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Music studies

Undergraduate Music Courses



Admission to undergraduate music courses at the Lyon CNSMD is by audition and for composition by written application and interview. The audition sessions are not open to the public.
No diplomas are required to apply. Candidates must be aged between 16 and 30.

Check the admission procedure here.


Studies at the Lyon CNSMD are full time. Attendance at all classes is mandatory.

Teaching units

Studies are organised in four teaching units which cover almost all the subjects currently taught at the Lyon CNSMD. The four teaching units are as follows:

    • Unit 1. Main subject
      specialisation that the student auditioned for: instrument, singing, writing, choral conducting and composition
    • Unit 2. Subsidiary subjects connected with the main subject
      ensemble or individual work connected with the main subject (chamber music, orchestra, sight-reading, etc.) click here to see the list
    • Unit 3. Non-specialised subjects
      Theoretical subjects or those connected with practical musicianship (applied analysis, analysis of 20th century music, history of music, art and civilisation, writing and analysis of early music, writing, ethnomusicology, science of new techniques, etc.)
    • Unit 4. Other skills:
      language, improvisation, career guidance courses, personal projects, etc.


Progress is assessed every semester, often by continuous assessment. As for university studies, each subject is validated by credit points (ECTS). Click here for more information.

ERASMUS exchanges are encouraged by European-level clarification.


Undergraduate music studies (DNSPM) normally take three years to complete but the length of the course can be reduced if the student’s previous learning justifies this. Studies lead to the Diplôme National Supérieur Professionnel de Musicien (DNSPM), which is awarded after students give their public recital before an examining panel (end of course public audition).

Students must also declare their master’s research project before being admitted to master’s-level studies.


Diplôme National Supérieur Professionnel de Musicien (DNSPM)
The Diplôme National Supérieur Professionnel de Musicien (DNSPM) is awarded by the Director of the CNSMD to students who have obtained 180 credit points.

« Arts et spectacle » Bachelor’s Degree
Thanks to the partnership with the Université Lumière Lyon 2, Lyon CNSMD students who have passed their baccalauréat (or equivalent) can, if they wish, obtain a bachelor’s degree in music in addition to the DNSPM. In order to do so they should register at Lyon 2 University as well as at the CNSMD at the beginning of their third year.