Master of Music

Last updated
The Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto offers a Master of Music in Composition, Music Technology and Digital Media, Instrumental (solo piano, woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings), Collaborative Piano, Conducting, Jazz Performance, Opera, Piano Pedagogy, Voice, and Vocal Pedagogy. The first program for the degree was introduced in 1954. Faculty of Music, University of Toronto - from Philosopher's Walk - DSC09874.JPG
The Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto offers a Master of Music in Composition, Music Technology and Digital Media, Instrumental (solo piano, woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings), Collaborative Piano, Conducting, Jazz Performance, Opera, Piano Pedagogy, Voice, and Vocal Pedagogy. The first program for the degree was introduced in 1954.

The Master of Music (M.M. or M.Mus.) is, as an academic title, the first graduate degree in music awarded by universities and conservatories. The M.M. combines advanced studies in an applied area of specialization (usually performance in singing or instrument playing, composition, or conducting) with graduate-level academic study in subjects such as music history, music theory, or music pedagogy. The degree, which takes one or two years of full-time study to complete, prepares students to be professional performers, conductors, and composers, according to their area of specialization. The M.M. is often required as the minimum teaching credential for university, college, and conservatory instrumental or vocal teaching positions.

Contents

Types

The M.M. is widely available in performance (sometimes with a specialization in music teaching/pedagogy and/or music literature), composition, conducting, and music education. The music education degree may also be awarded as a more specifically titled Master of Music Education (M.M.Ed.). The master's in music theory, musicology (commonly called "music history"), and ethnomusicology is typically the Master of Arts (M.A.). Nevertheless, some universities in the UK (e.g. Sheffield University) utilize the M.M. as a special research degree, in which the student undertakes original research and prepares a written thesis or similar document. Programs focusing on preparing musicians for careers in sacred music for churches and houses of worship may alternatively be called Master of Sacred Music (M.S.M.).

Components of degree

Applied studies and courses

One of the major differences between a typical M.A. degree and the M.M. is that whereas M.A. degree students often undertake original research and prepare and submit a thesis or similar research document, M.M. students focus on practical, applied areas, as set out in their M.M. area of specialization, which are typically instrumental or vocal performance, composition of new music, or conducting (the latter may focus on orchestral conducting, choral conducting, or a combination of both.

In M.M. programs, the student spends intensive lesson time with a professor. For singers and instrumentalists, this is with a voice and instrument professor, respectively. For composition students, they take coaching sessions with composer-professors. For conducting students, they get conducting coaching from a conductor-professor at the university. M.M. students typically complete applied studies, such as lessons with a professor, and take courses within their area of specialization. In many M.M. programs, all of the different M.M. streams (e.g., performance, composition, conducting) take a common core of music theory and music history courses, as these core courses are a necessary background for all three careers. The different streams may also have different required courses for each stream. For example, vocal performance students may be required to take an opera or art song class; orchestral instrumentalists may be required to take an orchestral excerpts or orchestral audition preparation class; composition students may be required to take composition courses; and conducting students may be required to take conducting, score-reading, or piano classes.

Some programs additionally require a sub-specialization in a cognate area, such as music history or performance practice, which contributes to their area of specialization. For example, a student doing an M.M. in Baroque violin might do a sub-specialization in Baroque music history (e.g., on historically authentic performance). Some institutions permit M.M. students to do a sub-specialization in a field outside music that contributes to their professional and academic goals. For example, a student completing a M.M. in piano pedagogy may be able to do a sub-specialization in the psychology of learning in the university's department of psychology or take a sub-specialization in educational methods in the university's department of education. Doing sub-specializations outside the faculty of music typically requires the approval of both the faculty of music and the other faculty (e.g., psychology, education, etc.).

Recitals and comprehensive exams

The last stage of the M.M. is usually the performance of one or two recitals and completion of comprehensive exams. Most programs require that the recitals include advanced-grade pieces that are drawn from the different eras of music history, such as Baroque-era solo suites (late 17th to mid 18th century), a Classical-era (mid to late 18th century) sonata or concerto; a Romantic-era (19th century) concerto or solo; and a Contemporary era (20th and 21st century) piece. The specific components of the recital vary between schools. Some programs allow students to include chamber pieces, in which the student plays a major role as part of a chamber group, for some of the pieces.

