Are there any courses available which do not require a knowledge of music?
Yes! We welcome students who wish to take Music as a supporting subject for another major or for general interest. Many music courses may be credited to a BA degree, and there are a number of music courses for which no prior knowledge of music is required. These include:
- MUSC 105 Music Now: Understanding Music Through the Lens of the 20th-21st centuries
- MUSC 120 Ragtime to Rap: Introduction to Popular Musics (not offered in 2013)
- MUSC 125 Jazz History
- MUSC 130 Hildegard to Avant Garde: Western Music 900-Present (not offered in 2013)
- MUSC 131 Introduction to Opera
- MUSC 132 The Beethoven Phenomenon (not offered in 2013)
- MUSC 150 Music in World Cultures
- PERF 151 Māori Music in Aotearoa New Zealand
- MUSC 251 Perspectives on Music and Dance of Oceania
- MUSC 252 Persepectives on Music in Asia (not offered in 2013)
What music theory background do I need to major in music?
MUSC 166 (Classical theory 1) is a compulsory paper in a degree majoring in Classical Performance, Composition, or some Music Studies specialisations. This course requires that the student has a certain level of musical ability. Likewise, MUSC 164 (Jazz Theory 1) is compulsory for a degree majoring in Jazz, and it also required a certain level of musical ability.
At the beginning of the MUSC 166 paper it is assumed that students have a knowledge of, and quick facility with:
- major and minor key signatures up to four sharps and four flats
- transposing tunes in these keys
- triads and their inversions in these keys
- intervals found in these keys and an ability to distinguish between major, minor, augmented and diminished versions of these intervals when written down
- simple and compound time signatures, use of note values and rests including beaming of tails or grouping of notes
- the technical names for degrees of the scale (tonic, supertonic, etc.)
- musical phrases and the recognition of perfect, imperfect, plagal and interrupted cadences in written music
reading with ease the treble alto, tenor, and bass clefs
Before enrolling in MUSC 166 students must provide proof of having:
- passed Grade 5 theory (Trinity, ABRSM, or AMEB), or
- achieved NCEA Music level three (including Module 3.5) [Practical Music: AS90530], or
- passed Bursary Music, or
- obtained B+ or above in NZSM 160, or
- been enrolled previously in an approved university "Materials of Music" or "Musicianship" paper.
Alternatively, students can sit a NZSM entrance test either during the audition period, or at an advised time a week before the start of the first trimester.
For more information about the entrance requirements for MUSC 166, including an online test which can help you assess your musical facility,
If you are concerned about your preparedness for MUSC 166, you might consider enrolling in NZSM 160 Basic Musical Techniques. This paper is an intensive course running for five weeks in January and February each year, intended to bring students up to the required musical level for MUSC 166, if a grade of B+ or better is achieved.
If you are unable to attend this course, School of Music staff are able to suggest other methods of preparing for the entry test.
I am an overseas student wishing to study at the School of Music. Whom do I contact?
What is the cut-off date to apply for Music Performance?Performance Music applications are invited from 1 July each year. The closing date for Classical Performance Music applications is usually in mid-September, Jazz a bit later. For both programmes, though, late auditions are often possible. Application forms for auditions can be found on the Auditions page.
Is it possible to combine the study of music with another subject, for example, English, Science, Law, Business?
The BA offers the greatest flexibility for taking another arts subject alongside music within a single degree, as the compulsory music courses account for less than half the degree. Within a BMus you may include a maximum of 48 points of another subject.
It is possible to study for more than one degree at the same time.
While the BMus/BA is a popular choice, 48 points of any degree can be cross-credited towards the other, i.e. count towards both degrees. You should be aware, however, that with Science, Law, and Business, timetable issues will require careful planning on your part, and may limit some of your course choices from year to year.
What careers might music graduates go into?Take a look at our careers information.
Music Therapy FAQsIf you are thinking about studying Music Therapy at Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music, please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for Music Therapy Students. [PDF: 314KB]