1. Departments
  2. String and Piano Chamber

Curriculum: Chamber Music Graduate Students

Life isn’t an audition.

Any music school can make you a better player. Our interconnected courses are built to transform you intellectually, artistically, professionally, and individually. You’ll understand the roots of your music, freeing you to take it somewhere new. You’ll see how your training broadens your options, rather than narrowing them. You'll find your voice. And you'll enter the world with the same confidence you bring to the stage.

Required Courses

Curriculum: Master of Music / Artist Certificate in Chamber Music
Credit Total: MM - 53; AC - 44

The Conservatory offers a unique program of study for violin, viola, cello, and piano leading to either a Master of Music in Chamber Music or a non-degree Artist Certificate in Chamber Music. An important aspect of these programs is the apprentice concept, under which students, faculty, and guest artists rehearse and perform together. Private instruction with a member of the Conservatory collegiate faculty in violin, viola, cello, and piano is also required.

For both the Master of Music and the Artist Certificate in Chamber Music, the applicant is expected to hold a bachelor's degree in music from an accredited college, university, or conservatory. Exceptional applicants for the Master of Music who hold a bachelor's degree in another area may be accepted into the Master of Music program. Exceptional applicants for the Artist Certificate who do not hold a bachelor's degree may request a waiver of the degree requirement. Existing chamber groups are encouraged to apply to the program.

Students must complete four semesters of full-time residency at the Conservatory. Students are required to participate in weekly concerts, workshops, open rehearsals, and chamber music master classes. Ensemble requirements other than ENS 602 (Chamber Music Performance) consist of four credits. Students are not required to register for any of these other ensembles in their first semester, but may choose to do so. Students will also perform in two chamber music groups per semester, in addition to performing with guest artists and in faculty concerts. Each chamber music major will receive four hours of coaching per week. Chamber Music majors may be assigned to ENS 200 Large Ensemble as determined by the Orchestra Director.

Rec. Course #/Title Cr.
Private Instruction
1st/2nd yr. PVL 600 Major Instruction 16
Musicianship and Music Theory
Credits earned for MMT 602/604 will not count toward the overall credit requirements for graduation, but will affect the student’s GPA. Artist Certificate students are exempt from this requirement.
1st yr. MMT 602 Musicianship Review 3
2nd yr. MMT 604 Music Theory Review 3
Music History and Literature (12 credits total; 6 must be in chamber music literature)
Students may pass part or all of the music history placement exam. Students who fail the first part must take MHL 602, and students who fail the second part must take MHL 603. MHL 602 and 603 will count toward the 12 credits required. Students will not receive credit by exam for placing out of MHL 602 or 603. MHL 300-500 are undergraduate courses and do not count for this requirement. Artist Certificate students are not required to show proficiency or take MHL 602/603 or any Proseminars.
1st yr. MHL 602 Topics in Music History 3
1st yr. MHL 603 Topics in Music History 3
1st yr. Proseminar MHL 650-699 3
  MMT 702 or MHL 600-799 3-9
Career and Professional Development (2 credits)
Any class with the PDV prefix will fulfill this requirement. Students are also encouraged to develop a well defined and focused Independent Study Project. Artist Certificate students are exempt from this requirement.
1st/2nd yr. ENS 602 16
Ensemble other than chamber music (4 credits total) (Chamber Music majors may be assigned to ENS 200 Large Ensemble as determined by the Orchestra Director)
  ENS 200-312, 403-513: ENS 4
Winter Term
1st yr. Project
2nd yr. Project
Electives (3 credits total)
Courses numbered HMS 202-590, MMT 202-799, and courses in the APP, ENS, IND, MHL and PDV series that aren’t used to fulfill core curriculum or major field requirements may be used to fulfill the requirements for the elective credits listed for individual majors.
Juries and Recitals
1st yr. JRMM1 First Graduate Jury
1st yr. RCTMM1 First Graduate Recital
2nd yr. JRMM2 Second Graduate Jury
2nd yr. RCTMM1 Second Graduate Recital

For the Master of Music degree, chamber music majors must take six of the required 12 graduate course credits (listed above) in chamber music literature. The Artist Certificate also requires six credits in graduate courses (as listed above) to be taken in chamber music literature. This requirement may be fulfilled in the following ways:

  1. Graduate Music History and Literature courses in which the subject matter is chamber music literature.
  2. Individual or group independent study projects with other chamber music majors in which specific works, or an area of chamber music literature, are studied from a historic and analytical perspective, and then presented in both written form and in a performance and discussion of the works in a seminar forum for chamber music faculty and majors.

Each student must give two recitals over the two years of the program, at least one with an emphasis on chamber music repertoire. Two juries are also required, with repertoire at the discretion of the instrumental teacher. Since the programs will require each student’s full attention, the faculty reserves the right to restrict outside employment of students.