Bachelor of
Music

Providing you with the technical, artistic and analytical training

required to become professional musicians, songwriters or singers

Bachelor of Music - Music Courses

COURSE SUMMARY
Qualification / Award MU14 Bachelor of Music
Course Duration 3 years full-time/ 6 years part-time
Credit Points 144 credit points
Delivery On Campus
Available to Domestic (FEE-HELP available)/International
ATAR N/A
IELTS 6.0 with no band less than 6.0
CRICOS Code 057959G
Financial Information Course Fees Page
AQF Level 7
Key Dates Application Deadlines and other Key Course Dates
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The Bachelor of Music provides students with the technical, artistic and analytical training required to become professional musicians. This music degree features private tuition with industry experts for voice and instrument studies and extensive performance and studio experience. Offering multiple performance genres, regular performance opportunities and a strong project emphasis, the Bachelor of Music is an industry-standard degree for aspiring musicians.

Classical
This course provides musicians with the high level training in performance, musicianship, ensemble work, musicality and breadth of musical knowledge required for a life in classical music. Students are exposed to a wide range of music across history as well as one-on-one tuition with exceptional tutors on their instrument.

Contemporary
This course prepares musicians for a career in the ever-changing world of contemporary music. Artistic, technical, practical and musicianship skills are honed to create a well-rounded musician prepared for the diverse work lives led by industry professionals.

Jazz
This course offers multiple experiences in improvisation, ensemble work, arrangement and performance designed to prepare students for the highly skilled world of jazz musicianship. Students are encouraged to partake in multiple performance opportunities and workshops to help them think on their feet and engage with the jazz ethos.


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Australian Applicants with recent Secondary Education (School Leavers)

Educational Prerequisites

  • NSW Higher School Certificate or its interstate or overseas equivalent, or
  • Attainment of tertiary qualification, or satisfactory completion of at least one year’s full-time load in a tertiary course.

Artistic and Academic Skill Assessment

  • Audition: Applicant should prepare to present (2) pieces demonstrating their skill on their major instrument (including voice).
  • Interview: Conducted concurrently with the audition. Applicants will discuss their previous musical experience, personal motivation and aspirations.
  • Musical knowledge: It is assumed that commencing students will possess musical knowledge equivalent to the outcomes of HSC Music 1or 2 or AMEB Grade 3-5 Musicianship.

International Student

In addition to meeting the educational, artistic and academic prerequisites above international applicants who have not completed an educational qualification in English have to provide proof of proficiency in English through internationally recognised tests such as IELTS or TOEFL, or through satisfactory completion of an approved course at one of the College’s partner language colleges.


Examination Minimum Score
IELTS 6.0 with no band less than 6.0
TOEFL iBT (Internet-based) 60* with no score less than 20
PTE Academic 50 with no score less than 50

For other other ways of demonstrating English Language Proficiency visit the English Language Proficiency Requirements page.

Overseas students applying for admission to Excelsia College courses must have reached the age of 18 years by the commencement of their studies. Excelsia College will not admit overseas students who have not yet reached 18 years of age.

Visit the International Student page


Applicants with work and life experience

Applicants must demonstrate that they have been involved in some form of high level music making for at least 5 years. This could include professional music making, community music making, or worship leading.

  • Audition: Applicant should prepare to present (2) pieces demonstrating their skill on their major instrument (including voice).
  • Interview: Conducted concurrently with the audition. Applicants will discuss their previous musical experience, personal motivation and aspirations.
  • Musical knowledge: In the audition students will be assessed on their current musical knowledge and this will determine whether they go into a beginner or advanced stream in theory units.

Applicants with Higher Education

Artistic and Academic Skill Assessment

  • Audition: Applicant should prepare to present (2) pieces demonstrating their skill on their major instrument (including voice).
  • Interview: Conducted concurrently with the audition. Applicants will discuss their previous musical experience, personal motivation and aspirations.
  • Musical knowledge: In the audition students will be assessed on their current musical knowledge and this will determine whether they go into a beginner or advanced stream in theory units.

Applicants with VET or TAFE studies

Artistic and Academic Skill Assessment

  • Audition: Applicant should prepare to present (2) pieces demonstrating their skill on their major instrument (including voice).
  • Interview: Conducted concurrently with the audition. Applicants will discuss their previous musical experience, personal motivation and aspirations.
  • Musical knowledge: In the audition students will be assessed on their current musical knowledge and this will determine whether they go into a beginner or advanced stream in theory units.

