The Master of Music (M.Mus.) degree in performance and composition is offered to candidates who have achieved necessary levels of attainment and productivity at the undergraduate level, and who give reasonable promise of further significant accomplishment. 

This degree is often a final academic step for the musician who wishes to enter the professional world, although it may prove an intermediate step for those wishing to prepare for university teaching. Performance candidates present a recital or opera performance in lieu of thesis, while the graduate composition students present a program of original works. A two-year residency is the norm.

Programs: Conducting | Composition | Guitar | Harpsichord | Opera | Orchestral Instrument Performance | Organ | Piano | Voice 

 

 

Conducting — Emphasis on Choral, Orchestral, or Wind Conducting

The UBC School of Music offers excellent training for graduate assistant conductors with ample podium time in front of outstanding ensembles. Degrees are offered with emphases in Choral, Orchestral, or Wind conducting.

The conducting program features private conducting study and significant podium time. Teaching Assistantships in conducting and ensembles provide vital experiential learning opportunities throughout the degree. Collaboration among conducting faculty and students in all emphases makes it a cooperative and collegial learning environment.

Entrance to the M.Mus. in conducting is based upon the admission portfolio (including a pre-screen video) as well as an in-person audition for invited candidates. Artist teachers seeking to advance their conducting studies are also encouraged to apply.

Choral: M.Mus. students with an emphasis in choral conducting study choral literature and rehearsal techniques and work with the School’s varied choral ensembles. They receive ample podium time with many choral groups.

Orchestral: The M.Mus. with emphasis in orchestral conducting gives the aspiring professional orchestral conductor an unequaled opportunity to receive consistent, ample podium time with a high-level conservatory orchestra. Students work extensively one-on-one with conducting professors and fulfill leadership roles as assistant conductors.

This is an extremely selective program that usually accepts only one student per year to ensure optimal podium time and opportunities.

Wind: The M.Mus. with emphasis in wind conducting gives the aspiring professional wind conductor an unequaled opportunity to receive consistent, ample podium time with the UBC Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Concert Winds. Students work extensively one-on-one with conducting professors and fulfill leadership roles as assistant conductors.

This is an extremely selective program that usually accepts only one student per year to ensure optimal podium time and opportunities.

Prerequisites

  • i. BMus degree or equivalent
  • ii. Vocal and/or instrumental training sufficient for ensemble leadership in area of emphasis
  • iii. Piano proficiency
  • iv. Strong foundation in music history and theory

Note: Otherwise strong applicants with deficiencies in these areas may be required to take additional courses.

Recommended Residency: two years

The Thesis for the Master of Music Degree in Conducting

  • The thesis will be a portfolio of audio-visual recordings of live, public performances of approximately 45 minutes, including a recital of a minimum of 20 minutes of music, with extended original programme notes by the candidate.

Curriculum (Total = 37 credits)

  • 520A Introduction to Music Research - 3 credits (Ref. 1)
  • 544 Seminar in Conducting and Repertoire I - 4 credits (Ref. 2)
  • 545 Seminar in Conducting and Repertoire II - 4 credits (Ref. 2)
  • 593 Music Performance (conducting lessons) - 6 credits (Ref. 3)
  • 549 Thesis - 6 credits (Ref. 3)
  • Large Ensemble - 8 credits (Ref. 4)
  • Music Electives - 6 credits (Ref. 5)

