UNE music partnership supports first-rate higher education in Tamworth

Published 15 October 2020

The University of New England today launched a partnership arrangement with the Tamworth Regional Conservatorium of Music, enabling students to study online with UNE, while receiving professional face-to-face tuition close to home.

“Individual instrumental or vocal studies and practical performance are important in tertiary music education even in an increasingly online environment,” says UNE Music’s discipline convenor, Dr Alana Blackburn.

“We’ve developed a series of practical and performance units that can be completed with a number of regional music conservatoria while the theoretical units can be completed completely online through UNE to earn a Bachelor of Music.”

The partnership builds on UNE’s existing arrangements with the New England Conservatorium of Music (NECOM) since 2017, with other similar partnerships across NSW expected to follow.

“By gaining weekly tuition with an experienced tutor, students are able to focus on developing their individual style and technique and further develop their knowledge of musical styles and genres,” Dr Blackburn says.

“They have opportunity to participate in large ensembles or chamber music groups, so they’re developing and applying their knowledge at the same time, and getting more deeply involved in their local arts community.”

Director of the Tamworth Regional Conservatorium of Music, Noelene McGrane, says the partnership will benefit students and the wider Tamworth community.

“Being a university town adds a lot of benefits to the community. It promotes the opportunity to stay, live and work in Tamworth and broadens access and experience for locals. Local musicians will be able to access our fantastic facilities and performance spaces as part of their university studies to complement their online learning,” she says.

“We’re looking forward to being able to offer this joint tuition to our students.”

Dr Blackburn says the benefits of being involved with a conservatorium as part of this unique higher education arrangement are wide-ranging, leading to a more rounded study experience.

“Students have access to a full range of activities offered through their local music conservatorium, such as masterclasses, workshops with special guest musicians, concerts and public performances, all while earning credit towards their UNE degree.

“Meanwhile, learning from UNE’s lecturers ensures students are introduced to a diversity of music traditions and applications, from medieval music, through to experimental digital and electronic styles.

“Students can choose an all-inclusive music education, or follow different streams of study including music theory, musicianship, performance, composition, digital music design, and production, depending on their interests and career goals,” Dr Blackburn says.

The innovative course arrangement ensures regional students do not miss out on a first-rate tertiary education while living in regional Australia, whether they are school leavers or mature-aged.

“The arrangement means we are able to help boost enrolments in regional music conservatoriums, and that regional students are not missing out on any aspect of their education,” Dr Blackburn says.

“We also hope it encourages musicians to remain in their local areas to invest in music education and the cultural life in regional Australia.”

Students are able to apply now to begin a UNE Bachelor of Music in Trimester 1, 2021 at une.edu.au/music

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