Studying music at a University and studying at a conservatory…

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    What is your opinion of the difference between a music major at a university and a conservatory? In each stage of the process, before, during, (preparation, courses/commitment and career opportunities, etc.)? Some less obvious differences?


    The big difference is in the amount of academic work, but this varies greatly among institutions. They should all have course information on their web sites. When I got my degree from University of Toronto in Performance, I took electives (French conversation and literature and psychology), and courses such as composition, music history, ethnomusicology, theory and conducting. At the time, I could not have imagined how useful it all turned out to be. Some classical music programs also offer things such as jazz and career-management. Wherever you go, look for a school which will offer playing opportunities in ensembles.

    Philippa mcauliffe

    I have been looking at courses (have to start a personal learning plan this year at school) and it seems to vary from place to place. The cons are traditionally geared up for performance and performers or composition but many are also joined to big universities so you can do lots of subjects with music like Elizabeth did and most offer a range of optional music academic topics depending which course you do. The list of music course options at all the cons and unis in Australia seems very diverse. The old idea that people hell bent on performing go to cons and people wanting a broader musical education go to uni seems to be getting dated. Well, perhaps not for some cons….the really famous ones. And you can do undergrad at one then go to another for post grad work. What do you want to do? I am not sure yet. Maybe a double degree in music and French but I would like to perform and do academic music. Philippa

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