References

  1. Music 520A must be taken in the first term of graduate study. Students who have had a similar course previously may be exempted from this requirement; please see the Student Advisor or chair of the Graduate Committee. If exempted, students must substitute 3 elective credits.
  2. Music 544 and 545 are offered in different sections to support the three areas of emphasis (Choral, Orchestral, Wind) in accordance with enrollments. Students take sections corresponding to their area of emphasis. Enrollment in additional sections outside the area of emphasis may be permitted, with approval of the instructor and the student's supervisor.
  3. Conducting lessons are offered in the student’s area of emphasis (Choral, Orchestral, or Wind). MUSC 593 is to be taken in the first year of study only. Students shall register in MUSC 549, which includes second-year conducting lessons, beginning in the summer session following the first year of study, and remain registered in it through the completion of the program.
  4. For the emphasis in Choral Conducting, the Large Ensemble must be MUSC 553 University Singers. For the emphasis in Orchestral or Wind Conducting, the Large Ensemble must be MUSC 550 Large Instrumental Ensemble.
  5. Normally courses at the 500 level, although courses at the 300- and 400-level to a maximum of 6 credits may be included with approval. Courses below the 300 level may not be counted toward graduate level credit. Coursework in orchestration, music history, music theory, and/or secondary lessons in voice or instrument(s) may be prescribed by the student’s supervisor and with the approval of the Director. Students may enroll in 500-level seminars in Music History, Music Theory, and/or Ethnomusicology with the permission of the seminar instructor. By permission of the instructor, one additional section of MUSC 544 or 545, taken outside of the student’s area of emphasis, may be counted as a music elective.

BACK TO TOP

 

 

Composition

Graduate student composers have occasions to hear their works in regularly scheduled concerts as well as in their degree recitals. The UBC Symphony performs or reads students' orchestra pieces from time to time and the choirs are all active in presenting student works. The computer music studio is of considerable scope and is open to students on a 24-hour basis. Visit the Composition Division page for additional program information.

Prerequisites

  • i. BMus degree in composition, or acceptable equivalent
  • ii. Studies in composition, music history, music theory, and performance commensurate with those of the undergraduate curriculum at UBC, or equivalents

Recommended Residency: two years

The Thesis for the Master of Music Degree in Composition

  • The Master's thesis is defined as live performances of original works composed during graduate study. The student is expected to have written and have performed approximately an hour of music for various media.

Curriculum (Total = 33 credits)

  • 507 Composition - 6 credits (Ref. 1)
  • 509 Advanced Orchestration and Arranging - 3 credits
  • 520A Introduction to Music Research - 3 credits (Ref. 2)
  • 549 Thesis - 6 credits (Ref. 1)
  • Music Theory Electives - 6 credits (Ref. 3)
  • Electives - 9 credits (Ref. 4)

References

  1. Music 507 is to be taken in the first year of study only. Students shall register in Music 549, which includes second-year composition lessons, beginning in the summer session following the first year of study, and remain registered in it through the completion of the program.
  2. Music 520A must be taken in the first term of graduate study. Students who have had a similar course previously may be exempted from this requirement: please see the Student Advisor or chair of the Graduate Committee. If exempted, students may substitute 3 elective credits.
  3. Music Theory Electives must be approved in formal adoption of the individual program and must be at the 500 level or higher. Three of the six credits may be elected in musicology or ethnomusicology and must be at the 500 level or higher.
  4. Electives must be approved in formal adoption of the individual program and must be at the 300 level or higher. A maximum of 6 credits at the 300 or 400 level can be counted toward graduate credit. Students may enroll in 500-level seminars in Music History, Music Theory, and/or Ethnomusicology with the permission of the instructor. 6 credits may be non-music electives at the 300, 400, or 500 level.

BACK TO TOP

 

 

Guitar

Prerequisites

  • i. excellent performing ability
  • ii. BMus degree or equivalent
  • iii. undergraduate music history (120/121 and 220/221), theory (Music 100/101, 200/201 and 300), and history and repertoire of the guitar (Music 363) or equivalents.

Recommended Residency: two years

The Thesis for the Master of Music Degree in Guitar

  • The thesis will consist of two full-length recitals with emphasis on solo repertoire but including representative chamber works.