In some schools, students are required to give a lecture for one or both of the recitals, in which they explain the historical context or music theory or compositional issues involved in the pieces. This approach, called a lecture-recital, is designed to give students experience explaining and contextualizing the pieces or songs they perform. This skill is important for performers because many also teach or coach students, and some will go on to become professors, where they may be required to give lectures on music history, theory, or composition.

Some M.M. programs require students to pass comprehensive exams on their area of specialization and subjects such as music history and music theory. The goal of this exam is to ensure that the student has obtained a well-rounded knowledge and understanding that extends beyond their specialization. Since the M.M. is the standard minimum credential to teach applied subjects (performance or composition) at universities and conservatories, it is important that M.M. graduates have this broader understanding of music history and theory.

Admission requirements

To be admitted to a M.M. program, most institutions require an undergraduate degree or diploma in music, such as a B.M. or B.A. with a major in music, usually with a grade average of B+ or higher. M.M. programs in performance usually require a live audition that includes advanced pieces (or for singers, songs) from a wide range of styles, typically ranging from the Baroque era (1600-1750), the Classical music period (1750-1800), the Romantic music era (1800-1910) to the 20th and/or 21st century. Singers typically perform arias from operas and art songs, which are typically accompanied by a pianist. Instrumental musicians typically perform solo J.S. Bach or other unaccompanied repertoire, a movement from a sonata, and a movement from a virtuoso concerto. Instrumentalists who play orchestral instruments (violin family, woodwinds, brass, etc.) may be asked to perform excerpts from the standard orchestral repertoire. Auditionees are typically told which pieces and movements to prepare; some schools even give the bar numbers or rehearsal letters (e.g., Beethoven Symphony no. 5, movement 1, bar 100 to 120).

Some institutions use videotaped recitals or performances as a pre-screening method. This approach helps to eliminate candidates who do not meet the school's minimum performance standards, and as such, it saves those candidates the time and cost of traveling to the institution for an in-person audition, and it also saves the school the cost of having a panel of professors hear the candidate on location. Some universities have multiple audition locations to reduce the traveling expenses faced by candidates. For example, a school located on the west coast of the United States might offer the option of auditioning at a central and eastern US location. The school's professors who form the audition panel travel to these other locations to hear auditionees. Some schools which normally require in-person auditions waive this requirement for students who play the larger instruments (e.g., double bass and tuba), and allow a videotape to be sent instead.

Applicants are typically asked for official transcripts from all post-secondary programs and letters of recommendation from music professors and teachers. For most graduate programs, transcripts of every program or degree are required, whether or not the degree was completed. For students who have started out, but then withdrawn from a number of programs, they may have to request transcripts from many institutions. To protect against applicants changing marks on the transcripts using forgery, most schools require that the transcripts be sent directly from the previous institution's registrar to the music school, or that the transcripts be in sealed envelopes with the other school's registrar's seal (stamp) over the closure. Some programs may also request a statement of intent/statement of purpose or another type of essay, in which the candidate explains why she wishes to be admitted, and sets out her professional, performance or career goals. Some programs may request copies of recital programs from previous performances or a list of performance experience, which may include, for orchestral instrumentalists, orchestra experience.

In some universities, candidates must also be admitted to the university's graduate school; as such, applicants may have to achieve a certain mark on standardized tests, such as the GRE. Similarly, students from countries where the official language is not that of the university may be required to achieve a certain mark on standardized language tests. For example, students applying to a US M.M. program who come from a country where English is not an official language, may be required to pass the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Admission to M.M. programs in conducting often requires a video recording of a live rehearsal and performances as a pre-screening element. Composition programs usually require the submission of a portfolio of compositions, including scores and recordings (audio or video) of live performances.

Careers

The M.Mus degree is usually undertaken to prepare students to be professional performers (typically either singers or instrumental musicians), conductors, and composers. As such many recipients of the M.Mus. degree do not seek further formal education after they complete the M.Mus. The M.Mus. is typically the minimum credential that allows them to teach instrumental or vocal performance at universities, colleges, and conservatories (some institutions will also hire teachers who do not have the M.Mus. who hold an Artist's Diploma or similar diploma, and/or who have had a significant performing career as either a solo recitalist, chamber musician or orchestral musician). Some graduates do additional graduate or professional study in other areas, such as a law degree or medical degree. The combination of an M.Mus. and a professional degree could enable the degree holder to work in fields where music and law (or medicine) overlap. Recipients of the M.Mus. may also make use of the general education provided in the degree (e.g., in writing and researching) to get a job in government, university administration, or in the non-profit or arts administration sector.

