Graduate Studies in Performance

Prospective Performance Students

Students accepted as Performance Concentrators have a choice of taking private lessons with a member of our faculty, which includes a number of distinguished performing and recording artists, or (with permission of the Music Department) they can study with a teacher of their own choice in the New York metropolitan area, pending approval of that instructor’s credentials, background and experience. We offer the M.A. with a Performance Concentration in Voice, Piano (Solo or Vocal Collaborative; see note below), Organ, Harpsichord, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon, French Horn, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone and Tuba. We also offer an M.A. with a Jazz Performance Concentration in Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Piano, Bass, Guitar, and Percussion.  However, we do not currently offer an M.A. in Jazz Voice.

A number of music ensembles are offered by the Hunter College Music Department. Prospective Performance students are urged to check our audition and admission procedures, and they are also urged to check the policies regarding taking private lessons. Finally, all prospective Performance students are invited to contact the Music Department Graduate Adviser, Poundie Burstein, and the Director of Performance Studies, Geoffrey Burleson.

NOTE: The Music Department offers M.A. performance programs in both Solo Piano and Vocal Collaborative Piano. Both tracks include opportunities and courses in instrumental chamber music as well, including regular coachings. For the Vocal Collaborative Piano track, repertoire will include vocal duo repertoire from all genres. The student’s curriculum, prepared In collaboration with the Graduate Adviser, will include classes focusing on topics in vocal coaching, diction, opera, duo repertoire, conducting, chamber music, and rehearsal techniques.

Degree Requirements for Performance Students

MUS 700 (3 cr.) Bibliography
MUS 724 (3 cr.) Advanced Studies in Music Theory I
MUS 725 (3 cr.) Advanced Studies in Music Theory II
MUS 781 (3 cr.) Private Lessons, first semester
MUS 782 (3 cr.) Private Lessons, second semester
MUS 783 (3 cr.) Private Lessons, third semester
MUS 751 (3 cr.) Advanced Studies in Music History I
MUS 752 (3 cr.) Advanced Studies in Music History II
MUS 775 or 776 (3 cr.) Seminar in Ethnomusicology I or II
Elective(s), totaling 3 credits (Performance students usually take MUS 784 – 3 cr., Private Lessons, fourth semester, as their elective credits.)

Download the checklist of requirements for Performance (PDF)

In certain cases, substitutions for these required courses may be made in consultation with Prof. Ewell, the Music Department Graduate Adviser. A maximum of 9-12 credits transferred from other institutions might be accepted toward the M A. Degree (students might be asked to successfully pass the relevant proficiency exam before such transfer credit is allowed); see Hunter College Graduate Catalogue for details.

Performance students must take proficiency exams in Western music history, music theory, keyboard skills, dictation, and sight singing before beginning the program, and they also must take a foreign language examination. Students whose proficiency exam test scores suggest special problem areas might be asked to take remedial undergraduate courses to remedy these weaknesses. All students must pass the proficiency exams before completing more than 18 credits towards their degree.

Performance students are also required to perform a Graduation Recital in lieu of a written thesis.

For Frequently Asked Questions, see FAQs – Graduate.