Melbourne Conservatorium of Music

Director's welcome

The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music is Australia’s oldest and most prestigious music institution. As the largest community of music students and academics in Australia, it plays a huge role in the future of our art form.

Our teachers are internationally recognised and well-connected professionals who are committed to challenging and inspiring our students to become future leaders in music. The scope of scholarly knowledge and performance expertise available to our students is also frequently augmented by visits from eminent colleagues from around the globe.

The Conservatorium enjoys extensive global networks and boasts an exceptionally high level of performance, all of which puts us at the forefront of music education, teaching and research in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

Professor Gary McPherson, Ormond Chair of Music and Director, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music

In 2019, we took ownership of The Ian Potter Southbank Centre, a spectacular new nine-storey Conservatorium building in the heart of Melbourne's Arts Precinct. This cutting-edge facility allows us to train, perform and conduct research in new and exciting ways and complements our existing facilities in Parkville, such as the world-famous Melba Hall. It also allows us to connect more with our professional partner organisations, such as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, with whom we run a Master of Music (Orchestral Performance), the first course of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region.

We would love to hear from you, and encourage you to stay connected through our social media channels, e-news, and by attending our many public events and performances throughout the year.

View the Conservatorium academic staff


Welcome to the traditional lands of the Kulin Nations, where we draw on the strength of more than 1,000 generations of arts practice.

We respectfully acknowledge the people of the Boonwurrung and the Woi Wurrung, who have danced their dances, sung their songs and lived their culture on this land for tens of thousands of years.

Our heritage

The Faculty was created in 2009 following the amalgamation of the University's Faculty of Music and Faculty of the Victorian College of the Arts. It was renamed the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music in 2018 to reflect the primary undergraduate degree structures offered by the Faculty: the Bachelor of Music and the Bachelor of Fine Arts.

The Faculty is also home to the Wilin Centre for Indigenous Arts and Cultural Development, which works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to identify, recruit and support potential and practicing Indigenous Artists to study and refine their academic and artistic skills.

The first Bachelor of Music at the University of Melbourne was awarded in 1879, and the Conservatorium was founded in 1894. Dame Nellie Melba laid the foundation stone for a permanent conservatorium building on the University’s Parkville campus in 1909, and the building was opened in 1913.

The Conservatorium today

The Conservatorium provides a comprehensive range of musical disciplines at the undergraduate and graduate level, including Music Performance, Composition, Jazz and Improvisation, Interactive Composition, Early Music, Musicology, Ethnomusicology, Music Therapy, Music Psychology and Performance Science and New Music.

Much of the Conservatorium's teaching, research and performance takes place in, or near, the new Ian Potter Southbank Centre on the University of Melbourne’s Southbank campus.

Our facilities on the University's Parkville campus, including Melba Hall, are also used for teaching, research and performances.

University of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

The University of Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, led by world-renowned conductor Associate Professor Richard Davis and featuring our very best student classical musicians, is the premier large performance ensemble at the University.

See past performances and learn more here

Our Discipline Areas


Develop an original compositional voice. Explore the key concepts and techniques in music composition. Learn all phases of the composition process to create a professionally presented score.

Early Music

We house a vast collection of early music resources and scores, and train our students in instrumental and vocal performance.


Explore current music-making in a global context, and new performance skills in traditional music from around the world. Engage in ethnographic research on music in social, cultural and historical contexts.

Interactive Composition

Prepare for an intensive, commercially led, collaborative program that teaches you how to create music and sound for a range of contemporary media contexts and platforms.

Jazz and Improvisation

Celebrate great Australian Jazz and improvised music performance in a unique studio-intensive approach that nurtures future music performers and directors through repertoire, improvisation skills and technical studies.

Music Performance

Prepare for life as a professional musician. Learn and develop through weekly individual instrumental, vocal or composition lessons, instrument classes, and extensive solo and ensemble performance opportunities.

Music Psychology

Explore the ways that music impacts our emotions, relationships, brain and bodies using a range of research approaches to explore the connection between music and individuals.

Music Therapy

Combine music with health and wellbeing to become a registered music therapist. This graduate study teaches to you to engage with patients young and old while undertaking clinical placements in diverse settings.


Write and think critically about music and sound. Develop the academic skills to research how and why people make music across a wide range of historical and social contexts.

New Music

The New Music Studio unites the disciplines of Composition and Performance for a broad range of contemporary music activities and events that are held each semester within the Faculty.

Performance Teaching

Develop a range of teaching approaches for the delivery of instrumental or vocal lessons that foster independent, reflective, motivated and cooperative learning

Research at the Conservatorium

Undertake scholarly, studio or performance-based research and practice within the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music. Discover opportunities for collaborative and interdisciplinary development.

Explore research


15 Jul 2019 | PRECINCT

The origins of musical expertise: beyond born versus made

The International Symposium on Performance Science (ISPS) is a biennial meeting of performers and scientists that provides a platform to discuss all facets of performance and …

01 Jul 2019 | PRECINCT

The International Symposium on Performance Science, Melbourne – what you need to know

The International Symposium on Performance Science (ISPS) is a biennial meeting of performers and scientists that provides a platform to discuss all facets of performance and …

07 Jun 2019 | PRECINCT

Deborah Cheetham AO wins the Sir Bernard Heinze Award

Acclaimed Yorta Yorta soprano, composer and Artistic Director of Short Black Opera, Deborah Cheetham AO, has been awarded the 2019 Sir Bernard Heinze Memorial Award.

Concert Streaming

The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music hosts a regular series of concerts by students and staff, as well as high profile Australian and international guests.

View our streaming schedule