Instrumental Master Degrees

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The Frost School of Music is THE innovative place to build yourself and shape your career. It is a welcoming and warm community where you will be supported by the nation’s best faculty and students who also seek to improve the world through impassioned musical performances, groundbreaking research, and exceptional teaching. Frost alumni are leaders throughout the music industry and are a vast network of connection and opportunity.

Instrumental Master Degrees

The Frost School of Music is an innovative place to shape your career in instrumental music. It is a welcoming and warm community where you will be supported by the nation’s best faculty and students who also seek to improve the world through musical performances, groundbreaking research, and exceptional teaching. Frost alumni are leaders throughout the music industry, composing a vast network of connection and opportunity.

Pursuing Instrumental Music at a Master’s Level

Instrumental master students are those who are committed to taking their performance or conducting skills to the next step on their journey. A master’s degree provides space for a period of intensive study amongst peers and professors who are operating at a high level. Within your graduate cohort, you will give and receive feedback as well as forge authentic relationships that often last a lifetime. A master’s degree is an investment in your future: your expanded network and reinforced performance or conducting skills will pay off professionally for years to come.

Master of Music in Instrumental Performance

The mission of the Master of Music Degree in Instrumental Performance is the following:

  • To provide students the highest quality of education available in the areas of instrumental performance and musicianship that will provide them the skills required to lead a professional performance career as a classical instrumentalist.
  • To stimulate the student's awareness and artistic creativity in the field of instrumental performance.
  • To provide students public performance opportunities in a supportive and encouraging environment.
  • To provide students the writing and research skills needed in order to adequately prepare them for study at the doctoral level.
  • To provide students with essential knowledge of repertoire, in all its facets, in order that they be conversant and readily able to apply it in their performance field.

A wide variety of classes are available for Master of Music in Instrumental Performance students. The classes you take will depend on your individual focus areas and interests. Some of the available classes include the following:

  • Arts Leadership
  • The Teaching Artist
  • Peak Performance
  • Media Creation
  • Communication, Marketing, and Publicity for the Performing Artist
  • World of the Working Musician
  • Artist Development
  • Applied Lessons

All students in the program must take at least one ensemble every semester they are in the program. Students complete the program with a master’s recital. Those who would like to perform a second recital may do so with special permission.

Master of Music in Multiple Woodwinds

The Master of Music in Multiple Woodwinds degree is appropriate for musicians who want to study flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and/or saxophone. Working with experienced faculty, you’ll have the chance to hone your skills in multiple instruments at once as you work towards your final recitals. Faculty will help you choose music literature and assist you in preparing a memorable performance. Your second recital will be accompanied by a master’s recital paper, completed under the supervision of your faculty advisor. Electives such as musicology or music education may also be available to MM in Multiple Woodwinds students. More details about the requirements of this degree are available in the academic bulletin.

Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting

The mission of the Master of Music Degree in Instrumental Conducting is to prepare musicians to enter the music conducting profession and/or to pursue doctoral studies in conducting. The Master of Music degree program in Instrumental Conducting provides students with opportunities for advanced instrumental study, analysis of style, development of technique, and musicianship demonstrated through the ability to conduct ensembles. Our principal focus is on the development of high-level performance skills that will enable a student to pursue a career as a professional conductor and/or musician.

The program objectives include the following:

  • To provide students with the highest quality training possible to bridge academic training into entry-level careers as professional artists;
  • To provide students with performance opportunities that develop and demonstrate the integration of musicianship and performance practice;
  • To assist students with identifying opportunities and preparation for competitions, internships, apprenticeships and other professional venues for the classical artist.

Candidates must possess and demonstrate an unquestioned gift of musical leadership based upon broad experience with instrumental ensembles. Advanced orchestration must be undertaken by all students enrolled in the master’s program. Admission requirements include a baccalaureate degree in conducting or performance, accumulated practical experience with instrumental ensembles, and experience equivalent to an undergraduate requirement in orchestration. Enrollment in this major is only by special permission.

Is Graduate Financial Assistance Available?

Graduate financial aid is available through a limited number of graduate assistantships. If you are selected for an assistantship, you will likely serve as a teaching assistant. Classroom educational instruction experience is a valuable opportunity to enrich your CV before you complete your degree. In return for your assistance, you will receive a tuition waiver from the school as well as a graduate assistant stipend. Contacting the department and the admissions office when you apply will provide you with current information about what kinds of assistantship opportunities are available.

Some graduate students also receive financial help through scholarships, loans, and veteran educational benefits. Each person’s financial picture looks different which is why it’s important to communicate early and often with the school so that they can help you figure out the financial picture of your educational pursuit.

Where Can I Learn More About Instrumental Master Degrees at Frost?

Contacting the office of graduate admission is an important first step in pursuing an instrumental master degree. The office can answer any questions you have and provide info about the application and audition processes. Pursuing higher education is an important decision, and each school builds their program based on different characteristics. The Frost School of Music uses the unique Frost Method, focusing on providing each student who enters our doors with individual attention and mentorship. All of our students work together in small groups to achieve individual and collective musical goals.