Other recipients of the M.Mus. may go on to further graduate studies in music by continuing their M.Mus. specialization in performance or conducting at the doctoral level, by completing a DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) degree in those areas. Some students branch out to another area of music at the PhD level, such as musicology or music theory. While PhD programs in musicology and music theory normally require an MA in music, in some cases, students with a M.Mus. in performance or composition who show strong promise may be conditionally admitted to PhD programs in musicology or music theory.

As well, some recipients of the M.Mus. degree may go on to do graduate work in another area in which music is a supporting field, such as an Ed.D. in music education (e.g., specializing in music instruction) or a master's degree in Library Science, in order to become a music reference librarian. M.Mus. graduates who wish to pursue graduate studies in an area that is not directly connected with music may be conditionally admitted to PhD programs in areas such as women's studies or sociology, subject to the condition that they complete a list of qualifying courses.

See also

Related Research Articles

Orchestra Large instrumental ensemble

An orchestra is a large instrumental ensemble typical of classical music, which combines instruments from different families, including

The Juilliard School is a private performing arts conservatory in New York City. Established in 1905, the school trains about 850 undergraduate and graduate students in dance, drama, and music. It is widely regarded as one of the world's leading drama, music, and dance schools.

Composer Musician who is an author of music in any form

A composer is a person who writes music, especially classical music in any form, including vocal music, instrumental music, electronic music, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any music genre, including, for example, classical music, musical theatre, blues, folk music, jazz, and popular music. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using musical notation.

Conducting Directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures

Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance, such as an orchestral or choral concert. It has been defined as "the art of directing the simultaneous performance of several players or singers by the use of gesture." The primary duties of the conductor are to interpret the score in a way which reflects the specific indications in that score, set the tempo, ensure correct entries by ensemble members, and "shape" the phrasing where appropriate. Conductors communicate with their musicians primarily through hand gestures, usually with the aid of a baton, and may use other gestures or signals such as eye contact. A conductor usually supplements their direction with verbal instructions to their musicians in rehearsal.

Doctor of Musical Arts

The Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) is a doctoral academic degree in music. The DMA combines advanced studies in an applied area of specialization with graduate-level academic study in subjects such as music history, music theory, or music pedagogy. The DMA degree usually takes about three to four years of full-time study to complete, preparing students to be professional performers, conductors, and composers. As a terminal degree, the DMA qualifies its recipient to work in university, college, and conservatory teaching/research positions. Students seeking doctoral training in musicology or music theory typically enter a Ph.D. program, rather than a DMA program.

Bachelor of Music is an academic degree awarded by a college, university, or conservatory upon completion of a program of study in music. In the United States, it is a professional degree, and the majority of work consists of prescribed music courses and study in applied music, usually requiring proficiency in an instrument, voice, or conducting. In Canada, the B.M. is often considered an undergraduate degree. Programs typically last from three to four and a half years.

Oberlin Conservatory of Music U.S. music school

The Oberlin Conservatory of Music is a private music conservatory in Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. It was founded in 1865 and is the second oldest conservatory and oldest continually operating conservatory in the United States. It is one of the few American conservatories to be completely attached to a liberal arts college, allowing students the opportunity to pursue degrees in both music and a traditional liberal arts subject via the five year Double-Degree program. Like the rest of Oberlin College, the student body of the conservatory is almost exclusively undergraduate.

Doctor of Music Academic degree given in music

The Doctor of Music degree is a higher doctorate awarded on the basis of a substantial portfolio of compositions and/or scholarly publications on music. Like other higher doctorates, it is granted by universities in the United Kingdom, Ireland and some Commonwealth countries. Most universities restrict candidature to their own graduates or staff, which is a reversal of the practice in former times, when candidates for the degree were not required to be a Master of Arts.

Jacobs School of Music Public school in Bloomington, Indiana

The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana, is a music conservatory established in 1921. Until 2005, it was known as the Indiana University School of Music. It has more than 1,500 students, approximately half of whom are undergraduates, with the second largest enrollment of all music schools accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

The Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music, or Bienen School of Music, is an undergraduate and graduate institution devoted to musical performance and academics. Located on Northwestern University's campus in Evanston, Illinois, 12 miles north of downtown Chicago, the school was known as the Northwestern University School of Music from 1895 to 2008. In September 2008, the school was named to honor retiring University president Henry Bienen and his wife, Leigh Buchanan Bienen.

