Master of Music in Performance

Master of Music in Performance


Graduate students study with master teachers, many of whom are renowned performers in their field, through applied music study in keyboard, guitar, electric bass, and all orchestral instruments and voice. Students perform in a variety of ensembles that rank among the finest in the country by virtue of the quality of concerts, recordings, broadcasts, tours, and repertoire.

Learning Outcomes

The School of Music has a common body of knowledge and skills for all graduate degree areas. These fall broadly into the following categories: Professional Competence, Musicianship, Creativity and Scholarship, and Pedagogy and Communication.

In addition to the core competencies on the Graduate Degrees page, Masters in Music Performance fullfill the following goals and outcomes:

  1. Students must demonstrate achievement of professional, advanced-level competence in the major area, including significant technical mastery, the ability solve professional problems independently, and develop a coherent set of artistic/intellectual goals, for the purpose of long-term success in their chosen fiel
  2. Students are expected to have the ability to form and defend value judgments about music, and to communicate musical ideas, concepts, and requirements to professionals and laypersons related to the practice of the major field.
  3. Students must demonstrate advanced understanding of performance practice and historical and social contexts of the musical works of their field.
  4. Students must demonstrate the ability to conduct theoretical analysis of relevant repertoire, including arranging music for their instrument and/or ensembles.
  5. Students incorporate relevant technology into degree completion requirements, including recitals, recital program notes, and jury papers.
  6. Students must demonstrate advanced competency in musicianship skills, including rhythm, aural skills, sightreading, score analysis and reading, and transposition.
  7. Students must demonstrate a reasonable capacity to improvise as appropriate to the performance practice of selected repertoire.
  8. Students perform a wide variety of musical styles from various cultures and time periods.
  9. Students demonstrate research, communication, critical thinking, and problem- solving skills throughout in applied study, ensembles, and academic coursework.
  10. Students will demonstrate an understanding of sequential pedagogy for advanced-level performers; major schools of philosophy and methodology; teaching techniques and strategies; repertoire and resources; measurement and evaluation of performance; psychological, cognitive, and physiological developmental issues in teaching


A minimum of thirty (30) credit hours will be required in the Master of Music programs. The thirty credits include ten (10) credits of a Music Core, with other courses divided between major-area requirements and electives.

For the Performance major, the requirement will be satisfied by completing thirty (30) credits including the completion of a performance capstone project. This project includes a lecture-recital with program notes or a performance paper. 

Final Project

GMUS 705

A final project is a requirement for the completion of the MM in Performance degree. There are two choices available to satisfy this Final Project requirement.

  1. WRITTEN PROJECT of fifteen to twenty pages dealing with a topic agreed upon by the student and their applied teacher with the approval of the appropriate Area Coordinator. Ideally, the selected topic would be relevant to the writer's career goals and would take the form of a well-written paper subject to the final approval of the Area Coordinator. The large writing project should be seen as an opportunity for those student whose professional plans will be well-serve by the experience. The paper must be submitted to the appropriate Area Coordinator by the mid-term of the semester in which the recital is to be performed. General Style and Formatting Guidelines: The Publication Manual of the Psychological Association (6th Edition) should be utilized for this project, and is available at
  2. The second option involves the writing of Program Notes and the presentation of the performance as a Lecture Recital as described below:
    • PROGRAM NOTES will be written to accompany the official program provided by the Music School. These notes should be accurate, informative and well-written. The content may touch upon historical, theoretical or pedagogical elements. In any case, the notes should serve to enhance the experience of the audience members. Program notes must be completed a month in advance of the recital and they will be subject to the approval of the appropriate Area Coordinator. The students will be responsible for the preparation of these notes in a clear and professional fashion and they will also provide an adequate number of copies to be distributed with the recital program. These notes, in final form, must be approved no later than a month prior to the recital.
    • A LECTURE RECITAL reflecting current trends in the world of performances, intended to provide enhanced communication between performer and audience. The content can be thematic or merely providing helpful introductions to each work to be performed. Clearly this element requires planning between student and teacher and teacher and the intended commentary should be a part of rehearsals prior to the performance.

The online recital application process will include the opportunity for MM in Performance students to select option one or two. This information will be forwarded to the appropriate Area Coordinator for review and approval. 

Final Comprehensive Oral Examination

A Final Comprehensive Oral Examination will be administered to each candidate in every degree program. This examination is normally conducted in conjunction with the music education field project, music technology recital or pedagogical project, defense of thesis, or the degree recital. In all programs, a professional portfolio is presented at the oral exam. Candidates should contact their advisors regarding details of examination protocol.