Classical Performance major



Classical Performance majors can specialise in piano, historic keyboard, voice and all orchestral instruments. 

You will be encouraged to extend your practical performance experience through participation in chamber music and other ensembles such as choir and orchestra, with opportunities to perform in public on a regular basis. 

The School of Music has close connections to the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) and the Pettman National Junior Academy of Music (PNJA), creating mentoring and performance opportunities for our students. 

Performance teachers

We understand that decisions about where to study music are often based upon the calibre of the teachers and the teacher-student relationship. You can review our available instrument and performance teachers by discipline here. You are invited to contact staff directly with any queries you may have. If your desired instrument is not listed please, contact us.

Student profile

Manase Latu performing in Opera Scenes 2016.
Manase Latu performing in Opera Scenes 2016.

"The transition from school to university is a big step, as it's all on you; you have to motivate yourself, no one is there to tell you what to do. But it is also really good. I get to sing every day and listen to the other students, which is really amazing. My vocal teacher focuses mainly on technique, and our vocal coach helps us with the phrasing and language of a piece. You form good relationships with your teachers, they become your friend. 

"I’ve had lots of exciting performance opportunities. I have been involved with Graduation Gala, Opera Scenes and I also won the Graham Allen Musical Theatre Prize. Preparing for the Graham Allen Musical Theatre Prize provided a great opportunity to learn a different genre – it's completely different from classical voice. They focus on the character and storytelling, which is a good skill to have as a classical singer. 

“I have been involved many performances as part of the University and also in the wider choral community. Studying and performing keeps me busy, but the important thing is to find something you’re good at and love to do, and stick with it – don’t let it go!"

Manase is majoring in Classical Performance - voice. 


Degree structure

What you'll be studying

In the first year you will develop essential musical skills, and start focused study in your instrument / voice. In the second year and beyond you will develop advanced techniques and skills in classical performance and broaden your knowledge of its historical and cultural underpinnings. You will also study other topics of interest to you, such as music education, conducting, contemporary music culture and advanced music industry studies. You will also take two General Education courses offered by other faculties from across the University to acquire a broader range of skills and understanding, and be exposed to cross-disciplinary research.

You can download a degree planner below, which outlines your course content and programme structure in more detail. You can also find course prescriptions in the University Calendar

If you are planning to undertake a conjoint programme, these degree planners below outline the structure of each degree:

Further study

The BMus, and associated conjoint programmes, lead into further study options at the School of Music. Our postgraduate degree programmes encourage initiative, critical analysis and independent thought about music in social, cultural and academic contexts as well as creative excellence. 

Research programmes
Master of Music (MMus)
Doctor of Music (DMus)
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Taught programmes

Bachelor of Music (Honours) (BMus(Hons))
Postgraduate Diploma in Music (PGDipMus)
Graduate Diploma in Music (GradDipMus)

How to apply

For rank score and grade point requirements for the BMus and associated conjoints, please refer to the entry requirements tab on the following programme page Bachelor of Music

All applicants are required to submit an audition portfolio via the online portal system Slideroom. Selection will be based on the strength of your audition portfolio. This will consist of a statement of musical background, a referee contact email address and video performances. You can choose to attend an in-person live audition - the School of Music will contact you once you have completed your Slideroom submission. Your referee should be your current instrumental/music teacher who can comment on your musical work and your suitability for study. 

Your video performances must adhere to the following:

  • Upload your performances as three separate files or Youtube/Vimeo videos. 
  • The three pieces or movements must be of contrasting style. 
  • Voice applicants: once piece in Italian and one in English. 
  • Must be recent work (from the last 12 months). 
  • Recorded in one take and be unedited and/or unmodified. 
  • If uploading recordings, then each file must be no greater than 500MB and in one of the following formats: .mov (QuickTime), .wmv (Windows Media Player), .mp4, or .m4v files.
  • If submitting Youtube/Vimeo links, then these must be set to public and you must not delete these files. 
  • You must review your recordings before uploading them to ensure that they are of good quality, clearly audible and represent your best work to date. 
  • Works from recent recitals, examinations and live performances can be used. 
  • Choose pieces which demonstrate your proficiency and overall musicianship, that highlight what you feel best represents your present standard of playing. 
  • Pieces must be performed on non-electronic instruments
  • A maximum total of 15 minutes will be reviewed and assessed. 

(If you are successful and offered a place, then a musicianship test will be required prior to enrolment.  This will determine if you are ready to begin study with MUS 100 – Basic Musical Techniques or MUS 101 – Materials of Music 1)

Get in touch

Creative Arts and Industries Student Centre

Level 2, Building 421
(Architecture and Planning Building)
26 Symonds St
Open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm