Master of Music (MM) in Performance

The Master of Music in Performance program at Boston University provides training to highly advanced instrumentalists and vocalists, focusing on the study and performance of solo repertoire as well as chamber music, orchestral, wind ensemble, choral, and/or opera repertoire. The program includes study in music theory and musicology as well as elective courses in areas such as diction, orchestral excerpts, new music, historical performance, pedagogy, and literature for specific instruments and voice. The intensity of study in the School of Music set within the College of Fine Arts is further enhanced by the extensive cultural offerings of the city of Boston, providing exposure to Boston’s resident and touring soloists and professional performing ensembles, and drawing guest artists who frequently present master classes in the various vocal and instrumental majors.

Performance Majors

  • Bassoon
  • French Horn
  • Percussion
  • Tuba
  • Cello
  • Harp
  • Piano
  • Viola
  • Clarinet
  • Harpsichord
  • Saxophone
  • Violin
  • Double Bass
  • Oboe
  • Trombone
  • Voice
  • Flute
  • Organ
  • Trumpet

    Each student is assigned to a member of the faculty for private instruction. Individual instruction is given in one-hour lessons. Every effort is made to consider the student’s preferences in studio assignment.

    Degree Requirements

    The MM degree is granted upon successful completion of a program of study, a comprehensive review, and terminal projects appropriate to the student’s field of specialization. Students must earn a minimum of 32 course credits with grades no lower than B- in graduate-level coursework. All degree requirements must be completed within five years of the date of matriculation.

    Proficiency Examinations

    All entering Master of Music students are required to take a proficiency examination in the area of music theory. The examination is administered online before the start of classes. Incoming students are notified of the exam dates and contents in advance and are responsible for taking it by the specified deadline. Exam results are used for purposes of advisement and may establish prerequisite or required coursework. Material covered in this examination is commonly presented in most undergraduate degree programs in music.

    Students with insufficient background may be required to take review courses as appropriate.

    MH 611 Music Research Techniques 2 cr
    ML 509–16, 539–40 Applied Music 12 cr
    Musicology and/or Music Theory 6 cr
    MP 608 Chamber Music* 4 cr
    MP 600 Musical Organizations 4 cr
    Approved Music Electives 4 cr
    Total 32 cr

    *Bass and harp majors may substitute MP 640 Orchestral Techniques and MP 649 Harp Ensemble, respectively.

    Terminal Projects

    Two recitals are required, each containing a minimum of 60 minutes of music.


    MH 611 Music Research Techniques 2 cr
    ML 517–38 Applied Music 12 cr
    Musicology and/or Music Theory 6 cr
    MP 608, 671 Chamber Music 2 cr
    MP 600, 602 Musical Organizations 4 cr
    Approved Music Electives 6 cr
    Total 32 cr

    Terminal Projects

    Two recitals are required, each containing a minimum of 60 minutes of music.


    MH 611 Music Research Techniques 2 cr
    ML 505–06 Applied Music 12 cr
    Musicology and/or Music Theory 6 cr
    MP 581–82 Continuo 4 cr
    MP 685 Organ Seminar 4 cr
    MP 600, 608–09 Musical Organizations—Chamber Music 2 cr
    Approved Music Electives 2 cr
    Total 32 cr

    Terminal Projects

    Two recitals are required, each containing a minimum of 60 minutes of music.


    MH 611 Music Research Techniques 2 cr
    ML 501–02 Applied Music 12 cr
    Musicology and/or Music Theory 6 cr
    MP 607, 608, 610, 621–22, 720 Musical Organizations—Chamber Music 2 cr
    Approved Music Electives 10 cr
    Total 32 cr

    Terminal Projects

    Two recitals are required, each containing a minimum of 60 minutes of music.


    MH 611 Music Research Techniques 2 cr
    ML 553–54 Repertoire Coaching 12 cr
    Musicology and/or Music Theory 6 cr
    MP 608 Chamber Music 2 cr
    MP 532 Vocal Coaching Seminar 1 cr
    MP 331–33; 731 Song Literature 2 cr
    MP 721–22 Diction/Vocal Coaching for Pianists 2 cr
    MP 622 Duo Instrumental Sonata Repertoire 2 cr
    Approved Music Electives 3 cr
    Total 32 cr

    Terminal Projects

    Two recitals are required, each containing a minimum of 60 minutes of music, including vocal, instrumental, and chamber repertoire.


    MH 611 Music Research Techniques 2 cr
    ML 507–08 Applied Music 12 cr
    Musicology and/or Music Theory 6 cr
    MP 511–12 Practical Piano 2 cr
    MP 532 Voice Coaching and Performance Seminar 1 cr
    MP 606, 609 Musical Organizations (2 sem.) 1 cr
    MP 731 Special Topics in Song Literature 2 cr
    MP 531 Graduate Diction Review 1 cr
    Approved Music Electives 5 cr
    Total 32 cr

    Students must either take two credits of practical piano or pass a proficiency examination. Contact the department chair for details.

    Terminal Projects

    One recital is required containing a minimum of 50 minutes of music.

    Master of Music Comprehensive Reviews

    A satisfactory comprehensive review or examination is required for graduation. The faculty in each major area determine standards for this review and its format, and conduct the evaluation. In each case, the comprehensive review concentrates on the major area and other related fields. Unsatisfactory performance in this review may require remedial work and/or a repetition of the review after counseling with the student’s advisor.