Programmes of Study

Under the guidance of exceptional artist-musicians and teachers, students at King’s College Conservatorium of Music are fully supported to achieve their maximum potential through extensive study of solo, concerto, chamber music and orchestral repertoire. The Conservatorium’s teaching practice of ‘learning by playing’ nurtures outstanding musical ability through a diverse set of performance-based programmes. This takes place in an environment where each student is known individually and is encouraged to achieve excellence in every aspect of performance practice. This focus not only fully prepares young musicians for professional careers in the rapidly changing contemporary world, it also provides the pathway to a well-rounded, satisfying and successful musical life.

Applicants admitted by audition enter the Junior Musician Course, the Senior Musician Course - Levels 1-5, or the Young Artist Course in the following specialist programmes:

*Applications for all other instruments are welcomed. Appropriate specialist artist-teachers will be engaged as required.



Our Junior Musician Course allows for the admission of exceptional musically-gifted students up to 12 years of age, usually in years 7 and 8 of their general education; however, younger students are welcome to apply. The Junior Course prepares each student for admission to the Senior Musician Course upon entry to secondary education at Year 9.

- Tuition is conducted outside normal school hours to allow early entry into the Conservatorium programmes without any interruption to students’ general education.


Our Senior Musician Course has five levels that sit alongside years 9-13 of general secondary education.

Level 1 – Year 9 13-14 yrs
Level 2 – Year 10 14-15 yrs
Level 3 – Year 11 15-16 yrs – NCEA Level 1 IGCSE
Level 4 – Year 12 16-17 yrs – NCEA Level 2 and Cambridge AS levels
Level 5 – Year 13 17-18 yrs – NCEA Level 3 and Cambridge A2 levels

- Domestic students who attend other schools for their general education are eligible to audition for entry to the King’s College Conservatorium. All tuition is offered outside normal school hours.

- International students: King’s College offers a comprehensive portfolio of excellent general education, extra-curricular opportunities, accommodation, and pastoral care for young international students.

International student admissions

Further Information for International Conservatorium Applicants please write to: Uwe Grodd:

Young Artist

Enshrined in our philosophy of ‘learning by playing’, the Young Artist Course offers an advanced performance programme for post-secondary or post-university students. In close collaboration with our esteemed artist-musicians, the course provides each student with a vital period of growth and consolidation, a ‘finishing school’ to prepare our young artists to pursue their chosen career path in music.

To achieve the outcome of performance excellence, the curriculum is necessarily tailored to suit the specific aims and ambitions for each young artist.

Study programmes - from 6 months to 2 years in duration - are individually designed to prepare for international auditions, competitions, and job auditions.

Entry can be gained at any age. School leavers are welcome to apply, along with those who already hold Bachelors, Masters, or Doctoral degrees – or other certificates or diplomas.


The primary focus at the heart of our curriculum is excellence in the art of music performance. Students are paired with our esteemed artist-musicians for the finest individual tuition to develop their talent and potential through the philosophy of ‘learning by playing’.

Summer Semester: 17 February – 3 July 2020
Winter Semester: 20 July – 4 December 2020

Individual tuition

  • 1.5 hours weekly for 30 weeks - 45 hours per year.
  • This is undertaken with the staff member associated with your chosen instrument or programme of tuition and study.

Second instrument tuition

  • 30 minutes weekly for 20 weeks per year.
  • Piano tuition is essential for all instrumental players.
  • Tuition on a second instrument is essential for pianists and organists.
  • Conductors will take additional tuition in score-reading on piano.

Conducting tuition for instrumentalists 

  • 30 minutes weekly for 20 weeks per year. 

  • Conducting skills support instrumental learning

Chamber music coaching

  • Chamber music groups will be formed according to the range of instruments and abilities of enrolled students. These groups may include staff members and invited professional players to broaden performance opportunities and the diversity of students’ playing, repertoire, and experiences.

In support of the teaching practice of ‘learning by playing’, students will also receive:

  • Musicianship and aural training*
  • Music language and theory tuition tailored to meet individual requirements, including:
    • harmony, counterpoint, score reading, analysis etc.*
  • Music History
    Includes both historical and genre survey approaches linked to students’ repertoire, and repertoire being performed in concerts in Auckland
  • Regular audio and video recording sessions with feedback provided in the performance forum.
  • Musician’s Health:
    • Physical and mental well-being
    • Clinical psychologist
    • Physiotherapy
    • Audiology
    • Feldenkrais Method
  • Music Industry Classes – The Business of Music
  • Writing for Musicians

*Individual and small group lessons will be provided in addition to our regular forums.


