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Music Courses in New Zealand

Introduction to studying a music degree

A music degree in New Zealand includes modules on music theory, composition, music history, performance, and audio production, and students often have the opportunity to specialize in a particular instrument, genre, or area of interest, allowing for a tailored and well-rounded education in the field of music.

Graduates from music programs in New Zealand enjoy diverse career prospects, including roles as performers, composers, music educators, studio engineers, and music therapists. The country's commitment to supporting the arts and its thriving cultural landscape contributes to the attractiveness of pursuing a music degree in New Zealand.

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Types of Degrees

Students interested in music can pursue these courses at various levels, such as certificate, diploma, bachelor’s, master’s, and research. Here is the list of degrees that are available in New Zealand. 

Bachelors of Music (BMus)

The bachelor’s of music comes under the creative arts and industries that allow you to expand your musical technique and understanding of your choice of creative practice in classical, jazz, and famous music composition. It deals with teaching about music composition, interpretations, history of music, and more. 

A Bachelor of Arts in Music is a generalised degree encompassing performance, music theory, and other related topics. On the other hand, a bachelor of arts in music with a concentration offers a more specific subject, which is often based on the goal of further study. Some popular careers after graduating from music include music director, performer, sound technician, and music therapist. 

Postgraduate Diploma in Music (PGDipMus)

A postgraduate diploma is a one-year program where you can build the skills you learned in an undergraduate degree program and enter a postgraduate course. The course aims to offer advanced training in various aspects of music through a combination of courses, performances, and portfolio submission. Overall, the postgraduate diploma music courses in New Zealand develop your musical skills and aptitude to enter the music industry. 

Some core subjects include music history analysis, orchestration, conducting, and interpretation of music. You will also have the opportunity to specialise in a specific area of music, such as choral and contemporary music. After completing the course, you can opt for careers, such as composer or sound technician, or enrol for further study options, like a master's of music or doctor of philosophy. 

Master of Music (MMus)

Master of Music is a postgraduate course designed for students who have completed their Hons degree in music. It is an advanced-level degree programme where you will be guided by experts who will supervise you in individual sessions. You can specialise in four distinct areas - performance, composition, musicology, or study pedagogy. You will have the chance to investigate your interests and talents and engage in independent research about music. 

A postgraduate degree in music will help you boost your potential in music and build a successful career in music and the broader arts community. Some popular careers include art director, music producer, music journalist, and performer. 

Scholarships

Many music industries in New Zealand offer scholarships to students to support them in their studies. Here are some top scholarships and financial assistance that are offered to international students to pursue music courses in New Zealand:

Name of the Scholarship

Offered by

Award value

Freemasons Lankhuyzen/Whetu-Kairangi Music Awards

Victoria University of Wellington

$2000

UC International First Year Scholarship (NZ-School Leaver Scholarship)

University of Canterbury

$15,000

Vice Chancellor’s International Excellence Scholarship for India

The University of Waikato

$15,000

Jobs and Careers in Music

Graduates in the music industry can find employment in diverse fields, like arts and culture, film, theatre, and social research, to name a few. You will be honed with excellent skills essential for employment in broadcasting, arts administration, and music education. Depending on interests and experience gained, graduates can also become performers and composers or pursue higher education and research opportunities. After graduating from Music Colleges in New Zealand, one can gain and develop a solid foundation to grow their careers and expand their domains.

Salary

Musicians' average salary or pay rates depend on their ability, experience, how often they work, and the type of music they play. A graduate in music can get diverse career options, such as playing a musical instrument, teaching music, and composing and conducting songs. 

The average salary for a musician or composer in New Zealand usually ranges between $75,000 to $100,038 annually. One to two years of experience can earn around $46,400 annually. On the other hand, a person with more experience can earn between $62,300 to $113,000.

Top Universities for Music in New Zealand

To learn more about music courses in New Zealand, find details on the top-ranking music degree universities in New Zealand in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023:

Rank

University

Acceptance Rate

1

University of Auckland

45%

2

Victoria University of Wellington 64%

Study Music in New Zealand

If you want to learn more about studying for a music degree at a New Zealand university, arrange a free consultation with SI-New Zealand today.

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FAQ

What types of music courses are available in New Zealand?

Universities in New Zealand offer music courses in bachelor’s, postgraduate diploma, master’s, and doctor of philosophy. These programs are available in various specialisations, such as commercial music, jazz, contemporary music, and composition. 

Are there opportunities for internships or work placements in the music industry during the course of study?

Yes, New Zealand universities offer internships and work opportunities to gain experience, knowledge, and skills during the coursework. You will be allowed to work 20 hours weekly during your academic year. 

Can I specialise in the specific genre or style of music within the music courses offered in New Zealand?

Yes, you can specialise in a specific genre within the music courses offered in New Zealand, such as subjects like classical performance, sonic arts and music technology, and music therapy. 

What facilities and resources are available for music students in New Zealand institutions?

The music colleges in New Zealand have various facilities and resources available to students. These comprise practice facilities, recording studios, and instrument collection facilities and provide various projects and activities for hands-on experience.

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