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International Students

About the Elder Conservatorium of Music

The Elder Conservatorium of Music is one of Australia's oldest and most distinguished tertiary music schools. Located in the centre of the city, the Elder Conservatorium of Music is a vital part of the cultural life of Adelaide, a city celebrated for its rich and diverse artistic traditions.

We have close links with other educational and professional bodies within South Australia and across the nation, and we maintain strong connections with important institutions in the UK, USA, Canada, Asia and Europe. Our graduates hold positions of national and international influence as performers, composers, educators, scholars and administrators.

We offer range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs, covering all professional areas of the music industry. This comprehensive suite of programs - including degrees, postgraduate diplomas and masters programs - is designed to meet the needs and aspirations of a wide variety of students. Our programs are taught in a lively and supportive environment by high quality staff, all of whom are leaders in their field.

Student Testimonials

Hear what our current and past international students have to say about their experience at the Elder Conservatorium of Music.

  • Peck Jin Gan
    Peck Jin Gan

    "...the University of Adelaide was a sensible choice for someone who wishes to do a music course."
    Read more

  • Michelle Mei Wan Kong
    Michelle Mei Wan Kong

    "...all the piano lecturers have been inspiring. They can not only play really well, they can also teach in a very systematic and organised way."
    Read more

  • Qiming Lu
    Qiming Lu

    "It's fantastic - the program, the courses - it's been really helpful in improving my jazz skills. My teachers are fantastic."
    Read more

  • Iran Sanadzadeh
    Iran Sanadzadeh

    "The city is very accommodating to student life and is a great place be creative in."
    Read more

What can I study?

Bachelor of Music

The Bachelor of Music contains a major study in one of the following specialisations:

  • Music Performance – Classical

    The Classical Performance curriculum includes individual performance lessons, weekly technique and repertoire classes, performance forums and a comprehensive range of ensemble, choral and orchestral activities. The vocal curriculum includes language studies and stagecraft. Studies may also be undertaken in accompanying and orchestral performance.

  • Music Performance – Jazz

    The Jazz Performance curriculum includes individual performance lessons and ensemble performance. Students undertake intensive professional training in their instrument or voice, supported by aural, theoretical, historical and improvisation studies, together with a range of complementary ensemble work.

  • Music Composition

    Students in the Composition specialisation study a range of techniques and styles as they strive to develop their own compositional ’voice’. The Elder Conservatorium of Music has a number of composition lecturers, with specialists in a range of fields (such as film composition), with a particular focus on teaching the mastery of the craft. Composition students are afforded numerous opportunities to have their works performed at student concerts and composers’ workshops.

  • Musicology

    Musicology students examine music in its cultural, social, historical and stylistic contexts. Students develop knowledge and skills in music theory and analysis, music history and repertoire, and in writing about music. Coursework develops research-related skills and perspectives from the co-disciplines of musicology and ethnomusicology as applied to traditional and contemporary examples of Western and non-Western music. Students are also able to pursue studies across a wide range of musical disciplines. Performance opportunities in ensembles are available to all musicology students. Individual performance tuition (classical) may be offered subject to successful audition.

  • Music Education and Pedagogy

    The Music Education and Pedagogy specialisation enables students to explore key music concepts, and is designed for students who wish to work as classical instrumental or vocal teachers. Students learn in a range of educational settings and develop practical and functional music skills such as arranging and conducting. Students also gain an understanding of issues relating to various facets of music education. This is supported by aural, theoretical and historical studies, together with a range of complementary ensemble work. Students acquire a balance of skills and knowledge that leads to a broad experience in music. In order to become eligible to apply for teacher registration, graduates will need to complete a postgraduate qualification in education.

  • Popular Music and Creative Technologies

    The Popular Music and Creative Technologies specialisation focuses on composition and other creative work within a range of popular and rock music styles. It includes the application of digital and analogue techniques in performance (including ensemble) composition. Popular Music and Creative Technologies responds to the current demands of the music industry and equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel as music professionals. Practical studies in contemporary popular music, composition and music technology are taken in conjunction with a range of supporting studies in music theory and style studies.

  • Sonic Arts

    The Sonic Arts specialisation applies contemporary technologies to sound and music, including recording, composition, software and interaction, sound design and performance. Students develop an understanding of the principles of technology use from both theoretical and practical perspectives. After completing a foundation course in music technology, students can choose from courses in computer music, interaction design, sound design, game audio, film sound, instrument and software design, composition and sound engineering.

The Bachelor of Music provides intensive preparation for a career in the music industry. The program also includes history, theory, and aural core studies as well as elective courses. Upon completion of this degree program, students are strongly encouraged to proceed to the Honours year.

Music is a vital part of the vast global arts, entertainment and media industries, and career opportunities are numerous. Many graduates combine two or more different activities through most of their working career. Music studies lead to employment as soloist, accompanist, chamber musician, opera singer, orchestral player, jazz musician, private instrumental teacher, composer, music technologist, music writer, music critic, pop musician, recording artist, producer, sound engineer or as a classroom music teacher (when combined with a postgraduate qualification in education).

Postgraduate Programs (Coursework)

Graduate Diploma in Music (Performance and Pedagogy)
Master of Music (Performance and Pedagogy)

These programs develop expertise in pedagogy (learning, teaching and related processes) and classical performance while developing a thorough understanding of their relationship.

Graduates of these programs have careers in teaching in the private studio as well as various performance opportunities in public and private practice.

Graduate Diploma in Music (Performance Studies)
Master of Music (Performance Studies)

These programs provide students with the opportunity to concentrate on music performance and enhance technical mastery within an area of specialisation. The program focuses on traditional approaches to classical and jazz performance in addition to studies of twentieth century music.

Graduates could commence careers as performers in one or more specialist branches such as solo performance, chamber music or accompaniment.

How to apply
for our programs

Elder Conservatorium of Music

Faculty of Arts



T: +61 8 8313 5995
F: +61 8 8313 4423

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