Master of Music: Performance

Our Music Performance degree incorporates skills and theory in piano, voice, conducting, and orchestral instruments. The 30-33 hour residential curriculum is designed to allow the student to concentrate on the performance skills needed for a career as a performer and pedagogue.

Contact Us

Dr. Lynnette Chambers

Music Department Head of Graduate Studies

Request Information



  • Master of Music: Performance (M.M.)

Why earn a Masters in Music Performance at HSU?

HSU band members playing the clarinet and flute

Instrumental Performance

Instrumental performance students are provided with a curriculum designed to allow the student to concentrate on performance skills needed for a career as an instrumentalists or pedagogue.

HSU choir sings on stage with church organ in the background

Vocal Performance

Vocal performance students are instructed with a curriculum designed to allow the student to concentrate on the performance skills necessary for a career as a vocalists or pedagogue.

conductor leading HSU band in a performance

Conducting Performance

Conducting performance study students are instructed with a curriculum designed to allow the student to concentrate on conducting skills necessary for a career as a conductor or pedagogue.

Program Details

All courses and course descriptions for the Master of Music: Performance can be found in the Graduate Catalog.

Instrumental, Vocal, or Conducting Emphasis

Major Field MUPS (6000 level)

  • Performance Study – 9
  • MUPS 6101 Recital – 1
  • MUHL 6241 Directed Independent Studies in Music Literature – 2

Music Core

  • MUTC 6231 Individual Projects in Music Analysis – 2
  • MUPC 5311, 5321, 5331, 5341, 5351, 5361, or 5371, 5381 (Pedagogy—major performance area) – 3
  • MUHL 5315, 5325, 5335, 5345, 5355, 5365, or 5375, 5385 (Performance Literature—major performance area) – 3
  • MUHL 5241, 5242, 5243, or 5244 – 2
  • MUTC 6236 Advanced Orchestration (conducting majors only) – 0–2

Supportive Courses

  • MUHL 6341 Introduction to Research Techniques – 3
  • MUTC (see Note 1: MUTC Curriculum Selection List) – 4–5
  • MUHL 5241, 5242, 5243, 5244, 5247, or 5299* – 2

Total Performance Degree Hours 30–33

*Note: MUHL 5099 courses will not substitute for required period courses in the Music Core
*Performance Study courses may be repeated for credit.

With the advance approval of the graduate committee, all performance majors will present a public recital covering a variety of styles, including a major work or works for the particular medium. A scholarly and original analysis of the various works included on the program must be presented in thesis form as part of the recital requirement. The major professor will be responsible for determining the focus and scope of the paper. In order for performance students to be approved for graduation, the recital and the analytical paper must be judged by the student’s committee to be satisfactory in the areas of public appearance, proper form, and quality.

Entrance requirements (if any besides standard HSU entrance)
Prospective performance majors must qualify by audition for graduate study. See School of Music website for specific dates. Although new students may choose to take applied lessons for a semester or two before auditioning, only applied study credits earned after official acceptance will apply toward the degree. Only 6000 level performance study will count toward the MM (performance) degree. Students who have not yet passed the entrance audition must enroll for performance study at the 5000 level.  Students should submit a complete list of repertoire and programs of recitals, indicating such numbers as the candidate is prepared to perform for admission.  Voice performance candidates must demonstrate proficiency in German, French, Italian, and English diction. The following style periods must be represented: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern. Each student must sing the following: one operatic aria (original language or English), one oratorio/cantata aria (original language or English), one French art song (original language), one German art song (original language), one Italian or Spanish art song (original language), and one art song in English.

Recipients of the masters of music performance degree excel in careers as commercial recording artists, classical performers in opera, orchestra, jazz groups etc, conductors, Broadway musicians, singer/songwriters, composers, recording engineers, and agents.