The program leading to the degree of Master of Music provides for intensive development of performance skills, extensive knowledge of the literature in the major field of study, and achievement of a broadened knowledge of the art.
Students applying for the Master of Music degree program present transcripts, test scores, and recommendations before playing an audition. The details of this process may be found on the Admissions website. Successful applicants must matriculate into the Master of Music degree program in the fall semester of the calendar year in which they auditioned. The Conservatory does not defer entrance into degree programs or allow students to begin in the spring semester. Matriculating MM students must meet the following criteria:
- A Bachelor of Music degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution.
- Evidence of a degree recital or an approved equivalent must be submitted in the form of a degree recital program or credit listed on the student’s transcript.
- All entering students are required to take placement examinations in music theory, musicology, and ear-training.
- Students who are placed in ESL courses in their first semester are only permitted to enroll in graduate seminars in music theory or musicology after satisfactorily completing the remedial coursework into which they are placed.
- MM Composition
- MM Computer Music
- MM Conducting, Orchestral
- MM Conducting, Wind
- MM Guitar
- MM Harpsichord
- MM Historical Performance Instruments
- MM Historical Performance Voice
- MM Music Education
- MM Music Theory Pedagogy
- MM Musicology
- MM Organ
- MM Orchestral Instruments
- MM Performance/Pedagogy
- MM Piano
- MM Piano: Ensemble Arts
- MM Piano: Ensemble Arts Vocal Accompanying
- MM Voice
MM Curricular Components
The Master of Music degree requires between 30 and 50 credit hours. The total number of credits varies by major; a detailed list for each major follows. The requirements for each degree must be satisfied with coursework at Peabody, certified transfer credits, or placement examination. Performance, Conducting, and Composition students are required to remain enrolled in one-hour major lessons for four semesters of full-time study. Musicology and Music Theory Pedagogy majors are required to maintain full-time enrollment for four semesters of study. New MM students may apply as many as six credits from a previous institution and nine credits from a previous Peabody degree subject to the regulations in Transfer Credits.
Deficiencies in the areas of music theory, ear-training, musicology, keyboard skills, or English must be corrected by remedial study at the Conservatory. Students placed in ESL courses in their first semester are only permitted to enroll in graduate seminars in music theory or musicology after satisfactorily completing the remedial coursework into which they are placed. Review courses do not count toward fulfillment of degree requirements, and the grades earned are not calculated in the student’s GPA; however, the hours are counted as part of the course load for tuition and full-time enrollment determination. Students must satisfy any review requirements in Music Theory, and/or Musicology before enrolling in other graduate-level courses in these fields.
All requirements for the Master of Music degree program must be completed within five years of the date of initial registration.
Master of Music students in performance and composition must enroll in major lessons through their last semester of the degree timeframe. Any change to studio assignment must be approved by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (Studio Assignments) and students must earn at least a B- in major lessons (Academic Standing).
Hearings and Recitals
The progress of each student is monitored by the department every year. Advancement and assessment are accomplished by individual lessons and departmental hearings. Every performance major must play a recital or a hearing in each year of study. Recitals are essential learning modalities of a conservatory education but are also for-credit classes. Students must achieve at least a B- for a recital in order to maintain good academic standing. A student must play a recital or hearing in each academic year to maintain good academic standing.
MM performance majors are required to play a recital as the culmination of their degree program.
Degree Candidates majoring in Composition and Computer Music must submit a portfolio of works approved by the major teacher to the Office of Academic Affairs by April 15 of the year in which they intend to graduate. The portfolio must contain only compositions written during the student’s time of study at Peabody.
Master of Music students majoring in orchestral instruments must participate in large ensemble each semester of enrollment for major study as assigned. Large ensemble auditions are held during Orientation Week. Ensemble credits beyond those required cannot be counted as elective credit. MM students majoring in composition are required to enroll in two semesters of a choral ensemble in the first year of residence. The regulations for performing in large ensembles, which are set by the Ensemble Office, may be found at the Ensemble Office website.
All graduate instrumental majors in the MM program participate in one or two semesters of chamber music as required by the individual program (this may be studio accompanying for pianists).
All MM students complete the Breakthrough Curriculum. Matriculating MM, students take PY.123.611 Building a Brand and Portfolio and PY.123.612 Pitching Your Creative Idea, in order, and in their first year of study. The culmination of study is the preparation and presentation of a pitch, adjudicated by a panel of faculty and guests and will also serve as an entry in a real competition for funding and project support to implement a residency at one of Peabody's partner institutions.
Music Theory and Musicology
MM students are required to take between four and five graduate seminars in music theory and musicology as part of their degree program. Students may enroll in a maximum of six credits of graduate seminars each semester. Students who enroll in any music theory and musicology courses beyond the six-credit limit will be administratively withdrawn from those classes.
As an enrollment prerequisite for all graduate music theory and musicology seminars, students must pass online placement exams offered early in the summer before matriculation. Students who do not pass one or both exams are encouraged to take online review courses which are offered for a one-time tuition charge. Students may not enroll in a graduate music theory seminar until they have passed the online test or completed the online review class in music theory; students may not enroll in a graduate musicology seminar until they have passed the online test or completed the online review class in musicology.
Students who are placed in ESL courses in their first semester are only permitted to enroll in graduate seminars in music theory or musicology after satisfactorily completing the remedial coursework into which they are placed. As such, placement in ESL may delay completion of the MM degree beyond two years.
MM students are strongly encouraged to take Music Bibliography in their first year of study. International students who test into English as a Second Language Level I (PY.250.001 English Level 1, PY.250.002 English Level I) are not permitted to take PY.610.651 Music Bibliography until they have successfully completed their first year of English studies. Exceptions are made only in consultation with the Musicology faculty, the ESL faculty, and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Electives and Other Requirements
Unless otherwise specified, the term elective means class elective. Ensemble credits cannot be counted as elective credits. Only courses designated as “G” (Graduate Elective) in the master schedule of classes may be used to fulfill graduate elective requirements. Curricular Practical Training may be used to fulfill a maximum of three elective credits. Questions about the appropriateness of courses for elective credit can be directed to the Advising Office.
For some curricula, certain requirements are not offered for credit. For example, departmental hearings for performers or foreign language exams in voice and musicology do not appear on transcripts. Other requirements do appear on transcripts, but the credits are not applied in fulfillment of a degree, such as remedial coursework. In every case, students must complete all requirements to remain in good standing and complete the Master of Music degree.