Curriculum (Total = 33 credits)

  • 520A Introduction to Music Research - 3 credits (Ref. 1)
  • 521A Seminar in Performance Practices - 3 credits
  • 593E Music Performance (Guitar) - 6 credits (Ref. 2)
  • 549 Thesis - 6 credits (Ref. 2)
  • Music Ensembles -6 credits (Ref. 3)
  • Music Electives - 6 credits (Ref. 4)
  • Electives (music or non-music) - 3 credits (Ref. 4)

References

  1. Music 520A must be taken in the first term of graduate study. Students who have had a similar course previously may be exempted from this requirement: please see the Student Advisor or chair of the Graduate Committee. If exempted, students may substitute 3 elective credits.
  2. Music 593E is to be taken in the first year of study. Students shall register in Music 549 beginning in the summer session following the first year of study, and remain registered in it through the completion of the program.
  3. The ensembles will be chosen from:
    557 Early Music Ensemble (2 credits)
    560 String Chamber Ensemble (2 credits)
    561 Mixed Chamber Ensemble (2 credit)
    563 Contemporary Players (2 credits)
    565 Asian Music Ensemble (2 credits)
  4. Normally courses at the 500 level, although courses at the 300- and 400-level to a maximum of 6 credits may be included with approval. Students may enroll in 500-level seminars in Music History, Music Theory, and/or Ethnomusicology with the permission of the instructor. 

BACK TO TOP

 

 

Harpsichord

Prerequisites

  • i. Excellent performing ability
  • ii. BMus degree or equivalent
  • iii. Undergraduate Music History (Music 120/121 and 220/221), Theory (Music 100/101/105, 200/201/205, and 300), and continuo realization (Music 333/433), or their equivalents

Recommended Residency: two years

The Thesis for the Master of Music Degree in Harpsichord

  • The thesis will be one solo recital and one full-length ensemble recital.

Curriculum (Total = 33 credits)

  • 520A Introduction to Music Research - 3 credits (Ref. 1)
  • 521A Seminar in Performance Practices - 3 credits
  • 525 Baroque Music - 3 credits
  • 593A Music Performance (Harpsichord) - 6 credits (Ref. 2)
  • 549 Thesis - 6 credits (Ref. 2)
  • Music Elective(s) - 12 credits (Ref. 3)

References

  1. Music 520A must be taken in the first term of graduate study. Students who have had a similar course previously may be exempted from this requirement; please see the Student Advisor or chair of the Graduate Committee. If exempted, students may substitute 3 elective credits.
  2. Music 593A is to be taken in the first year of study only. Students shall register in Music 549, which includes second-year lessons, beginning in the summer session following the first year of study, and remain registered in it through the completion of the program.
  3. Music electives should include one further graduate seminar in Music History, plus 4 credits of Chamber Ensemble (557, 559). Up to 3 credits may be in a non-music course, level 300 or higher. Note that a maximum of 6 credits of courses at the 300 or 400 level may be taken, and that courses below the 300 level may not be counted toward graduate level credit. Students may enroll in 500-level seminars in Music History, Music Theory, and/or Ethnomusicology with the permission of the instructor.

BACK TO TOP

 

 

Opera

Prerequisites

  • i. BMus degree, or equivalent
  • ii. 100-level proficiency in French, German and Italian
  • iii. strong background in opera repertoire

Recommended Residency: two years (minimum)

The Thesis for the Master of Music Degree in Opera

  • The thesis will consist of the performance of a major role in one full opera production in the first or second year.

Curriculum (Total = 35 credits)

  • 520A Introduction to Music Research - 3 credits (Ref. 1)
  • 537 Seminar in the Literature of Opera - 6 credits
  • 539C Opera Production - 6 credits
  • 593B Music Performance - 6 credits (Ref. 2)
  • 591B Music Performance - 2 credits (Ref. 3)
  • 549 Thesis - 6 credits (Ref. 4)
  • Related Arts or Music Elective - 6 credits (Ref. 5)

References

  1. Music 520A must be taken in the first term of graduate study. Students who have had a similar course previously may be exempted from this requirement; please see the Student Advisor or chair of the Graduate Committee. If exempted, students may substitute 3 elective credits.
  2. Music 593B is to be taken in the first year of study only.
  3. Music 591B is to be taken in the second year of study.
  4. Students shall register in Music 549 beginning in the summer session following the first year of study, and remain registered in it through the completion of the program.
  5. The related arts elective must be selected from those courses at the 300 level and above. Approval is required in each case. Music 538C, Staging and Directing Techniques for the Operatic Stage, is highly recommended for those interested in a career in opera production. Students may enroll in 500-level seminars in Music History, Music Theory, and/or Ethnomusicology with the permission of the instructor.

