The Con partners with UNE to offer online degree

Artistic Director (CCCM), Patrick Brennan, Music Convenor and Partnerships Coordinator (UNE), Dr Alana Blackburn, Board Chairman (CCCM) Peter Brandon, Head of Department of Creative Arts and Communications (UNE), Dr Donna Hewitt.

The Central Coast Conservatorium of Music (CCCM) and the University of New England (UNE) have formed a formal teaching partnership, allowing music students in the Central Coast region to receive private music tuition locally while completing their music degree online

UNE Music has designed an Instrumental and Vocal Studies program which offers a sequence of advanced performance training units over the course of the three-year Bachelor of Music.

Utilising the experience and expertise of CCCM’s teachers, each unit incorporates weekly one to one instrumental lessons alongside a host of activities provided by CCCM and the community.

These include participation in large and small ensembles, master classes and workshops with world-class special guest musicians, accompanying and/or conducting work, and public performances.

The teaching partnership was launched in the Robert Knox Hall Central Coast Conservatorium of Music on Monday, October 1.

Music Convenor and Partnerships Coordinator, Dr Alana Blackburn, was joined by others for the announcement and said the partnership is a unique approach to build and maintain professional capacity in the arts and music education in regional areas.

“The program itself allows students from this area who have already come through Central Coast Conservatorium, or those who are new to the area and want to study tertiary music, to remain living and working in the community.

“They can work with the community, not just by studying here and participating in ensembles, but also providing more culturally and professional opportunities for themselves and other musicians in the area and gaining a tertiary music degree with UNE at the same time.

“We have been online since 2015, so this is an opportunity for students to have that online experience of studying anywhere but also receiving one of the most important parts of music education which is joining together, playing music with other students.

“This will also hopefully help to increase the cultural and artistic life in the area.

Musical Director of the Central Coast Conservatorium, Patrick Brennan, said the partnership is a huge step forward for the music school.

“What it will enable is to allow our teachers to teach at a tertiary level which has never happened in our 37-year existence,” he said.

“This is a huge asset as it will enable students to remain with their families whilst completing an undergraduate degree.”

With UNE’s strong background in online teaching and internationally recognised music academics, the partnership provides an additional opportunity for regional students to receive high-quality music education and encourages the growth and vitality of the music community in the Central Coast region.

With its proximity to UNE Sydney, Central Coast students can also take advantage of the facilities in Parramatta which include a mobile music technology and production lab.

Jacinta Counihan