The College of Music, Mahidol University was the first music institute in Thailand offering comprehensive degree programs, including Pre-College, Undergraduate, Master’s and Doctoral programs in many areas of music. In 1987 Mahidol University initiated the Academic Development Project with Dr. Sugree Charoensook as project head, marking the first time that music courses were opened as electives for undergraduate students in Mahidol University. In 1989 the project developed into the formation of the Master of Arts in Cultural Studies with emphasis in music, as a new curriculum for the Institute of Language and Culture for Rural Development’s students. Then in 1994 a project was established to set up the College of Music under Mahidol University’s supervision with a curriculum program expanded and renamed the Master of Arts in Music with majors in music education and musicology.
After its establishment, the College continuously expanded its academic programs with the opening of the Bachelor of Music program in 1998. The BM included majors in classical music performance, jazz studies, Thai and oriental music, and music technology. In 2001, the College introduced a three year Pre-College program with the aim to provide senior high school students with proper knowledge in music suitable for further studies in the undergraduate level.
The Ph.D. in music education and musicology, the first of its kind in Thailand, was offered in 2005 in order to develop music performers, scholars, teachers and researchers to serve the society. Finally the Doctor of Music program was introduced in 2014.
A key strength of the College are its strong facilities, including buildings with dedicated rooms for teaching, rehearsal, organization and administration, auditorium, music library and centers of music electronic media/information, laboratories for music business and music therapy, the South East Asia Music Museum, the Pre College building, and the Prince Mahidol Hall.
The College of Music operates three Music Campuses for the General Public (MCGP), a project aimed at developing the quality life for the society, to provide children with music studies, and to provide strong music background for those interested to pursue their music study at Mahidol. Over 3,000 students attend programs at the three MCGP campuses.
The College established the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra (TPO) in 2005 as a resident professional orchestra to provide performance opportunities for outstanding musicians, and to serve as an example of how to create and manage a professional level music organization for society. This 95-member symphony orchestra is made up of musicians from more than 15 nations. The TPO has been active in recording traditional Thai songs, western classical music, and new works from internationally recognized composers, and has produced 10 CDs of those works.