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Contemporary music practice

Create and perform new songs and tracks in a range of genres
Got a bunch of songs in you that are just dying to get out? Keen to learn how popular music is made and produced? If you’re making music the world needs to hear, we’d like to hear from you.

What is contemporary music practice?

This program is for music makers who want to learn the craft of songwriting, either as a solo singer/songwriter or with bands, and how to produce it.

Whether you want to write songs, perform on stage or learn your way around music production techniques, you will have access to a diverse range of practitioners, including pioneering DJ and producer Paul Mac, eclectic music maker and chanteuse Rainbow Chan, and internationally renowned musician and academic Dr Toby Martin – all of whom will help you find and develop your own original music.

This course is for singers, songwriters and members of bands who want to learn inventive approaches to writing, performing and producing contemporary music. We’ll help you find your sound, nurture your skills and expand your creativity.

Sydney Conservatorium of Music graduates include pop duo Lime Cordiale and indie rock band the Jezabels. Our students have been played on Triple J radio, signed to record labels and played live gigs in various city venues.

While our main focus is on inventive approaches to songwriting, producing and performing music, you will also study:

  • analysis
  • history and culture
  • music skills
  • music technology
  • performance.

There are also plenty of additional electives open to you, including the opportunity to study a major, minor or electives from the University’s shared pool of majors and minors (Table S).

Why study contemporary music practice with us?

Not only is this your first step to becoming a national and international music pioneer, you’ll also:

  • work with industry professionals
  • have access to the latest facilities, including sound technologies and professional recording studios
  • choose from a wide range of music electives
  • study at both the Conservatorium and the University’s Camperdown/Darlington Campus
  • apply for experiences with our international contemporary music education partners.

Who can I study contemporary music practice with?

  • Associate Professor Charles Fairchild, Popular Music; Program Leader of Bachelor of Arts (Music Major)
  • Dr Jade O’Regan, Academic Fellow in Contemporary Music
  • Dr Ivan Zavada, Senior Lecturer in Composition and Music Technology
  • Dr Toby Martin, Lecturer in Contemporary Music
  • Dr Damian Barbeler, Casual Lecturer in Digital Music
  • Mr Paul Mac, Casual Lecturer in Contemporary Music
  • Ms Rainbow Chan, Casual Lecturer in Contemporary Music
  • Dr Alon Ilsar, Casual Lecturer in Contemporary Music

What are my study options with contemporary music practice?

Where contemporary music practice can take you

Designed for students interested in a career in the music industry.

  • singer/songwriter
  • contemporary musician
  • music producer
  • performer
  • concert manager
  • music journalist
  • event producer

Emma Salisbury

Emma Salisbury singing
Bachelor of Music (Contemporary Music Practice)
“During our final year we get to write, record and present an album. I never thought I'd have the opportunity or the guts to do it."
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