The Department of Music has access to large lecture halls with pianos and audio playback equipment as well as the usual data projectors and IT facilities expected of a modern learning establishment. There are three seminar rooms, two further large teaching rooms and a suite of 20 practice rooms which are available to students and staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In 2013, the university invested in 15 new and reconditioned pianos for these practice rooms. There are also grand pianos by Bosendorfer, Steinway and other makers.
A dedicated computer lab contains 30 audio workstations running Logic, Sibelius, Musition and Auralia software, an electronic whiteboard, a data projector and dedicated software for interactive lectures. Percussion teaching takes place in a dedicated Percussion Studio, and there is an Early Music Studio for those with a special interest in music from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The Music Department has the use of Butchart Recreation Hall, a large rehearsal space for ensembles such as the University Symphony Orchestra, University Concert Band and University Choral Society. The historic 16th-century King’s College Chapel provides an atmospheric backdrop for chamber concerts, with an acoustic ideally suited to early music and string quartets. Other concerts take place in Elphonstone Hall and in various venues the city: Cowdray Hall, for example, has a reputation second only to London’s Wigmore Hall for its acoustic. Larger scale performances take place in Aberdeen’s three cathedrals and in the Music Hall.
King’s College Chapel contains a three-manual organ by French builder, Bernard Aubertin, that attracts performers from around the world. In addition, the University has a collection of historical instruments. There are three fully equipped electroacoustic music studios, and composers have the opportunity to perform their music both within and outside the university. In addition to a full Balinese Gamelan Gong Kebyar (one of only four in the United Kingdom), there are two sets of steel pans, and a samba batteria.
The music collections of The Sir Duncan Rice Library are excellent and, unlike many other research libraries, it is possible to borrow volumes from collected editions and to take out journals; of course, many journal articles are now also available online. The library houses a fine collection of CDs which may also be borrowed by all members of the University, and complements a departmental subscription to Naxos Music Library.
Students taking music education courses have access to practical resources to be found in the classroom, such as guitars and drum kits. There is a library of books and teaching aids for use in learning and teaching, and some classes take place in spaces arranged to resemble school classrooms to allow the replication of teaching and learning situations.