The Bard College Conservatory of Music is part of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Founded in 2005, the program is unique among music conservatories in the United States in that all undergraduate students are required to participate in a five-year dual-degree program, in which both a B.M. in music and a B.A. in a subject other than music are obtained. Many of the Conservatory's faculty also teach at other conservatories such as the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute.

The Schulich School of Music is one of the constituent faculties of McGill University in Montréal, Canada. The faculty was named after benefactor Seymour Schulich.

University of Maryland School of Music Music school at the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland School of Music is a music school in College Park, Maryland, 9 miles (14 km) outside of Washington, D.C. The School of Music is the largest performing arts unit at the University of Maryland, College Park.

UWA Conservatorium of Music

The UWA Conservatorium of Music is a teaching and research school offering undergraduate and postgraduate study in music at the University of Western Australia. It is located at the North-East corner of the Crawley campus and teaches predominately Classical music, with focus in the undergraduate curriculum on performance, as well as overall strength in musicology, composition and electronic music. In 2016, UWA entered the top 100 "Performing Arts" institutions in the world, and in 2017 and 2018 the School improved its ranking to enter the top 50 in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings. The Conservatorium is also well regarded in research. Under the research code "19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing", the Conservatorium was rated as "4 - Above World Standard" by the Australian Research Council in 2018. Previously, the name of the organisation has been the UWA Department of Music, and the UWA School of Music.

Music school Institution specializing in music education

A music school is an educational institution specialized in the study, training, and research of music. Such an institution can also be known as a school of music, music academy, music faculty, college of music, music department, conservatory, conservatorium or conservatoire. Instruction consists of training in the performance of musical instruments, singing, musical composition, conducting, musicianship, as well as academic and research fields such as musicology, music history and music theory.

The Conservatory of Music at Wheaton College is a music conservatory located in Wheaton, Illinois. It is both a department and professional school of Wheaton College. It currently has 21 full-time faculty members and approximately 200 undergraduate music majors, and is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. The Conservatory also operates a Community School of the Arts, serving the music and arts education needs of the surrounding community.

The Lionel Hampton School of Music is the music school at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. The school is named after jazz vibraphonist Lionel Hampton.

The University of Iowa School of Music is a part of the Division of Performing Arts of the College of Liberal Art & Sciences. The school trains musicians for professional careers in performance, composition, music therapy, music theory, musicology, conducting, and music education. Admission to the school is selective, requiring students to be admitted to the university itself before being able to apply and audition for the school of music, at least at the undergraduate level.

The Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto is one of several professional faculties at the University of Toronto. The Faculty of Music is located at the Edward Johnson Building, just south of the Royal Ontario Museum and north of Queen's Park, west of Museum Subway Station. MacMillan Theatre and Walter Hall are located in the Edward Johnson Building. The Faculty of Music South building contains rehearsal rooms and offices, and the Upper Jazz Studio performance space is located at 90 Wellesley Street West. In January 2021, the Faculty announced Dr. Ellie Hisama as the new Dean starting July 1, 2021.

University of Missouri School of Music School of Music within the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri

The School of Music is an academic division of the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri. Its focus is the study of music, awarding baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees as part of the College of Arts and Science. The institution's programs encompass composition, performance, conducting, music education, music history, musical theatre and musicology. Established in 1917 as the Department of Music, the school continues to play a prominent role in the cultural life of Missouri and is located in the Sinquefield Music Center, on the University's flagship campus in Downtown Columbia. The Fine Arts Building also houses classrooms, studios, and a recital hall. Its major performance venues are Jesse Hall, the Missouri Theatre, and Whitmore Recital Hall. The Missouri Tigers marching band, Marching Mizzou, performs at Faurot Field for Southeastern Conference football games. The school's ensembles have performed worldwide and can be heard weekly on the University's own KMUC 90.5 FM Classical, Mid-Missouri's classical music radio station. Alumni include singers Sheryl Crow and Neal Boyd, Canadian Brass founder Gene Watts, and jazz artist Mike Metheny.

References