- Admission into the Music Department
Admission into the Department of Music is administered by the Faculty of Arts. Students may get more information about the admission process from the HKU admissions website at https://aal.hku.hk/admissions/
The Department also participates in screening and recommending students to be admitted through the Music Scholarship Scheme. (NOTE: The previous Music Specialist Scheme has terminated, effective as of July 2019.)
- What is the Music Scholarship Scheme?
The Music Scholarship Scheme provides an exclusive opportunity at the University for outstanding applicants whose pre-university experience includes a significant commitment to the pursuit of music excellence as well as to their formal academic studies.
Applicants who are offered a place in the BA programme through the Music Scholarship Scheme must major in Music. They may also, like all other Arts students, choose to pursue a double major, or up to two minors.
The Music Scholarship Scheme enable admitted Music Scholars to have access to:
- financial subsidy for attending overseas workshops/master classes conferences/competitions/festivals that are directly related to their musical studies while enrolled as a student at HKU;
- guidance from a music/academic mentor individually from the start of the undergraduate study.
- Who is eligible for the Music Scholarship Scheme?
To be eligible for the Music Scholarship Scheme applicants must have:
- satisfied the minimum University entrance requirements for the year of admission;
- met the entrance requirements for the Arts Faculty.
- What is the selection process?
The Music Department will screen applicants for the Music Scholarship Scheme based on their academic and musical background. Selected applicants will be invited for an interview and audition (some may be asked to sit for an aptitude test). Once the interviews and auditions are completed, successful applicants will be recommended for admissions to the BA programme as Music Scholars.
Interviews and auditions will be held in Hong Kong:
- in December of the year prior to the admission year to March of the admission year (for those applying through Non-JUPAS/Direct Admissions Scheme to Senior Year Places and Non-local applicants); or
- in June of the admission year (for JUPAS candidates).
Non-local applicants or applicants studying outside Hong Kong who are not able to attend interview and audition in person please contact Professor Chan Hing-yan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What happens at the interview and audition?
During the interview and audition, applicants are invited to discuss their specific interests in music, perform for the panel, present compositions, or show any other music-based projects they may have undertaken. Applicants may also use this forum to learn more about the Music Department.
- How many places are offered for the Scheme?
The number of Music Scholarship Scheme places offered varies each year, but is generally not more than 20 places.
- How to apply?
The online application requires you to submit a number of personal, academic and employment details, including an essay and a video. Please take this into consideration when planning your application and don’t wait till the last minute.
JUPAS candidates applying to the Music Scholarship Scheme must include 6054 BA as one of their band A programme choices after the deadline for updating programme choices before the release of HKDSE examination results.
Class of 2009; currently Assistant Manager, Cultural Management Office, HKU
“The Music Department was a bridge between my passion and my career. Its comprehensive curriculum provided me with a thought-provoking understanding of a wide variety of music styles and cultures, thereby laid a solid foundation for me to pursue a management career in music. Performing experiences with the University Choir and University Gamelan not only nurtured my confidence and enhanced my musicianship, but also made me understand what “teamwork” means in music making. Throughout my undergraduate years, under the guidance of the Department’s then Concert Manager, I also had the opportunity to assist the Department’s vibrant Concert Series, through which I was inspired to choose the career path of arts management. Had I not studied at the Music Department, I probably would not have had a job that coincides with my passion.”
Class of 2016; currently PhD candidate in Music Theory at Harvard University
“My undergraduate studies at the Music Department was a transformative journey. I can still vividly recall that I had no prior knowledge of music theory whatsoever when first took a music course at HKU, because I had intended to study law. However, what the Department offered was beyond textbook knowledge – but the eagerness to learn, the humility for knowledge, and most importantly, the endless passion for music. In my freshman and sophomore years, I was profoundly intrigued by the interaction between music theory and history, and that sparked my interest in the history of music theory in the nineteenth century. I also took advantage of the opportunity at the Department to learn a new instrument—the violin—to broaden my practical skills. As a conductor, I had the opportunity to work with students from other disciplines in a percussion ensemble. Multiple research opportunities highlighted my junior and senior years. I had the privilege to work individually with Dr. Youn Kim and Prof. Daniel Chua, both of them inspired and enlightened me to be a musician-academic. After more than three years of studies in the department of music, I have turned from a know-nothing to another know-nothing: the more I learn, the less I know.”