CREDIT AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING (RPL)

If the applicant is successful they will be issued an offer letter and a written agreement. Students will need to respond to the offer within 6 weeks. This is done online and a confirmation will be emailed back to the applicant. At this point, applicants are welcome to apply for Credit or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). If you are eligible for credit or RPL, you may be exempt from completing some units and you may be able to finish your degree in a shorter amount of time.

Please refer to the Credit and Recognition of Prior Learning Policy reference.


Download the Student Selection and Admissions Policy and Procedure.

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The Bachelor of Music is predicated on the understanding that professional musicians will commonly engage in ‘portfolio’ careers requiring versatile, flexible and adaptable skills including performing, composing, arranging, producing, directing, teaching, and researching. Using these skills (and, in some cases, with further study) our current graduates have secured, and future graduates are expected to secure, employment as:

  1. Performers (accompanists, chamber musicians, band members, session musicians)
  2. Composers and arrangers
  3. Conductors and musical directors (in school and church settings)
  4. Artist managers and agents
  5. Arts administrators, promoters, fundraisers and event planners
  6. Audio engineers (studio and live sound)
  7. Teachers (in both private and public and school and non-school settings)
  8. Music critics, journalists and publicists

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Course Units

SEMESTER ONE

The Performance sequence of units is a degree-long study of the student’s major instrument (including voice), comprising a weekly one-hour individual lesson with a specialist tutor and a performance workshop. The tutor works with the student to develop and refine technical and interpretive skills and build a suitable repertoire. Tuition is offered in voice, studio guitar and all orchestral instruments.

Large Ensemble I (Choral) is the first of a series of six Large Ensemble Studies units providing rehearsal and performance experience in a large choral group. It enables students to develop their skills in pitch, rhythm, sight-singing and score-reading while studying a variety of vocal ensemble elements, such as intonation, choral blending, balance and contemporary techniques.

The series of Small Ensemble units is designed to maximise skill outcomes in all aspects of small ensemble performance skills in a choice of classical, vocal, jazz, rock, world music, contemporary and worship ensembles.

This unit explores foundational skills in harmony, listening and music theory relevant to contemporary and popular music – the music genre most familiar to students in everyday life. A basic knowledge of scales, intervals, keys, rhythms, and harmonies from both functional and stylistic perspectives is essential for a professional musician’s understanding of the music they perform, compose and arrange.

This unit surveys popular and contemporary music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, assisting students to examine musical development within this historical period. The significant genres and styles of the popular music tradition are explored, including American popular song, blues, jazz, folk and rock music through to the present day. Emphasis is placed on innovation during this period, as reflected in new performance and recording technologies, the development of improvised performance, and new styles and genres created for the popular market.

Functional Keyboard equips students with the basic practical keyboard skills needed to support their musical development. Aspects including technical work, sight-reading, accompaniment, transposition, improvisation, figured-bass reading and harmony over basic chord charts are covered in this study.

The Formation units of study recognise that the spiritual, emotional and professional development of a person are closely interlinked, and that wellbeing and development of mature identity relies on the integration of character, values and ethics in the professional context, as well as application of one’s world view and cultural inheritance in the social and cultural context in which one lives and works.

SEMESTER TWO

This unit is the second in a sequence of six units of study in the students’ principal instrument or voice. The sequence as a whole is designed to maximise skill outcomes in all aspects of instrumental/vocal performance. Performance II consists of two components which operate concurrently and sympathetically – a weekly one-hour individual tuition session with a specialist tutor, and a weekly 2.5-hour performance workshop class.

Large Ensemble II (Choral) is the second of a series of six Large Ensemble Studies units providing rehearsal and performance experience in a large choral group. Via participation in the Excelsia College Choir, students will further develop their vocal skills in the areas of intonation, rhythm, sight-singing, score-reading and contemporary choral techniques in rehearsal and performance situations.

This unit explores skills in harmony, listening and music theory relevant to early Western music history. Students will undertake practical exercises involving singing and improvisation, transcription and harmonisation, arrangement and composition, improving their familiarity and confidence with aspects of music notation, music theory and sight-singing through work undertaken individually and in small ensembles.

