Music Media, creative arts, and communication

Music Media, creative arts, and communication

Who says your passion can’t be your career? At Macquarie you’ll use the latest industry technology to explore various forms of music; hone your musical creativity; and develop your skills in performance, collaboration and production.

You’ll work in state-of-the-art recording and production studios, learning the skills you need to exceed in your music career.

Careers in music 

  • composer/songwriter
  • band director
  • booking agent
  • broadcasting technician
  • community arts practitioner
  • concert and event specialist
  • music adviser
  • music publisher
  • music video director
  • music writer/journalist
  • musician/singer
  • producer
  • researcher
  • reviewer
  • screen and game music designer
  • sound effects designer
  • sound technician
  • stage manager

Professional experience

At Macquarie, learning doesn't just happen in the classroom. With Macquarie University's PACE program you gain real-world experience in the industry of your dreams and get a headstart on your career.

Boy and Bear performs to a crowd of hundredsThrough PACE, Arts student Rosie had the opportunity to work with Boy & Bear on one of their Australian tours where she helped to organise guests lists and helped with event administration.

"I really wanted to get a feeling for what the industry was like. In University you lead quite a sheltered lifestyle and it is really difficult to get a foot in the door in these industries as they are abviously very competitive. Through the PACE program I was able to get to know people, get contacts and learn how to move forward in my career, without having the added pressure of trying to get a paid job." – PACE alumna, Rosie

No matter what your circumstances and what you decide to study at Macquarie, PACE has an opportunity available for you. Learn more about the opportunities available through PACE.

Student experience

Tim Hart

Tim Hart 

Bachelor of Arts with a major in Music

Singer/songwriter Tim Hart is a founding member of ARIA-winning group Boy and Bear, and as a solo artist in his own right. In 2012, he returned to Macquarie University as an artist in residence and provided mentorship to music students through a series of workshops and tutorials.

Tim says his student experience at Macquarie had a huge impact on his musical career: "It wasn't just the learning content at uni that did it for me. It was the culture. Our normal mindset is to get a stable job. Thinking out of the box is risky. To come to uni and meet like-minded people was absolutely essential."

Jenny Biddle

Jenny Biddle 

Bachelor of Arts

"I chose to study at Macquarie because I liked the course and the campus. I learned a lot of technical and practical stuff which proved to be very useful now that I'm recording and producing my own material. I also did a gig or two a week in the university bar throughout my uni days, which I enjoyed a lot."

Jenny was recognised as Melbourne's Best Busker 2010-2012 and has received numerous awards from various music festivals and competitions in Australia. In 2013 she was Macquarie University's artist in residence.

Our expertise in music

Dr Diane Hughes

Dr Diane Hughes

Senior Lecturer in vocal studies

Diane has an extensive background in contemporary popular singing pedagogy, and has been an invited speaker at conferences and seminars. Her work within the industry has involved artist development and recording.

Diane's research interests include vocal artistry, vocal pedagogy, vocal recording, vocal performance and singing in schools; current research projects include career pathways in the new music industries, emotion and voice, and collaborative producing in recording. She is the current President of the Australian National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Professor Julian Knowles

Professor Julian Knowles 

Professor Julian Knowles is an award-winning composer, performer and record producer. He has an extensive background in the Australian and UK independent music scenes, playing in and producing records for bands from the late-1980s onwards. One of his bands, Even As We Speak, achieved significant chart success in the UK and was one of only four Australian bands ever to be invited to record sessions for the prominent BBC Radio 1 DJ, John Peel. Most recently Julian produced the album Second Winter for ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Ed Kuepper to critical acclaim. A recognised expert in music and new technologies, he has acted as an expert advisor to state government on export music development and is the current chair of the state music industry body Music NSW.

Dr Guy Morrow

Dr Guy Morrow

Lecturer in Arts Industries and Management

Dr Guy Morrow has expertise in both organisational and visual design for the music industries. He currently manages and produces music videos with visual artist and director, Jefferton James. In this capacity he has worked with Australian and International artists such as Passenger, Josh Pyke, Stu Larsen, Missy Higgins, Dustin Tebbutt, Emma Louise, Sheppard, Pony Boy, Busby Marou, Jackson McLaren, The Paper Kites, The Griswolds, Oh Mercy, Catherine Britt, Tim Rogers, and many others. He was also one of the two founding managers of ARIA number one band, Boy & Bear, and Pitchfork's 'Best New Track' trio Movement.

For his contributions to these fields, Guy has received a Vice Chancellor's Award from Macquarie University, five ARIA Awards, Gold and Platinum Awards from ARIA, and a CMC Australian Video of the Year Award. In addition, Guy's soccer team recently won the Macquarie University Social Sport Competition and his Mountain Biking team managed not to come last in a seven-hour endurance event.

See Dr Morrow's full profile

Our facilities

Music Production Studios

The music production studios represent state of the art approaches to music production. With acoustic design by one of Australia's most acclaimed designers Richard Priddle the studios offer a range of contrasting acoustic spaces. Studio 1 houses a Neve Custom 75 mixing console, a ProTools HDX system and a selection of premium preamplifiers and outboard processors from API, Chandler/EMI, Avalon, Solid State Logic and Universal Audio (LA2A, 1176). Studio 1 also houses an amplifier room with a selection of classic amplifiers and a Radial guitar distribution system for recording and re-amping. As an AVID Learning Partner, Macquarie has the full suite of AVID plugins and software tools, alongside the complete suite of UAD hardware assisted plugin processors. Studio 2 offers a larger live space and contains Pro Tools HDX system and outboard preamplifiers and processors from API, JLM, and Audient. Supplementing the studios is a set of standard professional microphones from Neumann, Sennheiser, Shure, AKG, Beyer and a range of valve microphones from Beezneez.