Like learning a language, learning music is an activity best achieved through interaction and communication with others. A pivotal part of the curriculum is our commitment to regular forums that provide a unique opportunity to consolidate learning in a collaborative and supportive environment. Guided by an expert in each respective field of musical endeavour, students, artist-teachers, visiting musicians and music industry specialists join together to discuss and support the development of the necessary skills to achieve excellence as a professional performance musician.

The unique aspect of these forums is the emphasis we place on collaboration. All who participate – from the very youngest to the most advanced players – will be encouraged not only to play, but to also share experiences, reflect, express ideas, observations and opinions. It is in this context that we collectively develop a deeper understanding of music. Beyond ‘playing the right notes’ and ‘producing beautiful sounds’, our specialized forums ensure that Conservatorium students are equipped for creative and emotionally-connected music-making of the highest calibre.


Under the guidance of performance experts, this forum provides the opportunity to perform solo and chamber music repertoire with, and for fellow students, artist teachers, visiting artists and invited guests.

  • Performance is combined with discussion about all aspects of performance-related activity, including preparation and presentation for:
    • concert performances
    • competitions
    • auditions
  • Offers the opportunity to experiment and problem-solve with the combined experience and support of performance specialists and the wider group.

  • Enables the development of secure but creative, individual interpretations in students’ playing.
  • Includes discussion and detailed feedback about video and sound recordings.


Music Language

This forum consolidates the pivotal connection between the formal ‘music language’ skills that students are learning and the repertoire that they are playing.

• Students apply their formal analytical and theoretical skills in practice.

• Attendance at Auckland-based concert events followed by discussion and review.

• Review of recordings, books, and articles that have particular relevance to current study in discussion with the wider group.

• Cultivates a critical ‘listening ear’ to form justified opinions and conclusions about matters of style and interpretation.


Today, more than ever before, it is essential for young musicians to listen to the master works of all periods of music. The pillars of classical music history and composition must be experienced to shape a young musician’s being.In the listening forum students will:

• Experience the broader spectrum of the classical repertoire through engaged listening and historically-informed thinking.

• Explore aural perceptions and how they affect musical judgements, interpretations, values and expectations.

• Learn to confidently and convincingly express their knowledge, judgements and opinions about a broad range of the classical repertoire.

• Acquire the academic writing skills required for entry into international programmes of study.

The art of listening is an essential extension to the practical music language skills that all Conservatorium students will study. It is within this broader musically-enriched context that we nurture our exceptional young instrumentalists and conductors to become ‘young artists’ and true musicians.

The ‘Music Business’

The Music Business is a wide-ranging forum that discusses the organizational and administrative aspects of a professional music career. Students have access to the combined experience of staff, and industry experts through this forum.

• ‘Writing for musicians’ assists students with a wide range of practical transactional writing skills including how to write:
- a CV and letters of introduction
- artist biography and promotional material
- programme notes

• Artist and event promotion:
- Social media – what to use and how to use it effectively
- Website design and use – keeping up to date
- Photos and media interviews

• Audio and video production:
- Preparation for recording and the recording process

• Contract negotiation, money, tax, management and agent relationships and agreements.

• Entrepreneurship:
- Creation and advancement of innovative ideas and commercial opportunities.

Musicians’ Health

Guided by a registered clinical psychologist, physiotherapist, audiologist and Feldenkrais practitioner, this forum addresses both physical and mental well-being - the ‘real life’ issues that can prevent a promising music career from blossoming. This forum will engage with:

• Mental well-being - Clinical Psychologist
- Work/life balance
- Psychological strategies to assist with the pressures of concert performance

• Physical well-being - Physiotherapist
- Understanding anatomy and how the body works
- Expert advice for the prevention and treatment of injuries

• Physical well-being - Audiologist
- Understanding the auditory system
- Protection of hearing, a musician’s most vital asset

• Physical well-being - Feldenkrais Method
- Body awareness
- Keeping active and healthy
- Injury prevention


A well-rounded performer needs to experience the interface between composition and performance. This exchange is vital for an insightful, meaningful interpretation of all music, contemporary or historical. The privileged opportunity to observe and discuss the creative process of ‘how a living composer works’ helps the performer in his/her quest for a deeper understanding of how to interpret the music they play.

• Invited composers will speak with students about the process of composition, their sources of inspiration, and will assist students with useful practical exercises and advice about composition projects.

*Composition as such will not be taught.

Visiting Artists

This forum allows all students the opportunity to interact with visiting artists about their work and experiences.