For people living in regional areas, often the decision to attend university means leaving home. However, that is no longer the case for music students living in or near Goulburn.
In a groundbreaking initiative, the city’s Hume Conservatorium (HumeCon) has negotiated a teaching partnership with the University of New England (UNE).
This will allow music students living in the Southern Tablelands and Southern Highlands to receive private music tuition locally while completing their music degree online through UNE.
Guided by Hume Conservatorium teachers, students will complete a series of units in instrumental or vocal instruction, which comprises weekly one-to-one instrumental lessons alongside a host of activities provided by HumeCon and the community.
These include participation in large and small ensembles; masterclasses and workshops with world-class special guest musicians; accompanying and/or conducting work; and public performances.
Hume Conservatorium CEO Paul Scott-Williams said the partnership wasn’t a decision born during COVID-19, rather it had been carefully considered over time “to make sure this was the best opportunity for students”.
“They will be able to complete their whole undergraduate Bachelor of Music without leaving home,” he said.
“Being able to complete a Bachelor of Music degree without needing to move away from home offers a whole new range of possibilities for regional music students.
“Mature age musicians who have wanted to find a way to gain a legitimate music qualification can take this opportunity, as well.”
Many of the teaching staff at Hume Conservatorium are internationally recognised performers and educators who have performed in professional orchestras, including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Victorian Opera Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra and Auckland Symphony Orchestra.
Hume’s Rock Con is also home to contemporary music and technology featuring two recording studios.
“The teachers at Hume Conservatorium will ensure our music students in the area will receive excellent quality instrumental or vocal tuition in a number of genres,” said UNE music’s discipline convenor Dr Alana Blackburn.
“Our students will also benefit from the facilities available to them at HumeCon, as well as being not far from the UNE Sydney campus in Parramatta to use our digital music lab and other resources, as well as participate in activities and performances held on that campus.
“This model of partnering with regional conservatoria has proven to benefit both the university and the region in which the partnering conservatorium is based. There is a demand within regional NSW to keep younger, skilled teachers and musicians in the communities.”
It’s a sign of things to come in regional NSW with Leeton’s Roxy Community Theatre currently in the process of establishing a performing arts institute. This will again mean performing arts students will no longer need to leave home to achieve nationally recognised qualifications.
Students can apply here to begin a University of New England Bachelor of Music degree in trimester three, 2021, or trimester one, 2022.