Discover media, music, communication and cultural studies at Macquarie

In the home of Australia's first media department, you'll learn from award-winning experts and have access to industry-standard facilities, including our multi-million-dollar media hub with professional screen, radio and dance studios, as well as state-of-the-art digital workstations for all production areas. Immerse yourself in writing, dance, music, screen production, management, games design or communication, and set yourself up for a career in the new media landscape.

Singer/songwriter Josh Pyke mentored music students as part of Macquarie's Artist in Residence Program. The program is supported by the APRA Music Grants Scheme and provides a focus on the contemporary song and songwriting processes from the singer-songwriter perspective. Josh is an APRA Ambassador.

"The Artist in Residence program is a great opportunity for music students to engage with singer-songwriters, and to discuss creative and industry practices. We are particularly excited this year that Josh Pyke is able to join us in mentoring our students and in discussing a range of musical creativities," explained Dr Diane Hughes, Senior Lecturer in Vocal Studies. "APRA funding enables us to undertake this program and we're very grateful to both Josh and APRA for their respective contributions."

As the 2015 Artist in Residence at Macquarie University, Josh mentored music students through workshops, lectures and individual mentoring sessions on songwriting and independent artist development.

Josh is already an active advocate of upcoming musical talent through his Josh Pyke Partnership that offers an unsigned musician mentorship by Josh and $7,500 in funding to help grow their career and develop a business plan. He says, "Mentorship and passing on experiences in an industry that can often lack structure or leadership is something I'm passionate about. I hope the students will get some insight into being a professional arts worker from someone who's been doing it for over 10 years."

"I mainly want to impart the sense that creativity is different for everyone. It's a subjective experience and there are no rights or wrongs, and sometimes that can seem confronting when you're looking for guidance as to how to progress in a career. I also want to focus on the value of collaboration, and how collaborating with, and respecting creatives from different fields can be the most valuable thing an artist can do."

Australian songsmith Jenny Biddle has travelled around the country and has played countless gigs, captivating audiences wherever she went. Today she faces a different yet familiar audience not only to play music but also to talk about it.

Jenny, a Macquarie University graduate, has returned to the university to mentor current music students. She ran workshops, lectures and individual mentoring sessions on songwriting and independent artist development for students.

Jenny says returning to Macquarie to be a mentor feels "bizarre."

She says, "A lot has changed in the university since I graduated so everything looks new to me. It feels weird - to attend a class as a 'teacher' and not a student anymore - but I'm very happy to be able to spend time with the students and exchange ideas with them. We learn from each other."

"I think the Artist in Residence project is a great idea because it's a good experience for the students. When I was studying, I didn't have the opportunity to talk to someone about music as a career. It's important for students to gain practical knowledge about the industry."

In one of her lectures about the singer/songwriter genre, Jenny encourages students to express themselves and stay true to their music.

"Keep it real. You don't have to be the best all the time, but always say what you truly feel and what's important to you."

Jenny writes songs to tell the story of her life and of the people and the world around her. She independently produced her albums, with the help of friends and supportive fans. Her 3rd album, Hero in Me, was funded by her fans and was produced by Thirsty Merc's former guitarist, and legendary producer, Sean Carey. Jenny has been awarded as Melbourne's Best Busker 2010-2012 and has received numerous awards from various music festivals and competitions around the country.

Music has always been Jenny's passion. At age 4, she learned to play ukulele and piano. At 9, she fell in love with the guitar. At Macquarie, she studied Bachelor of Arts which allowed her to take on music units including guitar, sound mixing, and production.

"I chose to study at Macquarie because I liked the course and the campus. I learned a lot of technical and practical stuff which proved to be very useful now that I'm recording and producing my own material. I also did a gig or two a week in the university bar throughout my uni days, which I enjoyed a lot," Jenny said.

After graduation, Jenny went on to live her lifelong dream – to play beautiful music. Being an independent singer/songwriter has its challenges but, according to Jenny, it is "doable."

"A lot of people think that making music a full-time career is not possible...but it is doable so I advise students to just go for it. Of course it will not be perfect and not everyone will like their music all the time, but they just have to work hard. Do not be afraid to try different things. Be it teaching music, singing at weddings, or busking, it doesn't matter as long as they're doing what they love."

Three reasons to choose media, creative arts and communication at Macquarie

  1. You will learn the skills required to respond to a rapidly evolving media environment
  2. We have strong media-industry ties and a growing internship program
  3. You will gain vocational skills through access to our industry-standard technology

Our programs are designed to keep you up-to-date with emerging media and industry practices while ensuring you have a strong understanding of traditional mass communication.

In the home of Australia’s first media department, you’ll learn from award-winning experts and have access to industry-standard facilities, including our multi-million-dollar media hub with professional screen, radio and dance studios, as well as state-of-the-art digital workstations for all production areas.

Immerse yourself in writing, dance, music, screen production, management, games design or communication, and set yourself up for a career in the new media landscape.

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