BACK TO TOP

 

 

Orchestral Instrument Performance

Prerequisites

  • i. excellence in performing ability
  • ii. BMus degree, or equivalent

Recommended Residency: two years

The Thesis for the Master of Music Degree in Orchestral Instrument Performance

  • The thesis will consist of two full-length recitals, or the equivalent, with emphasis on solo works, but also including representative chamber works.

Curriculum (Total = 36 credits)

  • 520A Introduction to Music Research - 3 credits (Ref. 1)
  • 521A Seminar in Performance Practices - 3 credits
  • 550 Large Instrumental Ensemble - 8 credits
  • 593 Music Performance (593C strings; 593D brass/woodw.) - 6 credits (Ref. 2)
  • 549 Thesis - 6 credits (Ref. 2)
  • Music Elective(s) - 10 credits (Ref. 3)

References

  1. Music 520A must be taken in the first term of graduate study. Students who have had a similar course previously may be exempted from this requirement; please see the Student Advisor or chair of the Graduate Committee. If exempted, students may substitute 3 elective credits.
  2. Music 593C/D is to be taken in the first year of study only. Students shall register in Music 549, which includes second-year lessons, beginning in the summer session following the first year of study, and remain registered in it through the completion of the program.
  3. To include at least 4 credits of Performance Electives (ensembles), drawn from the list below. Electives shall normally be courses at the 500 level, although courses at the 300- and 400-level to a maximum of 6 credits may be included with approval, provided they are not required for the BMus degree in orchestral instrument performance. Courses below the 300 level may not be counted toward graduate level credit. Students may enroll in 500-level seminars in Music History, Music Theory, and/or Ethnomusicology with the permission of the instructor.
  4. Performance Electives chosen from:
    557 Early Music Ensemble (2 credits)
    559 University Chamber Strings (2 credits)
    560 String Chamber Ensemble (2 credits)
    562 Wind and Percussion Chamber Ensemble (2 credits)
    563 Contemporary Players (2 credits)
    564 Jazz Ensemble (2 credits)
    565 Asian Music Ensemble (2 credits)

BACK TO TOP

 

 

Organ

Prerequisites

  • i. excellent performing ability
  • ii. BMus degree, or equivalent
  • iii. undergraduate music history, theory and repertoire courses

Recommended Residency: two years

The Thesis for the Master of Music Degree in Organ

  • The thesis will consist of one solo recital and one lecture- or ensemble-recital.

Curriculum (Total = 34 or 35 credits)

  • 311 Choral Conducting - 4 credits
    or
    406 Conducting II - 4 credits
  • 520A Introduction to Music Research - 3 credits (Ref. 1)
  • 521A Seminar in Performance Practices - 3 credits
  • 593A Music Performance (Organ) - 6 credits (Ref. 2)
  • 549 Thesis - 6 credits (Ref. 2)
  • 553 University Singers - 4 credits (Ref. 3)
    or
    554 University Choral Union - 3 credits (Ref. 3)
  • Music Elective (Music Theory) - 6 credits (Ref. 4)
  • Non-music Elective - 3 credits (Ref. 4)

References

  1. Music 520A must be taken in the first term of graduate study. Students who have had a similar course previously may be exempted from this requirement; please see the Student Advisor or chair of the Graduate Committee. If exempted, students may substitute 3 elective credits.
  2. Music 593A is to be taken in the first year of study. Students shall register in Music 549 beginning in the summer session following the first year of study, and remain registered in it through the completion of the program.
  3. If opportunity allows, the student may assist in rehearsals at the discretion of, and under the guidance of, the conductor.
  4. Normally courses at the 500 level, although courses at the 300- and 400-level to a maximum of 6 credits may be included with approval.

