Music Performance

A Master of Music in Performance degree provides you with the real-world skills you need for success in a competitive and demanding professional environment. Simply put, you will learn from artist-teachers who are networked into the music industry from New York to LA, from Beijing to Sydney, and across Europe. Work alongside solo artists, recording artists, contractors, entrepreneurs, members of military ensembles, composers and arrangers, and many more.

  • Our GRAMMY Award-winning faculty are networked into the international music industry and know exactly what it takes to be successful in careers from the concert hall to the recording studio, sound stage, or outdoor music festival.
  • In addition to curricular concerts and events, students have opportunities to perform professionally in multiple ensembles including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestras, and Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, to name a few.
  • Performance majors at both undergraduate and graduate levels have the opportunity to pursue an emphasis in jazz studies
  • Our students benefit from master classes presented by internationally-recognized music experts and guest artists.
  • The Institute of Entertainment, Music, and Media Arts (IEMMA) allows you to engage in real-world activities and connect with industry-leading professionals while on campus.
  • Through coursework and internships, you will learn to manage the business and promotional aspects of professional music-making.
  • Our graduates succeed. They can be found performing virtually every style of music locally, nationally, and around the world. 

View the 2023–2024 Curriculum

Audition Overview

Admission to the Mary Pappert School of Music also includes a formal audition. Learn more about the audition process & guidelines.

Program Information

Varied curricula for each applied area—brass, guitar, keyboards, percussion, strings, voice, woodwinds. See catalog for specific details.

Program Type




Academic Department

Performance (Music)



Required Credit Hours


Chair of Performance

Stephen Benham

Professor of Music Education; Chair of Performance Department

Headshot of Steve Benham against a gray background

Hone Your Performing Skills

Regardless of degree path, each student benefits from one-on-one instruction with our world-class faculty.

Duquesne's ensembles will provide you with the finest university-level performing experiences available, preparing you for your career as a professional musician. As a member, you will perform on campus, as well as at some of the best venues for music in the city. Our students have performed at Heinz Hall, Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland, Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall, the August Wilson Center, the Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall, and many more. 


In today's competitive commercial and studio music environment, versatility is of the utmost importance. Our unique jazz curriculum integrates foundational training in the classical tradition with private instruction and coursework in jazz idioms.