Popular Music

Convenor: Dr Rod Davies

The Popular Music specialisation in the Bachelor of Music trains music practitioners and creators of the future. In addition to developing practical performance skills and stagecraft, students learn how to engage with a broad range of tools, performance styles and contexts representative of the popular music industry.

The program combines performance with music production and songwriting with the aim of developing autonomous, self-sufficient and versatile musicians. Students learn how to critically examine both their individual practice and the cultural ‘scenes’ in which they aim to work, collaborate, create and perform.

Teaching Program

In first year, students focus on developing techniques and practice strategies on their principal instrument or voice across a range of musical styles and repertoires. Additionally, the development of foundational voice skills is an early focus for all students, enabling each individual to appreciate and understand their own inner instrument, to ‘find’ their voice and to forge a strong connection between performance and the melody and narrative of popular song. In second year, these skills are applied in both solo and ensemble performance contexts in songwriting, live and recording environments. In third year, students have the opportunity to conceptualise and create a live performance and recording project under the guidance of expert teachers within their chosen musical style and/or context.

Students undertake jazz theory and may engage in the full range of ensembles, and electives offered by the school of music, including overseas study options. This specialisation not only connects students with current industry practices and practitioners, but also encourages the creation of new music, aligning with the school’s focus on developing the future of Australian popular music.

Access further information here.


Undergraduate studies

Our teaching approach creates pathways for students to progress from an undergraduate interest in Performance, to Honours, and then graduate research.

Graduate Research

The Theatre, Performance and Music Graduate Research is part of the Arts Graduate Research Program.


Our Popular Music staff possess outstanding national and international profiles. View all staff.