BACK TO TOP

 

 

Piano

Division Chair: 

Prerequisites

  • i. excellent performing ability
  • ii. BMus degree, or equivalent
  • iii. undergraduate music history (Music 120/121 and 220/221), theory (Music 100/101, 200/201, and 300), and repertoire (Music 136 and 236), or their equivalents

Recommended Residency: two years

The Thesis for the Master of Music Degree in Piano

  • The thesis will be one full-length solo recital.

Curriculum (Total = 33 credits)

  • 520A Introduction to Music Research - 3 credits (Ref. 1)
  • 521A Seminar in Performance Practices - 3 credits
  • 535C Song Interpretation - 4 credits (Ref. 2)
  • 561A Piano Chamber Ensembles - 2 credits (Ref. 3)
  • 593A Music Performance (Piano) - 6 credits (Ref. 4)
  • 549 Thesis - 6 credits (Ref. 5)
  • Music Elective(s) - 6 credits (Ref. 6)
  • Non-music Elective (300-level or higher) - 3 credits (Ref. 6)

References

  1. Music 520A must be taken in the first term of graduate study. Students who have had a similar course previously may be exempted from this requirement: please see the Student Advisor or chair of the Graduate Committee. If exempted, students may substitute 3 elective credits.
  2. Music 535C is a new course currently under review for formal approval. In the meantime, students should register for Music 532C (6 credits), Advanced Studies in Music History and Musicology - Song Interpretation. This course is to be taken in the second year of study.
  3. Music 561A is to be taken in the first year of study.
  4. Music 593A is to be taken in the first year of study. Successful completion of Music 593A includes a jury or recital involving both solo and chamber performance.
  5. Students shall register in Music 549 beginning in the summer session following the first year of study, and remain registered in it through the completion of the program.
  6. Normally courses at the 500 level, although courses at the 300- and 400-level to a maximum of 6 credits may be included with approval, provided they are not required for the BMus degree in piano performance. Courses below the 300 level may not be counted toward graduate level credit. Students may enroll in 500-level seminars in Music History, Music Theory, and/or Ethnomusicology with the permission of the instructor.

BACK TO TOP

 

 

Voice

Division Chair:

Prerequisites

  • i. excellent vocal talent
  • ii. BMus degree, or equivalent
  • iii. undergraduate music history (Music 120/121, 220/221), theory (Music 100/101, 200/201, and 300), languages (Italian 100, German 100 and French 100), lyric diction (Music 170), song repertoire (Music 365), and song interpretation and accompanying (Music 442), or their equivalents

Recommended Residency: two years

The Thesis for the Master of Music Degree in Voice

  • The thesis will be a full-length recital which the candidate presents near the end of the second year. Upon the recommendation of the candidate's supervisory committee, a partial recital may be given in the first year, in addition to the final recital.

Curriculum (Total = 33 or 36 credits)

  • 520A Introduction to Music Research - 3 credits (Ref. 1)
  • 521A Seminar in Performance Practices - 3 credits
    or
    539C Opera Production-  6 credits
  • 593B Music Performance (Voice) - 6 credits (Ref. 2)
  • 549 Thesis - 6 credits (Ref. 2)
  • 591B Music Performance (Voice) - 2 credits
  • Music Elective(s) - 12 credits (Ref. 3)
  • Non-music Elective - 3 credits (Ref. 3)

References

  1. Music 520A must be taken in the first term of graduate study. Students who have had a similar course previously may be exempted from this requirement; please see the Student Advisor or chair of the Graduate Committee. If exempted, students may substitute 3 elective credits.
  2. Music 593B is to be taken in the first year of study; students shall register in Music 549 beginning in the summer session following the first year of study, and remain registered in it through the completion of the program.
  3. Normally courses at the 500 level, although courses at the 300- and 400-level to a maximum of 6 credits may be included with approval, provided they are not required for the BMus degree in voice performance. Courses below the 300 level may not be counted toward graduate level credit. Students may enroll in 500-level seminars in Music History, Music Theory, and/or Ethnomusicology with the permission of the instructor.

BACK TO TOP

Banner image by Don Erhardt Photography