This unit surveys nearly a thousand years of musical developments relevant to the early eras of Western music. This era provided foundation for key developments in staff notation, tonality, texture, instrumentation, and, structural forms. Through a series of interactive workshops, both sacred and secular forms will be explored placing the music and associated conceptual content in historic, spiritual, social, and political contexts. In so doing, the unit aims to enhance students’ personal understanding of early music through a critical appraisal of its relationship to contemporary musical practices.

In a digital age, it is essential that students have a good working knowledge of ways in which music is produced digitally. This unit gives them a grounding in this by covering three important elements: digital notation programs (Sibelius and similar notation programs), digital audio workstations (Logic and similar DAW programs) and the use of MIDI.

This unit aims to provide students with analytical tools, and an overview of spiritually and culturally diverse worldviews, and the relationship between Christianity and Western culture, to facilitate students’ critically informed engagement with contemporary thought that influences Australian culture, professional codes of conduct, educational frameworks, and relevant social issues. Students will develop their written and verbal communication skills for respectful dialogue and self-directed questing, and basic competence with Biblical materials and Christian values relevant to personal life and creating culture.

SEMESTER ONE

This unit is the third in a sequence of six units of study in the students’ principal instrument or voice. The sequence as a whole is designed to maximise skill outcomes in all aspects of instrumental/vocal performance. Performance III consists of two components which operate concurrently and sympathetically – a weekly one-hour individual tuition session with a specialist tutor, and a weekly 2.5-hour performance workshop class.

This unit explores skills in harmony, listening and music theory relevant to the later eras of Western music history. Students will undertake practical exercises involving singing and improvisation, transcription and harmonisation, arrangement and chart writing, improving their familiarity and confidence with aspects of music notation, music theory and sight-singing through work undertaken individually and in small ensembles.

This unit surveys Western music of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries, assisting students to examine musical, cultural, political and social developments. Through a series of interactive workshops, the unit explores the style, form and genre of nineteenth-century music making, including the ascendency of the piano and the orchestra, virtuosity, song, and the interaction of music and story (with or without words). Twentieth-century music is then surveyed, with an emphasis on new compositional techniques involving melody, harmony, rhythm, metre, texture, tonality, and timbre.

In a digital age, it is essential that students have a good working knowledge of ways in which music is produced digitally. This unit gives them a grounding in this by covering three important elements: digital notation programs (Sibelius and similar notation programs), digital audio workstations (Logic and similar DAW programs) and the use of MIDI.

SEMESTER TWO

This unit is the fourth in a sequence of six units of study in the students’ principal instrument or voice. The sequence as a whole is designed to maximise skill outcomes in all aspects of instrumental/vocal performance. Performance IV consists of two components which operate concurrently and sympathetically – a weekly one-hour individual tuition session with a specialist tutor, and a weekly 2.5-hour performance workshop class.

From Large Ensemble III, students choose to take one of three Large Ensemble strands: choral, orchestral or instrumental/big band. In each strand the learning and performance of a range of repertoire enables students to increase their musicality and hone their rehearsal and performance skills.

This unit explores skills in harmony, aural, music theory, orchestration and band arranging relevant to Western art, jazz and contemporary musics. Building on all previous Harmony and Aural units, students will undertake practical exercises involving singing and improvisation, transcription and harmonisation, counterpoint, arrangement and chart writing, improving their familiarity and confidence with aspects of music notation, music theory, instrumental voicings, harmonic understandings and the professional preparation of scores and parts using notation software ready for evaluation and performance.

While Formation I and II are mostly outward-looking at society and culture – the place of the student in community – Formation III and IV (Designing My Creative Career) are more inward-looking at resilience, ethics, character formation and vocational calling, including professional preparation. The units are concerned with individual formation and responding to contemporary challenges in alignment, in particular, with the graduate attributes of Excelsia College.

SEMESTER ONE

This unit is the fifth in a sequence of six units of study in the students’ principal instrument or voice. The sequence as a whole is designed to maximise skill outcomes in all aspects of instrumental/vocal performance. Performance V consists of two components which operate concurrently and sympathetically – a weekly one-hour individual tuition session with a specialist tutor, and a weekly 2.5-hour performance workshop class.

Large Ensemble IV is offered in three strands: choral, orchestral or instrumental (big band). Through weekly tutorials, students become familiar with and prepare for performance a range of repertoire. Students in each strand are exposed to a broad range of music from a variety of genres and periods. Students develop insight into composers, repertoire, and styles of performance relevant to the repertoire chosen. They also increase their understanding of methods, processes and techniques for the effective conduct of rehearsals. Weekly tutorials allow for sectional and tutti work, detailed technical study, and individual and group assessment. Regular performances (at least three during the semester) may require additional rehearsals.

