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, reflecting many dimensions of musical creativity and experience, we work to sustain the vitality of music in society and to shape the future of our art form.

The Conservatorium now enjoys a spectacular and inspiring new home in The Ian Potter Southbank Centre, situated in the heart of Melbourne's Arts Precinct. Our architecturally stunning cutting-edge nine-storey facility allows us to train, perform, and conduct research in new and exciting ways. We can now connect directly with our professional partner organisations in the precinct, 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. And we are now side-by-side with our colleagues in the Victorian College of the Arts, with whom we form the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music of the University of Melbourne.

Our new Southbank location will stimulate all manner of creative collaborations across the fine and performing arts, and the new building complements our historic facilities on the University’s Parkville campus, including the world-famous Melba Hall, where we continue to present concerts and lectures, and interact with students and researchers from across the University.

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, and enhanced by internationally-renowned creative partners, including a new five-year exclusive partnership with the Australia Chamber Orchestra, supported by the Sydney Myer University Trust. 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.

I warmly invite you to attend our many public events and wonderful performances throughout the year, to watch our webcasts, and to stay connected through our social media channels and e-news. I know you will be as thrilled as I am to be part of this exceptional musical community!

Professor Richard Kurth | Director, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music

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.


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.

Music Therapy

As the first course of its kind offered in Australia in 1978, Music Therapy at the Conservatorium now provides a comprehensive study of the theory, practice and research of music therapy.

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


New Dean appointed at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music

6 October 2020
The University of Melbourne has appointed Professor Marie Sierra as the new Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music, home of the Victorian College of the Arts and Melb...

Guitar Perspectives 2020 – some student works to savour, right here

16 September 2020
The Guitar Perspectives Online Celebration 2020, held late last month, featured 42 videos showcasing the breadth and diversity of the Melbourne Conservatorium's renowned...

Dr Richard Letts receives the 2020 Sir Bernard Heinze Memorial Award

9 September 2020
Australian musician, author and advocate Dr Richard Letts AM has been awarded the 2020 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