Learn more about the University of Auckland School of Music’s history.

In the beginning

Back in 1888 it was known as the Auckland University College, and offered a selection of academic music courses.

However, it wasn’t until 1956 that the College established a proper music school. A qualification was introduced for performing musicians called the "Executant Diploma Course" – a first for New Zealand universities.

Temporary housing

At this time the Department of Music was ‘temporarily’ housed in a corrugated iron building on the site now known as the Barracks Wall Green.

Then in 1969 the department moved, again ‘temporarily’, into Pembridge, at 31 Princes Street. It would not have permanent housing for about another 17 years.

Permanent and award-winning

The ‘permanent’ School of Music building, which had been in discussion since the late 60s, was finally built in 1986 on a small site and a tight budget by Hill Manning Mitchell Architects.

Described by the judges as an "inventive and joyful work of architecture that... continues to communicate a sense of delight", the building was awarded the Enduring Architecture Award in 2013.