Why study at NZSM?

Wide range of study programmes

At Te Kōkī New Zealand School of Music, we offer one of the largest range of programmes available in the Southern hemisphere, providing many opportunities for cross-disciplinary study. Our timetable is carefully designed to encourage you, as a student of music, to explore a wide number of areas in addition to your main areas of interest. We offer the largest Composition programme in New Zealand, comprehensive orchestral and vocal programmes, opportunities to explore a wide range of popular, Pacific Island, and Māori musics, and a range of specialist studies in areas such as early keyboard and music technology. 

Our high-calibre undergraduate, honours, and diploma programmes will prepare you for further study abroad if this is an option you are looking to explore. At the same time, our research degrees are bringing an increasing number of international students to New Zealand for study in music at the highest level.

Facilities and resources

The School is well resourced in terms of performance venues, instruments, technology, recording studios, and practice spaces. Take a look at our facilities and resources.

Several NZSM lecturers combine music with other disciplines – for example, Michael Norris (mathematics and music), Prof John Psathas (composition and film), Dr Ajay Kapur (performance, software engineering and robotics), and Dr Dave Lisik (jazz and sonic arts).

Performance opportunities

You can join a wide range of student ensembles across diverse musical areas. Our big bands perform in downtown Wellington venues throughout the year, our orchestra performs four symphonic concerts a year, and we produce a fully staged opera with the orchestra every other year.

Quality teaching staff

We are immensely proud of the quality of our teaching staff, all of whom are distinguished academics, composers or performers, professionally active both in New Zealand and overseas. They bring the benefit of this experience to their teaching. Our staff have mentored many graduates towards achieving local, national and international recognition. 

Emphasis on Professional Development AND Transferable Skills

We are strongly committed to fostering student success at the highest levels, and facilitating transitions into satisfying careers in music. At the same time, we encourage a range of academic engagement as a portion of most music degrees, both because of the ways in which academics enhance the development of professional pathways, and because they offer a wide variety of transferable skills that will enable your music degree to be useful in fostering a career in a variety of fields. 

The School has a list of graduate attributes that outline the personal learning goals and outcomes of each NZSM qualification. 

Student diversity

When you study at the New Zealand School of Music you join over 700 students, with the opportunity to network across the different programmes of Classical Performance, Jazz, Composition, Music Studies and Music Therapy.

NZSM is a place where you can achieve with others who are passionate about music, entertainment and the performing arts industry. Our students represent a diverse group, from school leavers and recent university graduates to those who’ve made the bold decision to change careers to pursue a long-held passion.

Excellent cultural location

Our main campuses are located in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. Wellington is a cultural hub, renowned for its thriving creative film, performing arts, design, fine arts and music industries.  It is the headquarters for key musical and cultural organisations notably Radio New Zealand, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Wellington, the Rodger Fox Jazz Orchestra, the Royal New Zealand Ballet, Chamber Music New Zealand, the New Zealand String Quartet, Creative New Zealand, STROMA contemporary music ensemble, and the Central Band of the New Zealand Royal Air Force. A  wide range of musical and other cultural activities takes place throughout the year.  Major events include the Wellington International Jazz Festival, the New Zealand International Arts Festival, World of Wearable Arts, and the New Zealand Fringe Festival.

High calibre of visiting artists and performers

Every year the School hosts visitors and performers of high international standing. Take a look at our years in review, visiting artists, and events pages for more details.

Strong research focus

The NZSM has a strong research focus. Many of our 300–500-level papers are based on the research specialties of staff. The wide range of research options will allow you, as a student at the School, to explore and find your own research niche.

You can study music if you are not a musician

Our Music Studies papers allow you to learn about the world of music even if you are not a musician yourself.