Degrees: Find your speciality

Looking for a specific focus to your music course? Use our selection of specialist programmes to help you choose

May 1, 2013


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Australia
Based in Perth, the academy runs a four-year double degree programme in music and education, integrating music studies with coursework. Students can specialise in any of the major musical streams (such as classical, jazz or contemporary performance) and qualify as both classroom educators and instrumental instructors.

University of Toronto, Canada
The provision of music education consists of courses in music history, theory, instrumental skills and the philosophy of music education. Students can specialise in choral music, instrumental music, elementary or secondary music education, and other combinations.

Universität der Künste Berlin, Germany
The university’s music faculty is attached to seven institutes, including one for higher-level music teacher training; one for school music teacher training; and another for teacher certification in music.

Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Hungary
The Budapest-based academy offers a masters in Kodály music pedagogy, which links lectures and seminars on Kodály’s educational philosophy with the practical application of his system. Theory and folk music can form a part of the course.

Stockholms Musikpedagogiska Institut, Sweden
Created in 1960 as a private foundation, the Stockholm institute is dedicated to providing up-to-date teacher training in music education, with the focus on practical application. The institution’s music teaching focuses range from aural traditions, improvisation and ensemble playing to notation.


Dublin Institute of Technology Conservatory of Music and Drama, Ireland

The Dublin institution’s courses in Irish traditional music currently cater for more than 800 students. It offers courses in performance, instrumental teaching and composition. The Conservatory’s Irish Traditional Music Ensemble, made up of full-time undergraduates and postgraduates, performs nationwide and has made recordings.

Senzoku Gakuen College of Music, Japan
The private university near Tokyo runs a course in Japanese traditional music, exploring various styles from classical to modern, and aiming to develop players’ creativity. The course also allows students to cultivate their teaching abilities.

Newcastle University, UK
The institution in the north-east of England has been running a degree course in folk and traditional music since 2005. It explores folk music through academic and practical work, including composition and performance.

University of California, Berkeley, California, US
Berkeley’s graduate programme in ethnomusicology can involve the study of anything from Javanese gamelan to American and African music.

Princeton University, New Jersey, US
The New Jersey institution has folk elements in several of its music courses, including music since 1945, world music cultures, and music in ‘antebellum America’ (1800—60). There are also courses on the music of Africa and of Russia, and on ‘how music is made’.


Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide, Australia
Violin and bass students can study both jazz performance and pedagogy in jazz performance. The resident ensembles include three big bands and up to twenty small jazz groups.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Dept of Music, Norway
Jazz violinists such as Michal Urbaniak give masterclasses at the Trondheim-based university. Established in 1979, it has the oldest jazz programme in Norway.

Royal College of Music, UK
Chris Garrick teaches jazz violin and viola at the Royal College (and also the Royal Academy of Music). There are also performance opportunities and masterclasses on offer.

Berklee College of Music, Massachusetts, US
Melissa Howe runs a ‘Jazz Violin Lab’, involving advanced improvisational concepts and their application in strings. Jazz viola can also be studied.

Manhattan School of Music, New York, US
John Blake and Sara Caswell teach jazz violin, and Jay Anderson runs a course on jazz bass. Students may have additional opportunities to play for and observe guest artists.



Konservatorium Wien University, Austria
The Vienna conservatoire offers studies in Baroque violin, cello, violone and viola da gamba. Students can choose to study basso continuo, chamber music arrangements, and the development of chamber ensembles, among other courses. Concerts and masterclasses are regularly held at the school. 

Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel, Belgium
The early music department at the Conservatorium has tutors such as Jaap ter Linden, Enrico Gatti and Lucia Swarts. Around 180 students specialise in historical performance at the conservatoire, which has many performance opportunities and early music projects each year.

University of Western Ontario, Don Wright Faculty of Music, Canada
The Early Music Studio at the institution in London, Ontario, offers an instrumental orchestral ensemble and small chamber ensembles, led by Richard Semmens and Joseph Lanza. Musicians play on copies of Baroque instruments supplied by the college.

Scuola di Musica di Fiesole, Italy
As well as courses in viola da gamba and Baroque cello, the Tuscan music school offers the chance to specialise in Baroque music with the Camerata Strumentale Fiesolana. Bettina Hoffmann is the main strings tutor for early instruments.

Royal College of Music, Stockholm, Sweden
The Swedish institution’s early music course covers repertoire from the Middle Ages to the early Romantic period, centring on historical performance practice using authentic instruments and techniques. The chamber music course has been developed to promote each group’s capacity for creative rehearsal without a designated leader.

Musik-Akademie Basel — Hochschule für Musik Basel and Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, Switzerland
The Basel-based institution for teaching and researching early music lists Christophe Coin, David Sinclair and Amandine Beyer among its faculty members. Paolo Pandolfo and Rebeka Rusó are the tutors in viola da gamba. 

Hartt School, University of Hartford, Connecticut, US
Along with its courses in music history and performance practice, the school is home to the Hartt Baroque Collegium, which explores performance techniques of the Baroque period, including articulation, rhythmic alteration, and ornamentation. Emlyn Ngai, concertmaster of Philadelphia’s Tempesta di Mare ensemble, is the ensemble’s regular coach.

Longy School of Music, Massachusetts, US
Part of Bard College, Longy has a long-running early music degree programme that focuses on both repertoire and research in its approach to music composed before 1800. It offers artist diploma, graduate performance diploma and masters courses.

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