Master of Music (Music Performance)

Course 652MP (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Year and Campus: 2011 - Parkville
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Level: Research Higher Degree
Duration & Credit Points: Students are expected to complete this research in 1.50 years full time, or equivalent part time.


Professor Ian Holtham, Convenor of Performance Studies


Faculty of the VCA and Music Student Centre
Tel: +61 3 9685 9419
Fax: +61 3 9685 9358
Course Overview:

The Master of Music is a research degree that prepares students for specialist careers in musicology, ethnomusicology, composition, performance or music therapy. All candidates are required to complete satisfactorily a study in one area of specialisation.

Total weighting for the course is 150 points; the degree takes 18 months full-time (three years part-time) to complete.


On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Apply the best practices of local, national and international standards in their professional performance in their chosen specialisation;
  • Pursue an informed program of independent further study in their chosen area of specialisation in music;
  • Provide leadership in the profession in their chosen area of specialisation in music;
  • Use current technologies and assimilate the potential of emerging technologies to facilitate and heighten the dissemination of skills, knowledge and information;
  • Value and participate in projects requiring team-work.

On completion of the Music Performance stream, students will have:

  • Developed instrumental or vocal skills to the level expected for entry into the performance profession;
  • Expanded their knowledge of repertory and style.
Course Structure & Available Subjects:

Full-time and Part-time study options are available, however the Conducting specialisation can only be undertaken on a full-time basis.

Candidates enrolled in the Music Performance stream undertake the following subjects:
Subject Options:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2

Students may undertake an elective in place of Ensemble A and/or Ensemble B if they wish.

Elective subjects

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Semester 1, Semester 2
Total points for course = 150
Entry Requirements:

To be accepted into the Master of Music, students should normally have a Bachelor of Music (Honours) degree, or four-year Bachelor of Music equivalent, with a final result of first-class honours or high second-class honours.

Application Procedure

Application forms are available via the School of Music website:

Students are encouraged to provide as much detailed information in support of their application as possible and to discuss their application with a member of the Academic Staff prior to submission.

Certified transcripts of academic records at any tertiary institution other than The University of Melbourne must be forwarded with the application. If the transcription is not in English, a certified translation must also be provided.


Applicants for the Performance stream are required to undertake a fifty (50) minute audition. Applicants currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Music subject Music Performance 4-2 are permitted to use their final recital examination as their audition.

  • Music Performance 4-2 candidates who gain less than 80% in their final exam are able to undertake an audition for Master of Music candidature.
  • The level of repertoire and duration of the audition for the Master of Music is equivalent to the Faculty's undergraduate subject Music Performance 4-2 examination. That is, applicants will be expected to demonstrate a thorough technical background able to cope with all stylistic demands; a sizeable concert repertory covering all styles; and the ability to manage stress to ensure sound concert presentation. Normally, music performance programs will include major repertoire and an appropriate variety of compositional styles.
  • Overseas and, where necessary, interstate students may submit a video recording in place of attending an audition. The audition is to be recorded in one session, must be uncut, and accompanied by a statutory declaration stating that:

'This DVD is submitted in application for the Master of Music (Music Performance) course. The performance is by the undersigned................(Full name), has been filmed in one session and is unedited.

Signed................ Date......................'

Core Participation Requirements: It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting the requirements of this course are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit.
Graduate Attributes: Research Masters degrees at the University of Melbourne seek to develop graduates who have a capacity for defining and managing a research project characterised by originality and independence. Their training equips them for more sustained and original work at the doctoral level or for applied research positions in a wider variety of contexts.
Generic Skills:

The University expects its research masters graduates to have the following qualities and skills:

  • An ability to initiate research projects and to formulate viable research questions;
  • A demonstrated capacity to design, conduct and report independent and original research on a closely-defined project;
  • An ability to manage time to maximise the quality of research;
  • An understanding of the major contours of international research in the research area;
  • A capacity for critical evaluation of relevant scholarly literature;
  • Well-developed and flexible problem-solving abilities appropriate to the discipline
  • The ability to analyse research data within a changing disciplinary environment;
  • The capacity to communicate effectively the results of research and scholarship by oral and written communication;
  • An understanding of and facility with scholarly conventions in the discipline area;
  • A profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of research and scholarship;
  • A capacity to co-operate with other researchers;
  • An ability to manage information effectively, including the application of computer systems and software where appropriate to the student's field of study.

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