Music Practice – Bachelor of Commercial Music

Study musicianship and performance in the popular genre of your choice — whether you’re a singer, DJ, or in a band. Music Practice will give you the skills and confidence to take risks and make it in the music industry.

Where you can study

Wellington campus

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students on campus in New Zealand
Note: Selected entry qualification .

Specialise in Music Practice for your Bachelor of Commercial Music at Massey

In the Music Practice major, you’ll learn songwriting, composition, musicianship and performance from some of New Zealand’s top musicians and professionals. The Bachelor of Commercial Music has strong connections with the music industry in New Zealand and around the globe, guaranteeing you an immersive, real-world focused music education.

You’ll develop your writing and performing craft in your instrument or interface of choice—that could be an instrument, your voice or your computer.  Learn to produce and compose music with industry-standard software and hardware, in some of the best facilities in the Southern Hemisphere.

Engage critically with the music industry, considering the philosophy, politics and economics of commercial music.

Work with fellow students across the Commercial Music degree to work on gigs, tours, music videos and online promotion. You’ll learn to be a working musician with the practical skills, connections and experience to make it in the music industry.

Further study

Extend your study with postgraduate research in the Bachelor of Commercial Music (Honours), or take a creative product or idea to market in the Master of Creative Enterprise.

A Bachelor of Commercial Music in Music Practice is a good fit if you:

  • love creating and experimenting with new music
  • want to master industry-standard production tools
  • dream of your music being heard across the world.

Planning information

If you study full-time, in your first year, you’ll take eight 15-credit courses, making a total of 120 credits.

If you wish to study over two semesters, you should aim for 60 credits per semester. You may be able to take some courses at summer school. Make sure you include courses that are prerequisites for the next level of courses you wish to study.

More information: ‘Yellow Book’. 

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations for this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Undergraduate Degrees, Undergraduate Diplomas, Undergraduate Certificates, Graduate Diplomas and Graduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Core courses for the Bachelor of Commercial Music

As well as the specialisation courses listed below, this qualification has core courses that you will need to complete.

Bachelor of Commercial Music core courses

Music Practice courses

Compulsory courses

Choose 120 credits from
Course code: 133175 Music Practice 1 15 credits

In this course students engage in the development of their musical practice. Through a variety of instrument specific and mixed ensemble groups, students will be supported to achieve technical and artistic skills. Musical materials will be appropriate to a range of popular music practices.

Prerequisites: Audition

View full course details
Course code: 133176 Music Production and Composition 1 15 credits

In this course students are introduced to production and composition techniques used in the creation of popular music. Students apply songwriting and production techniques as they gain practical knowledge of using DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) and creative methodologies for commercial and experimental outcomes.

View full course details
Course code: 133275 Music Practice 2 15 credits

In this course students engage in intermediate level study of their musical practice. Through a combination of instrument specific and mixed ensemble groups students are supported to gain a professional level of technical and artistic skill. Musical materials will be appropriate to various musical disciplines representing a wide range of popular genres.

Prerequisites: 133175 or Audition

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Course code: 133276 Music Production and Composition 2 15 credits

In this course students further develop production and composition techniques to support linear and non-linear musical outcomes. Students compose, arrange and record original sound and music works using a range of tools, technologies, systems, architectures and technical frameworks used for various media platforms.

Prerequisites: 133176 or Appraisal Required

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Course code: 133375 Music Practice 3 15 credits

In this course students engage in advanced study of their musical practice. Through a combination of instrument specific and mixed ensemble groups, students are supported in achieving an advanced level of technical and artistic skill. Musical materials will be delivered and appropriate to the students musical discipline and chosen genre(s).

Prerequisites: 133275 or Appraisal Required

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Course code: 133376 Music Production and Composition 3 15 credits

In this course students develop musical understandings beyond conventional popular music forms. Students gain theoretical and critical concepts and techniques key to process and experimentation notating musical ideas through a diverse range of graphic and natural scores. Students extend their musical awareness by actively listening and responding in small improvisation groups supported by seminar discussions.

Prerequisites: 133276 or Appraisal Required

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Course code: 133378 Music Practice Major Project 30 credits

In this course students work to produce and realise an ambitious major project by means of self-directed study under academic supervision and professional mentorship appropriate to their music practice major specialism. Students are required to work individually and in teams in and across majors displaying high levels of organisation, demonstrating and applying the culmination of technical, creative, critical and professional skills gained throughout the degree.

Prerequisites: 133350 or 133377

View full course details

Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

This is a selected entry qualification. This means there are extra requirements you must meet in addition to gaining entry University Entrance.

You must register for an audition for the Bachelor of Commercial Music (Music Practice). You should apply for entry to this degree before registering for your audition and you will be assessed for selection into the qualification. 

Due dates

Music Practice

  • 31 January for study commencing in Semester 1.  Late applications may be accepted, subject to available spaces.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Can't meet the entry requirements?

If your Music Practice audition is unsuccessful you can still consider a Bachelor of Commercial Music with the Music Technology or Music Industry majors.

If you need to do a course before you start your qualification, there may be options for you in Summer School.

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

Our graduates perform on stage at major festivals, tour New Zealand and the world, and see their records and singles in the NZ Hot 20 charts.

Recent developments in digital technologies and online platforms offer new and exciting entrepreneurial and employment careers in the music industry. Musicians can compose for films, TV, games, apps and digital platforms, and write and produce for other artists.

International students

New Zealand is a great place to study. Massey University’s reputation is supported by our international rankings, accreditations and associations. We are rated five star plus by the QS World University Rankings.

Massey University has small class sizes, and our lecturers and staff are friendly and approachable.

As an international student, there are entry requirements that will apply to you. We recommend that you apply at least three months before your anticipated start date so your application can be processed in time. There are additional steps you will need to take. These include obtaining a visa and travel bookings if your study is to be in New Zealand.

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