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 proficiency examinations in music theory and music history. These examinations are given online before the start of classes. Incoming students are notified in advance of the exam dates and contents and are responsible for taking them before the specified deadline. Exam results are used for purposes of advisement and may establish prerequisite or required coursework. Material covered in these examinations is commonly presented in most undergraduate degree programs in music.

    Students whose exams indicate insufficient background in music theory and/or music theory may be required to take the appropriate review courses, which may earn elective credit.  Descriptions of these courses appear in the School of Music Graduate Handbook.

    Strings and Harp Program Outline

    Music Research Techniques 2 cr
    Applied Music 12 cr
    Musicology and/or Music Theory 6 cr
    Chamber Music* 4 cr
    Musical Organizations 4 cr
    Approved Music Electives 4 cr
    Total 32 cr

    *Bass and harp majors may substitute approved electives.

    Terminal Projects

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


    Winds, Brass, and Percussion Program Outline

    Music Research Techniques 2 cr
    Applied Music 12 cr
    Musicology and/or Music Theory 6 cr
    Chamber Music 2 cr
    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.


    Organ Program Outline

    Music Research Techniques 2 cr
    Applied Music 12 cr
    Musicology and/or Music Theory 6 cr
    Continuo 4 cr
    Organ Seminar 4 cr
    Music Organizations—Chamber Music 4 cr
    Approved Music Electives 2 cr
    Total 34 cr

    Terminal Projects

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


    Piano Program Outline

    Music Research Techniques 2 cr
    Applied Music 12 cr
    Musicology and/or Music Theory 6 cr
    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.


    Collaborative Piano Program Outline

    Music Research Techniques 2 cr
    Repertoire Coaching 12 cr
    Musicology and/or Music Theory 6 cr
    Chamber Music 2 cr
    Vocal Coaching Seminar 1 cr
    Song Literature 2 cr
    Diction/Vocal Coaching for Pianists 2 cr
    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.


    Voice Program Outline

    Music Research Techniques 2 cr
    Applied Music 12 cr
    Musicology and/or Music Theory 6 cr
    Practical Piano 2 cr
    Voice Department Elective 1 cr
    Musical Organizations (2 sem.) 1 cr
    Special Topics in Song Literature 2 cr
    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. Descriptions of the departmental comprehensive reviews or examinations are found in the School of Music Graduate Handbook.