Class of 2009; 2012 MPhil in Composition, HKU; 2013 Hong Kong Jockey Club Music Scholarship Awardee; 2017 PhD in Music Composition, University of York
“The journey of a thousand li starts with a step 千里之行始於足下. I am glad that I have taken that step and taken it at the Music Department. No words can fully express how much I appreciate the experience of studying music in the Music Department where I have spent five extremely fruitful years. When I decided to switch from a chemistry-major to a music freshman, I had the faintest idea of what is involved in the arduous process of writing music. It would have been totally impossible for me to have come to this point in my development as a composer without the patient guidance of the professors and teachers in this Department. They always allow me to be myself, and to roam and explore at my own pace. They never impose their personal tastes or views on me, but when they do share their thoughts, the comments are always insightful and hugely inspiring.
"What I appreciate most about the HKU music department is its willingness to accept students from diverse backgrounds, creating a free, open and pluralistic learning environment. In a music class, you would often find a student who’s passionate about Western classics and yet another who loves pop music. The one common factor that brings them together is a genuine interest in music and a keen desire to learn more about it. In the heterogeneous society of today, it’s important that we learn how to respect people from diverse backgrounds and to embrace differences.”
Class of 2015; currently PhD candidate in Music Theory at Yale University
“The music curriculum at HKU is comprehensive, but also very flexible, allowing students to combine courses in a way that suits their intellectual and artistic pursuits. In my case, a combination of harmony, counterpoint and analytical courses inspired me to pursue graduate study in music theory. But a good curriculum alone is not enough for making a musician and scholar; what is great about the Music Department is the amount of attention and care the students receive. One of the most memorable and fruitful experiences in my academic life is working on my individual research projects in Directed Study. Completing these projects one-on-one with a supervisor, working on not just the content of the essays but also writing and research techniques, helped significantly in preparing me to become a graduate student. The knowledge and critical thinking skills I gained from HKU has benefitted—and will benefit—every stage of my academic career.”
Class of 2011; 2016 MPhil in Musicology, HKU; currently PhD candidate in Musicology at Cornell University
“The key strengths of HKU’s music curriculum are its interdisciplinary and individualized approaches to the studies of music as a humanistic inquiry. As an undergraduate at HKU, I was able to pursue music studies productively alongside my other concentrations in economics and philosophy precisely because of the intellectually wide-ranging nature of the music courses offered by the music department.With the performance courses offered through the department’s lesson scheme and its collaboration with Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, I was able to further my studies in piano performance and later, warmly initiated into the world of historically informed performance practice as a keyboardist—something that has become the center of my musical and intellectual endeavors today.
“If curiosity and ambition were what drove me to HKU’s music classrooms in the first place, it was the rigorous training and generous support I received from the people—both the faculty and my class colleagues—that sustained and ultimately turned that initial impulse into a career commitment. As I pursue my doctorate in historical musicology here at Cornell University, I often look back to and draw on my experience at HKU to remind myself of the reasons and purposes of my pursuit.”
Class of 2019; 2019 Hong Kong Jockey Club Music Scholarship Awardee; currently Master of Music candidate in guzheng performance at Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts
“I am proud to be a graduate of the Music Department. And what I appreciate the most about the Department is its diverse curriculum, which allows students of different backgrounds and interests to tailor a programme that suits their needs and fits their profile. Within my four-year study, the Advanced Music Performance courses not only allowed me to study with a number of eminent guzheng masters, but also granted me the opportunities to perform publicly on a wide array of occasions. The most unforgettable experience for me is undoubtedly to have shared stage with top-notched musicians such as the world-renowned cellist Mr. Trey Lee. My four-year study at HKU Music provides a solid foundation for me to be a better performer.”