Bachelor of Music
Our undergraduate degree is at the centre of what we do. The Bachelor of Music (Honours) Degree is a four-year, full-time programme which builds out from a focus on one of 20 specific music majors. With an enrolment kept to just 55 each year, each student receives individualised attention in helping them shape their distinctive artistic identity. The student mix is also eclectic, with currently a third hailing from Singapore, with the rest coming from Asia (60%) and around the world (10%).
All undergraduate spaces are fully sponsored, covering tuition fees and stipend, thanks to the investment of the Singapore Government and the support of the Yong Loo Lin Trust and other benefactors. The Conservatory sees experiential learning, self-reflection and peer interaction as central to the learning experience. As such, the Conservatory’s performance programme is deliberately shaped to offer a range of opportunities inside and beyond the campus and world-wide to enhance learning. One of the most exciting possibilities is to embed the B.Mus requirements as part of a Joint Degree with our partner school, the Peabody Institute. We see the four-year programme as being full-time; i.e. not just during semester time but also by using space away to continue to grow and to experience.
The Major Study
The degree recognises each area has specific skill sets and builds on specialised expertise. Approximately half of the programme links directly to the major area. In addition to one-to-one support, each major offers a range of core and elective class and ensemble options. Whether performers, composers or recording engineers, performance experience and exposure is at the core of Conservatory training and students are encouraged to participate in and attend as much as possible of the Conservatory’s calendar of events.
Beyond the major, a range of modules in Analysis & Composition and Contextual Engagement are designed to broaden and deepen each student’s connection to music. Following introductory modules in each of the two areas, students have considerable freedom based on different needs and enthusiasms. Professional Integration: A significant challenge as a musician is finding one’s special place in the musical eco-system. Professional Integration modules are designed to help each student develop core professional, pedagogical and communication skills, as well as begin to define his or her distinct pathway.
General Education modules, collectively offered by various faculties in NUS, aim to inculcate higher order qualities of the mind and intellect that are expected of an educated individual, juxtaposing with the knowledge acquired in a specialisation or major study area. As with all undergraduate NUS students, Conservatory students take one module in each of the five pillars of study in Human Cultures, Thinking and Expression, Singapore Studies, Quantitative Reasoning and Asking Questions. In addition to those offered in the Conservatory (see General Education offerings in the Contextual Engagement section), students are free to explore the extensive range of modules offered across the NUS campus in relation to each area. The modules are designed to be taken usually in the first two years of study. They aim to enhance a student’s intellectual perspectives by developing a set of skills for independent learning, promote critical thinking skills and awareness.
The capacity for students to determine their own pathway in developing a distinctive identity is at the core of the Conservatory’s programme. As such, a significant part of the BMus programme involves students building up their own portfolio of additional modules, both from within the Conservatory and across the NUS campus, depending on their capacities and preferences.