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This program aims to develop skills and nurture talent by providing opportunities to develop individual creativity while receiving high quality training in music. Students receive individual and group tuition in their principal instrument, attend classes in essential core academic curricula, and have the opportunity to study a variety of electives. The Conservatorium is also able to offer a variety of performance experiences as well as the opportunity to attend concerts and workshops. The concerts and workshops are often presented by high profile national and international musicians who regularly visit the Conservatorium. The program involves a broad base of performance activities including jazz, popular music, improvisation, creative production and world music.
Bachelor of Music students will attain a high level of skill in a principal study area: instrument, voice, composition, creative production. Practical activities within the program include performances in the principal study areas, chamber music, choir, contemporary and jazz ensembles and orchestra.
Music graduates find work as performers and music makers or work within the music industry in a variety of roles. The study of music involves the development of many skills – communication, team, project management and research – and a strong sense of creativity that may be transferred into many fields outside the music industry.
Visit the online showcase to listen to samples University of Newcastle staff and student work.
For more information about Music, visit the School of Drama, Fine Art and Music site.
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of Honours, Research Higher Degrees (RHD), Postgraduate Coursework programs and additional study options available. These options may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the future options following the Bachelor of Music include:
Bachelor of Music (Honours)
Masters by Research
As the global job sector can be competitive, it is of great advantage to complete a postgraduate qualification, particularly by independent research (such as Masters by Research, or PhD). See examples of research areas within this discipline here.
After completing a degree there are a broad range of postgraduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook at http://www.newcastle.edu.au/campaigns/postgrad/
The following list provides some example jobs for the Music degree. Some of these jobs will depend upon the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, and the combination of other majors and electives studied, for example some may require further study.
- Arts Administrators
- Arts Manager
- Broadcast Journalist
- Commissioning Editor
- Community Arts Worker
- Community Development Worker
- Education Officer
- Festival/Events Co-ordinator
- Front of House Manager
- Generalist Programs
- Grants Officer
- International Aid/Development Worker
- Broadcast Journalist
- Music Librarian
- Museum/Art Gallery Curator
- Music Copyist
- Music Producer
- Music Therapist
- Musical Arranger
- Musical Director
- Planning Officer
- Primary Teacher/Classroom
- Specialist Classroom Teacher
- Production Director
- Program Manager / Project Coordinator
- Project Manager
- Public Relations Officer
- Publications Officer/Editor
- Music Teacher
- Sound Effects Editor
- Sound Technician
- TAFE Teacher
- Technical Sales Representative
- University Lecturer / Academic
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Opportunities in Bachelor of Music exist in a wide range of areas within small, medium, and large organisations and institutions. Graduates may work in the music industry, education sector, in the media or in more generic roles using their generalist skills. Below are some examples of major organisations who recruit music graduates.
- 20th Century Fox (International)
- 2HD Radio (Newcastle) (Australia)
- ACP Magazines (Australia)
- ACT Association of Independent Schools (Australia)
- ACT Department of Education and Training (Australia)
- Arclight Films (International)
- Association of Independent Schools NSW (Australia)
- Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) (Australia)
- Australian Catholic Schools (Australia)
- Australian Council for the Arts (Australia)
- Australian Defence Force (International)
- Australian National Library (Australia)
- Australian Professional Theatre Companies (Australia)
- Australian Secret Intelligence Service (Australia)
- Australian Taxation Office (Australia)
- Coles (Australia)
- Council of International Schools (International)
- Department of Communication, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA) (Australia)
- Department of Education and Training (Teach NSW) (Australia)
- Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (Australia)
- Fairfax Media (Australia)
- NT Department of Education and Training (Australia)
- NT Dept of Planning and Infrastructure (Australia)
- Office for the Arts (Australia)
- Ogilvy (Australia)
- Prime Newcastle (Australia)
- QLD Department of Education and Training (Australia)
- Red Cross (Australia)
- Saatchi & Saatchi (International)
- Sony (Australia)
- State Theatre Company (SA) (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
- Arts Law Centre of Australia Online (Australia)
- Association of Artist Managers (Australia)
- Association of Independent Record Labels (Australia)
- Australia Council for the Arts (Australia)
- Australian Music Association (Australia)
- Australian Music Industry Directories (Australia)
- Australian Music Publishers Association (Australia)
- The Australian Music Therapy Association (Australia)
- Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing (Australia)
- Australian National Choral Association (Australia)
- Australian Publishers Association (Australia)
- Australian Recording Industry Association (Australia)
- Australian Society for Music Education (Australia)
- Australian Songwriters Association (Australia)
- Fellowship of Australian Composers (Australia)
- International Association of Music Libraries (Australia) (International)
- Live Performance Australia (Australia)
- Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (Australia)
- Music Council of Australia (Australia)
- Music Teachers Associations (Australia)
- MusicNSW (Australia)
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Graduate Attributes and Employability
Graduate attributes for the Bachelor of Music are the skills, abilities and knowledge sets that are highly sought after in the industry. Below is the complete list of attributes that graduates will have demonstrated upon the completion of the degree.
- The ability to create, produce and/or perform music to a professional standard in a variety of contexts.
- The ability to work collaboratively as required by the wider music industry.
- To act independently and/or competently manage small and large scale projects.
- The ability to problem-solve and have critical insights within the relevant musical situation.
- The capacity to converse effectively in a variety of musical contexts using a range of communication strategies and technologies.
- The ability to demonstrate a critical and scholarly appreciation of music and its many aesthetics from an historical and socio-cultural perspective.
- The ability to act as an advocate for music communities and professional bodies.
You will recognise these attributes in the selection criteria listed in the following job ads.
Sample Job Ads & Tips
Job ads provide useful information about the job and the required skills, experience and qualifications. Information like this is useful in career planning. Below is a small sample of job ads with tips on planning and job applications; explore further to gather more useful information for your planning.
Please note, the job ads listed on this page are not current and were sourced from a variety of websites in 2010.