The music industry is a dynamic employment market, offering paid work to a vast array of practitioners around the world. This is befitting of an art form that has prevailed across all cultures and societies throughout history.
Much of the rapid development of the music industry has occurred very recently, in the last 25 years, and is the result of the explosion of digital technology and re-definition of social communities and culture. This has opened up new areas of expertise for music professionals, though not eclipsing the more traditional roles of teaching, conducting, music leadership, and performing as a soloist or in a group.
- The School of Music offers an exciting range of courses at all levels in performance, composition, songwriting, digital music, music history, and musicianship, as well as internships and collaborative projects.
- The Bachelor of Music (MusB) degree offers pathways for students and a broad range of career opportunities for aspiring professional musicians. The three majors focus on:
- Music courses are open to students across the university, providing a wide choice of high-quality courses for music majors, and for those studying other qualifications who wish to include music studies in their degree.
Choosing your degree programme
The Bachelor of Music is a specialist degree for those who want to concentrate all, or nearly all, of their studies on Music, majoring in Performance, New Music, or Musical Culture.
The Bachelor of Arts majoiring in Music offers flexibility to combine Music study with other subjects. BA students who major in Music can choose from a wide selection of Music courses. Music can also be taken as a minor within the BCom degree.
Double degrees, for example a BA and MusB combination, are also an option.
Most music courses are open to students without prior experience. Performance and New Music courses have limited entry and require applications (see below).
An application including a small portfolio of previous works is required for entry into MUSA 120 Songwriting 1 and MUSA 121 Notated Composition 1A and should be made to the School of Music by 7 November 2018. See Courses below for more information on the portfolio required for these. For the application form to accompany your portfolio submission, see the School of Music website.
Entry to all first-year performance courses is by application and an audition. Application forms are available on the School of Music website. Early auditions begin August 25–27 2018. Applications should be submitted by 17 October 2018.
If you are unsure about how to plan your studies to cater for your background and aspirations, please contact the School of Music.
Compulsory 100-level courses for the Bachelor of Music are:
- MUSA 100 Essentials in Music Techniques
- MUSA 101 Musicianship, Harmony and Analysis 1
- MUSA 125 Music Technologies 1
- MUSA 131 Organum to Autotune
- MUSA 150 Music in Aotearoa New Zealand
Additional Music courses are offered at 100-level including notated composition, songwriting, ensemble (large and small), New Zealand music, music industry, music technologies, acoustics and recording techniques, chamber choir, and performance (major and non-major).
A major in Music within the Bachelor of Arts requires:
- either MUSA 100 or MUSA 101, and
- one of MUSA 125, MUSA 131, and MUSA 150 Music in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Portfolio submission for some courses
Entry into MUSA 120 Song Writing 1 requires the submission of a portfolio that demonstrates the applicant's songwriting abilities. This portfolio may contain recordings and/or notated songs, and the notation format may include anything from a lead sheet to a fully notated music score. A typical portfolio will contain approximately three songs that demonstrate the stylistic breadth and songwriting strengths of the applicant.
Entry into MUSA 121 Notated Composition 1A requires the submission of a portfolio of approximately three notated works that demonstrate your composition style and strengths to date. It should include notated scores for each composition (handwritten or computer typeset), and may also include recordings and/or MIDI files.
For more information and an application form to accompany your portfolio submission, see the School of Music website.
200-level and beyond
The second and third years offer students the opportunity to specialise in areas of particular interest.
Core courses for the MusB beyond 100-level include:
- MUSA 200 Musicianship, Harmony and Analysis 2
- MUSA 201 Harmony and Score-Reading
- MUSA 250 Music in our Community 1: Surveying the Scene
- One of the following: MUSA 231 The Musical Heritage of Western Civilisation; MUSA 232 Musics of the World; MUSA 233 Popular Music in Context; MUSA 234 Contemporary Music.
Music graduates are found in a wide range of occupations including positions in orchestras, choirs, opera houses, conservatories, universities, schools, and other education contexts. They are prominent in areas of leadership such as arts administration and management.
Those who wish to work in education find that the inclusion of some music in their degree can be beneficial.
UC Music graduates also work in fields such as journalism, television and radio (planning and production), publishing, and in technical areas such as recording, digital music, sound engineering, and music technology.
People with musical talent are sought by festival organisers and arts organisations.
Find out more about what you can do with a degree in Music.
See the School's website for up-to-date location details.
College of Arts | Te Rāngai Toi Tangata
University of Canterbury | Te Whare Wānanga o Waitaha
Private Bag 4800
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