Thanks to new performance and recording technologies, contemporary music is constantly evolving. Like the name suggests, Australian contemporary music is music that is currently being written, recorded, and performed by Australians (Federal Government’s Strategic Contemporary Music Industry Plan, 2010, cited in Music NSW, 2021). The style isn’t one single genre but rather a variety of styles, from electronic or dance, to experimental, jazz, metal, pop and world. Just as contemporary music is an expansive genre that needs to adapt to the changing industry needs of the music itself, Excelsia’s Bachelor of Music is a course that adapts and stays relevant in an ever-changing Australian music landscape.
In Excelsia College’s Bachelor of Music, students majoring in Contemporary Music will develop technical foundations and analyse music development, significant genres, and styles of popular music tradition within the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. From multi-instrumentalists and collaborators, to people who play by ear, singers, songwriters and those that enjoy performing with others, our students will learn to employ current musical vocabularies – American popular song, blues, jazz, folk and rock music, and new styles and genres created for the popular market. Coupled with artistic and analytical training, graduates will be prepared for a challenging but exciting career in music.
As more music is generated from home, professional musicians typically organise their careers around some combination of ‘traditional’ music work integrated with a range of self-management, self-promotion and self-production activities. Working in contemporary music is not just about what popular music sounds like, but about each artist’s pursuit of excellence and integrity through their performances. This is why Excelsia College is proud to educate students from a Christian worldview that promotes social responsibility.
Excelsia College’s music school is backed by passionate individuals working in the field who have developed their craft over many years. This includes staff such as Australian musician Julia Michaels, who teaches Contemporary Vocal, Song Writing, and Small Ensemble, and Candice Boyd, who teaches Contemporary Voice and Contemporary Violin. Dr Lotte Latukefu, Head of Creative and Performing Arts, shares her thoughts on what she believes makes Excelsia’s Bachelor of Music course such a unique offering. ‘We do lots of hands-on learning in smaller classes. Every student’s journey as a musician is very different and where possible we accommodate this. Our teaching staff have extensive experience in their teaching background as well as their industry background. Our own research informs our learning and teaching design. We constantly evaluate what we do in order to equip students for twenty-first-century music needs. We prepare students for a creative career with real-world application of their skills. We give students the opportunity to develop as people who have a good understanding of their values, strengths and weaknesses through our Formation units. We challenge them with genuinely diverse opportunities. We teach for lifelong learning.
‘The performing arts school is genuinely invested in students and adaptable to learning styles and students goals. All of our teachers are internationally recognised in the diverse areas of music industry and bring this diversity into the classroom. The breadth of learning experiences that Excelsia represents provides students opportunities to gain a breadth of understanding while preparing for their careers in music. We have different performance and production opportunities to support this breadth of experience: ensemble showcases, solo showcases and combining working in a digital space too,’ explains Lotte.
Bachelor of Music students learn to become informed artists who think critically for themselves and explore cross-cultural influences within music as they create and perform in a range of environments, including opportunities to work with the Strathfield Symphony Orchestra. The Contemporary Music course combines musical knowledge and technique, allowing students the freedom and independence to improvise and prepare themselves for the future.
The Contemporary Music course can lead to a diverse range of careers including performers (accompanists, chamber musicians, band members, session musicians, composers and arrangers, conductors and musical directors in school and church settings), artist managers and agents, arts administrators, promoters, fundraisers and event planners, audio engineers (studio and live sound), or music critics. The music course also lends itself to teaching in schools and private institutions.
You can be sure you are in the right hands when you enrol in the Bachelor of Music course at Excelsia College. Why not check out the course today?
Music NSW. (2021). Contemporary Music. https://www.musicnsw.com/contemporary-music/