Organ Studies

Over the last decade, under the leadership of our principal organ teacher, Philip Swanton, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Organ Studies Unit has developed into Australia’s leading centre of organ teaching and performance research. Its reputation for excellence in teaching and student achievement is acknowledged nationally and internationally. Since 2000, some 27 young organists have completed a degree in Organ Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium, with distinguished alumni now working as recitalists, teachers and church musicians locally and overseas (Switzerland, France, Austria, Germany, England and North America).

Our students gain a thorough grounding in performance techniques while expanding their awareness of historical context through systematic exposure to repertoire from all the major schools of organ composition from the baroque to the present day. From the outset, we encourage our students’ capacity to make sound, independent judgments (for example, in matters of registration practise). As a result of our long-standing collaboration with a number of major city churches – St James’ Church and Christ Church St Laurence in particular –students (usually as official “Organ Scholars”) gain important hands-on experience. This ensures that they complete their studies well equipped for the demands of life as both professional organists and church musicians.

Since the restoration of the 3-manual and pedal Verbrugghen Hall organ in 2001, the Unit has at its disposal a first-class teaching instrument in one of Australia’s most beautiful performance spaces. A large 4-manual electronic practise organ is also available to students. Whenever possible, our students also visit other local and interstate instruments.

Study Options

Organ Studies Faculty

Undergraduate Audition Requirements

Postgraduate Audition Requirements