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Street Address:

20 Fenyang Road, Xuhui District, Shanghai 200031, People’s Republic of China


+86 21 6431 0305 (foreign affairs office)


Undergraduate program


Bachelor of Music. Four years. Studies in performance (Western and Chinese instruments and voice, opera), composition, choral, orchestral and opera conducting, repetiteur training, musicology, music theatre, instrument making, music education, digital media art, music technology, arts administration, music therapy.


Graduate program


Master of Arts. In performance, Chinese opera, folk music performance, conducting, electronic music, composition, musicology, ethnomusicology, aesthetics and criticism, music psychology, music education, digital media arts, recording arts, pedagogy, arts administration, instrument making. Doctor of Philosophy.

Institution Notes:

The Conservatory, established in 1927, is the oldest higher institute of music education in China, with an illustrious group of presidents since its foundation. It operates under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture. Over its history the Conservatory has formed a comprehensive system of teaching, learning, performance and research based on the modern Western art tradition combined with Chinese characteristics. There are twelve departments: composition/conducting, musicology, piano, voice, Chinese traditional instruments, orchestral instruments, folk music, contemporary instruments, music education, music theatre, sound engineering and arts administration, as well as an Institute of Digital Media Arts. The Conservatory supports a music research institute, a fine music library, a vast museum of oriental instruments, a new concert hall with excellent acoustics seating over 800 people and a music publishing house. A scholarly journal 'Art of Music' is published quarterly. On the campus is an instrument manufacturing workshop producing good quality stringed instruments, wind instruments and harps. Some 1400 students study at the Conservatory which is staffed by over 250 faculty members. Foreign students are welcomed. There are active exchange programs with conservatories and music schools in America, Russia, Netherlands, Australia, Germany and Japan. In 1988 the Zhou Xiaoyan Opera Center was established, co-working with foreign opera houses for productions and master classes. Other organisations include the Oriental Digital Media Art Research and Development Centre, the Modern Music Society, the Oriental Music Society, the Chinese Contemporary Music Center, with its research program into contemporary compositions of Chinese composers, and the Chinese Traditional Folk Music Documents Office. An attached middle school offers general school subjects as well as specialised music training for the gifted, some of whom are primary level students. An associate member of the Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen.

Country Notes:

CONSERVATORIES AND ART INSTITUTES. Conservatories and Art Institutes. The training of professional musicians and music teachers in the People’s Republic of China takes place at eleven Conservatories and Art Institutions strategically placed throughout the country. All but the Conservatory of Chinese Music in Beijing deal primarily with training in Western-style music, though all offer programs in Chinese music. The most prestigious institutions are the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and the Shanghai Conservatory, and these take only the very best students from all over China. Others take students only from their own or neighbouring provinces but standards remain high throughout. Entry is by audition. Conservatories have pedagogical research groups of academics responsible for organising the content of and changes to the music curriculum. A foreign affairs section at each is staffed with appropriate persons to deal with visitors both from outside the province and international. UNDERGRADUATE PROFESSIONAL MUSIC COURSES. Undergraduate courses generally last for four or five years. Teacher training courses are normally of four years’ duration, though a two-year alternative course is available in many conservatories to cater for those wishing to teach at lower school levels. Conservatory students take subjects in various categories: • political science subjects. • major music study, which may include Western or Chinese performance, musicology, composition, conducting, teacher training, sound engineering, arts management. • supporting or general studies, such as aesthetics, English or Chinese literature, introduction to the arts, physical education, educational psychology, pedagogy, music history (Chinese, Western), harmony, form and analysis, sight singing, keyboard facility, folk music of Chinese minority groups. • electives, generally involving areas of staff interest. Many Chinese universities have departments offering some music training to students and some also have departments of music education for the training of teachers of music. GRADUATE PROGRAMS FOR PROFESSIONAL MUSICIANS. Post-graduate studies leading to the award of Master’s-level degrees are available in all conservatories, while doctoral studies may be undertaken at the Beijing Central Conservatory and the Shanghai Conservatory. MUSIC TRAINING FOR GIFTED CHILDREN. Music training for gifted school-age children. Attached to each conservatory is a residential middle (secondary) school in which specially selected students receive a full general curriculum as well as training in performance, theory and solfège from conservatory staff. These schools act as feeder schools to the conservatory for students wishing to make a profession in music. Both the Beijing Central Conservatory and the Shanghai Conservatory also have residential elementary schools giving appropriate general and specific music training to gifted students from about age nine.

Last Updated:

April 2019