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Bachelor of Music - Music Performance - Classical

Students will undertake intensive professional training in their instrument, supported by aural, theoretical and historical studies, together with a range of complementary ensemble work and chamber music.

Students in Music Performance - Classical undertake individual performance lessons, weekly technique and repertoire classes, performance forums and a comprehensive range of ensemble and orchestral activities.

  • Classical Brass
    Instruments: Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Euphonium, French Horn

    Classical Performance in Brass Studies is a busy and vibrant area. Students are exposed to a broad education with teachers and lecturers providing masterclasses, one-to-one lessons, repertoire classes, technique classes and tutorials. Teaching staff are drawn from the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, The Band of the South Australian Police, and freelance musicians. The Head of Brass, Howard Parkinson, has been a member of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (ASO) for over thirty-five years. Having a Head of Studies with this experience and still "in the field" is a great advantage to students.

    As well as having access to three full-time orchestras, students are able to participate in the busiest of all ensembles at the Conservatorium - Brass Ensemble (this ensemble averages 20 - 25 performances each year). Regular mock auditions are scheduled where students are screened and have the opportunity to audition for guest lecturers. This has proven very effective with many students gaining casual work with the ASO as a result of "successful" mock auditions. The brass department also runs its own Chamber Music program - students play in various ensembles and perform in up to 6 concerts each year. Classical students also have the opportunity to play in some of the Conservatorium’s Large Jazz Ensembles/Big Bands/Latin Bands.

    The performing arts scene in Adelaide is "buzzing" with opportunity. If you want to play, gain experience, learn new repertoire and network with other musicians there are many avenues - Community Orchestras (symphony and chamber), Brass Bands, Adelaide Youth Orchestra, Adelaide Wind Orchestra, Arts Orchestra, Big Bands - the list goes on...

    Amanda Grigg
    Head, Brass & Percussion

  • Classical Keyboard
    Instruments: Piano, Organ, Harpsichord

    The Elder Conservatorium has always maintained a strong keyboard program. Its dedicated staff are committed to providing a rich and vibrant learning environment in which students are encouraged to aspire to the highest standards of excellence. Intensive one-to-one tuition is offered, together with weekly Technique and Repertoire classes giving students regular performance exposure. Masterclasses with world class visiting artists further inspire and enrich the learning experience, and students are strongly encouraged to participate in a range of internal competitions.

    The Elder Conservatorium is proud of its keyboard facilities, boasting two brand new Steinway Concert Grands in the Elder Hall, together with Steinway Bs in all its specialist keyboard teaching studios.

    Lucinda Collins
    Head, Keyboard

  • Classical Percussion

    The Elder Conservatorium of Music has a proud tradition and is committed to the pursuit of excellence in the performance of percussion. We offer a comprehensive and broad programme with an emphasis on developing the individual as a solo and chamber musician. Whether your interests are in classical orchestral techniques, solo repertoire or more contemporary popular music the Elder Conservatorium aims to support your learning and provide opportunities for you to develop as a performer.

    The percussion curriculum is designed to develop musicianship, technical proficiency, creativity and is committed to the highest standards of professional endeavour. As a student you will receive individual tuition on marimba, vibraphone, timpani, hand and orchestral percussion. Regardless of your specialisation you will also be encouraged to perform in Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble; Brass Ensemble and as many of the other Conservatorium Ensembles as possible. You can expect to develop your performance skills, to be challenged, and to contribute in a professional and positive way to your own education and the education of others.

    The goal of the percussion studies program is to provide a professional- level experiences and to create a vibrant and diverse musical education for all students. Access to the Percussion Studio and surrounding practise rooms is available from 6.00am – 11.00pm, 7 days a week, offering you a safe and collegial environment to pursue your passion for percussion.

    Amanda Grigg
    Head, Brass & Percussion

  • Classical Strings
    Instruments: Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Harp, Guitar

    The string department of the Elder Conservatorium is a dynamic and focused area. The teaching of all classical string instruments- violin, viola, cello, double bass, guitar and harp- is undertaken by an impressive staff of committed teachers. Weekly one to one instrumental lessons combined with Classes focusing on technique and repertoire, orchestral excerpts and chamber music support an enriching learning experience. Masterclasses with world class visiting artists are regular events in the yearly calendar and are essential to a well- rounded learning environment.

    The department is headed by Elizabeth Layton. Her wide experience ensures that students receive a high level of supervision and attention to allow for the best possible outcome of their studies. The string department is also uniquely served by having the Australian String Quartet in residence. Members of the quartet teach individual students, coach chamber music and perform regularly in special chamber classes for the students and in evening and lunch hour concerts. This is an invaluable window into the profession and one highly valued by the University of Adelaide.

    The Elder Conservatorium has a limited number of fine instruments which can be accessed by students. There is also ample opportunity for solo, chamber and orchestral performance in a vibrant and exciting concert calendar.

    Elizabeth Layton
    Head, Strings


  • Classical Woodwind
    Instruments: Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophone, Recorder

    The woodwind department has a vibrant and dedicated staff over the six instrumental areas. We have a special collaboration with players from the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, in addition to the highest calibre part time staff teaching professionally in the community. Elizabeth Koch OAM has twenty seven years orchestral experience playing in the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra which is a major asset in the area of orchestral training. Elizabeth has formed strong links with the ASO education programs with a recent initiative of the ASO Orchestral Traineeships being instituted in 2014.

    Woodwind students are involved in intensive technique and repertoires classes. Topics have included collaborating with the Anatomy Department at the Medical School, University of Adelaide, mock orchestral auditions, sight reading classes, technique competitions, guest performers and teachers, in addition to many performance opportunities.

    Students audition in Orientation Week for the large ensembles , the Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra and the Elder Conservatorium Wind Orchestra. There are many opportunities to perform in chamber music groups as well as various lunch time concerts around the city. Adelaide also has a strong youth music presence with the Adelaide Youth Orchestra and this provides another avenue for gaining orchestral experience.

    The Elder Conservatorium Wind Orchestra is one of the Conservatorium’s flagship ensembles, offering woodwind students the opportunity to play under conductor Robert Hower, a graduate from the Eastman School of Music USA.

    Former Elder Conservatorium woodwind students are now playing professionally both nationally and internationally, including the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and West Australian Symphony Orchestra. Graduates have won positions at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne, the Royal College of Music and Royal Academy of Music in London, Musik Hochschule Mannheim, Yale University and Stonybrook University in the USA.

    The goals of the woodwind department are to provide high level tuition and performance experiences and to guide and mentor students as they develop their careers from their first year at the Elder Conservatorium of Music.

    Associate Professor Elizabeth Koch OAM
    Head, Woodwind

Audition Requirements

For eligibility and entry requirements, please visit Degree Finder.

Entry requirements for the Advanced degree

Elder Conservatorium of Music

Faculty of Arts



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