About 30 groups and individuals are tuning up for today's Protest Jam at the ANU to express concern at proposed staff cuts at the School of Music.
Jazz, classical and other musicians will play around the ANU from noon to 1pm.
A rally will then be held in Union Court. It will include several speeches and a marching band.
Later, music will be performed in Civic, where the public will be asked to sign a petition against the proposed cuts.
Meanwhile, students from the School of Music, such as Catherine Proctor, of Curtin, are anxious about their future studies.
She will sing at today's protest with a band.
Her mother, Fiona, said students did not even know if they would have their teachers next semester.
Mrs Proctor said the ANU's world-class reputation would be tarnished if it proceeded with narrow-minded, short-sighted and expedient budget decisions that would ruin the School of Music.
Announcing on May 3 the almost halving of teachers at the school, ANU Vice-Chancellor Ian Young said: ''The innovative program of study will be more flexible, more connected with the community and offer more student choice.''
Unconvinced, groups including the Wesley Music Foundation, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Pro Musica and Friends of ANU School of Music plan to meet Professor Young this week. The groups are seeking 15,000 signatures for a petition to be tabled in Parliament objecting to the changes. Almost 13,000 signatures have already been collected.
The petition is online at www.communityrun.org
Catherine Proctor said everyone at the School of Music was devastated.
''We all came there for these particular teachers. It is not good enough to assure us we will have that sort of nurture, then to have it let go and to drive these people away from Canberra.''
Former Australian National University student Sean Munro is helping to arrange today's protest. He said the music school was the obvious target to begin a restructure of the entire university.
''Today's event will demonstrate students and staff aren't just going to sit around and cop this,'' Mr Munro said.
''It will send a message to the Vice-Chancellor, students and staff at ANU are not prepared to accept these quite radical changes.''