The Musical Direction sequence comprises two units in which students examine all aspects of directing vocal and instrumental ensembles. In Musical Direction I (Choral) students have the opportunity to study the areas of planning, preparing, rehearsing and conducting a choral ensemble. Elements covered in both theory and practice include repertoire selection, the physiology of the voice, function and clarity of the beat, choral warm-up and aspects of breathing, phrasing and diction. The unit concludes with a substantial rehearsal and performance with the class choir.

This unit provides an introduction to the concepts and issues in the study of ethnomusicology. With an anthropological (ethno) focus, it investigates ways music both represents and produces social, political, and religious life in performance.

Advanced Harmony provides an opportunity for students to expand their understanding of a sophisticated set of musical concepts that extend their music literacy.

SEMESTER TWO

This is the final unit in a sequence of six units of study in the students’ principal instrument or voice. The sequence as a whole is designed to maximise skill outcomes in all aspects of instrumental/vocal performance. Performance VI consists of two components which operate concurrently and sympathetically – a weekly one-hour individual tuition session with a specialist tutor, and a weekly 2.5-hour performance workshop class.

The Small Ensemble range of units enables students to develop their technical, musical and communication skills in various chamber music genres, including vocal, rock, jazz, instrumental, ethnic and contemporary Christian. Weekly rehearsals encourage the development of teamwork in the ensemble through the regular discussion of such issues as intonation, balance, phrasing and interpretation. In Small Ensemble I, students prepare works for two performances during regular supervised rehearsals.

The Musical Direction sequence of units comprises two units in which students examine key aspects of directing vocal and instrumental ensembles.

Formation IV (Designing My Creative Practice) provides students with the opportunity to critically reflect on their own creative and business practices and to proactively engage in learning about and constructing their own small business to support their craft. This unit investigates the mental, physical, financial, social and career management competencies required to build a sustainable career in the arts in Australia. This examines the place of the artist within the Australian context. In doing this it provides the foundations for students to engage in lifelong learning around their craft and aims to build a holistic framework of learning that supports students to engage in sustained creative employment.

In the Second Instrument Study sequence of units, students have the opportunity to study an instrument / voice other than their major study area of focus.

Song Writing builds on two semesters of harmony and one semester of arranging, to focus more specifically on contemporary song writing. It is intended to be a general course on song writing, designed to build on the study of harmonic techniques as well as techniques in arrangement, to equip students with the tools needed to create their own songs in a chosen genre.

The series of Small Ensemble units is designed to maximise skill outcomes in all aspects of small ensemble performance skills in a choice of classical, vocal, jazz, rock, world music, contemporary and worship ensembles.

The Large Ensemble Studies sequence of units provides rehearsal and performance experience in a large choral and/or instrumental group involving students from every year of the Bachelor of Music and Associate Degree of Music.

This unit provides students a broad insight into the music industries with a focus on encouraging students to consider a number of professional occupations and possible career trajectories within these industries.

The unit aims to develop students’ ability to articulate and teach their specialist musical knowledge to learners in a sympathetic, coherent and knowledgeable manner. In doing so, the unit incorporates creative approaches to teaching for a range of learning abilities and styles, underpinned by flexible methods, and with reference to new and professional research regarding teaching practice in music. The unit also pays particular attention to the building of repertoire knowledge for a diverse variety of clients, ensembles, styles and environments.

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Applicant background
2019 Semester 2
Number of Students Percentage of all students
(A) Past higher education study
(includes a bridging or enabling course)
13 32%
(B) Past vocational education and training (VET) study 1 2%
(C) Work and life experience
(Admitted on the basis of previous achievement not in the other three categories)
1 2%
(D) Recent secondary education:

  • Admitted solely on the basis of ATAR (regardless of whether this includes the impact of adjustment factors such as equity or subject bonus points)
0 0%
  • Admitted where both ATAR and additional criteria were considered (e.g. portfolio, audition, extra test, early offer conditional on minimum ATAR)
0 0%
  • Admitted on the basis of other criteria only and ATAR was not a factor (e.g. special consideration, audition alone, schools recommendation with no minimum ATAR)
7 17%
International students 19 46%
All students 41 100%
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