to solve research questions through words and/or creative practice such as performance or composition;
  4. Communicate ideas, problems and arguments to do with music and the arts, through words and/or creative practice such as performance or composition, clearly and coherently in modes suited to a range of audiences; and
  5. Work independently and collaboratively in response to authentic music project demands.

Combine your degree

The School’s particular physical and organisational prominence within ANU means that we can offer you an extensive range of flexible double degree options to take alongside a music degree as well as ensuring that you can benefit from the vibrant broader campus life of ANU. A flexible double degree allows you to combine two Bachelor degrees of your choice. This can broaden your employment prospects and choice of career pathways or it can simply allow you to pursue your passion for music while achieving a professional qualification in another field.

Degree combinations including the Bachelor of Music are available in two groups:

  • Arts, business, social sciences & science group
  • Law group

Entry requirements

Applicants must meet the minimum ATAR of 80 (75 with bonus points) and meet audition requirements. Applicants will be expected to have pre-existing musical knowledge such as a competency level equivalent to NSW Music 2 or Music Extension, or AMEB Grade 5 theory, or equivalent qualifications or experience. In addition, 5 bonus points are available to applicants who have passed AMEB Grade 8 or equivalent.

Entry into the Performance stream is on the basis of an audition, and requires students to demonstrate a high level of performance skills.

Career prospects

The ANU Bachelor of Music degree not only enables you to develop your love for music, it also provides a foundation for a career. You will graduate with a range of professional skills in practical music making; music education; music advocacy; academic research; entrepreneurship; and media and technology. This is an ideal preparation given that musicians increasingly require a combination of skills to build a ‘portfolio’ career that can involve a mix of work as a performer, teacher, cultural entrepreneur, arts manager, music technologist and scholar.

More information
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Updated:  26 March 2018/Responsible Officer:  CASS Marketing & Communications/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications