Guitar at the MCM

Guitar at The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (MCM)

Overview of guitar area

The MCM guitar area is rapidly building an international reputation. Dr Ken Murray and Mx Tonié Field cultivate a supportive, motivating and all-embracing outlook to learning the guitar while providing an environment to explore and deepen your love and appreciation of music. There are frequent visiting artists and a regular concert series of local and international guests.  Recent guest teachers have included Paulo Aragão (Brazil), Slava and Leonard Grigoryan, Jeremy Alsop and Gerald Mapstone.

Through the work of a number of scholars and performers the MCM has developed a strong international profile in Spanish and Latin American music research and guitar studies.  South American music has emerged as key area of expertise with many guitar students researching and playing music led by internationalist guests and renowned Australian practitioners.  Research areas of specialisation amongst academic staff include South American guitar histories (Dr Melanie Plesch), Spanish and contemporary guitar practice (Dr Ken Murray and Dr Michael Christoforidis) and Brazilian guitar performance (Doug de Vries and Adam May).  Specialization in either classical or contemporary guitar (including Brazilian) is available and cross-over studies are encouraged. In addition, Early Music opportunities are supported by an array of early music instruments and specialists


At the MCM guitarists are able to focus on solo performance and ensemble experiences with other guitarists.  The program has a unique focus on the guitar and it’s place as a solo instrument in contemporary music.  Many of the students who study contemporary guitar at the MCM students come with a view to studying composition, music therapy, musicology or music education.  Crossover between classical and contemporary styles is encouraged through subjects such as minor practical study, chamber music and ensemble performances.  MCM contemporary guitar students learn a range of contemporary guitar styles and repertoires.  The emphasis is on the mastery of pieces from a wide range of styles and building up a repertoire of contemporary guitar music.  Styles focused on include flamenco, Brazilian, Celtic, acoustic finger style, gypsy swing and African guitar music. MCM contemporary guitar teachers include Doug de Vries, Dr Ken Murray, James Sherlock, Adam May.