The Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana Foundation is a private foundation with a public benefit scope, and it runs the University of Music with a public mandate. The Foundation manages three interconnected departments, which distinctively operate in different fields of music education and objectives:
Music School (SMUS): an introductory school for children who want to learn how to play an instrument, and a training centre for young people and adults who want to deepen or broaden their musical skills. The Music School enrols more than 1’200 students, mainly between 5 and 20, coming from 60 different municipalities all over the region.
Pre-College (PRE): a pre-professional department that enrols a limited number of 55 students who are attending high school and intend to prepare for a future musical career.
University of Music (SUM): founded in 1985 and recognised by the authorities in 1988, the original professional department transformed into the University of Music in 1999. According to a new legislative framework and explicit mandate from the State Council of the Cantone Ticino, it obtained recognition and accreditation from the Canton and the Swiss Confederation.