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The Wind Ensemble playing music
School of Music

Master of Music in Performance

Designed for students looking to expand professional opportunities as performers and private teachers, Butler University’s Master of Music in Performance program provides students with the necessary framework to build a meaningful career in music. The degree is comprised of coursework over two or three years, and includes ample opportunities for participation in Butler University’s ensembles. All courses are taught by Butler’s leading faculty in music, many of which utilize collaborative technologies to allow for a flexible, hybrid degree plan. Students also find opportunities to teach through the Butler Community Arts School and perform frequently as solo and ensemble musicians.

Areas of study include:

  • Brass (euphonium, horn, trombone, trumpet, tuba)
  • Percussion
  • Piano
  • Strings (bass, cello, guitar, harp, viola, violin)
  • Woodwinds (bassoon, clarinet, flute/piccolo, oboe, saxophone)
  • Voice

How to Apply

Important Dates:

January 1: Application deadline for fall entry, including pre-screening materials for voice applicants.

March 1: Interview and audition deadline for fall entry.

Steps for Applying:

Step 1: Complete the Application for Graduate Admission. NOTE: To submit a graduate application, you need to have previously completed a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university and be seeking an advanced degree. Your Application for Graduate Admission should include:

  • Butler Application
  • ​​A Professional Statement
  • Official transcripts or copies of official transcripts from all colleges and universities where candidates:
    • Earned a degree
    • Earned more than 15 credits (undergraduate and graduate)
    • Completed any program prerequisite (regardless of number of credit hours)\
    • Completed courses for which candidates are applying for transfer credit
  • Resumé
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • International applicants must take the TOEFL as well as submit additional financial documentation. See International Student Application process.

Transcripts
Copies of official transcripts may be uploaded in the online application for application review only. Applicants who receive an offer of admission will be required at that time to submit official final transcripts issued directly from the institution(s) for verification prior to enrollment. More information is available in the application for admission.

Step 2: Complete the JCA Graduate Music Supplement. The supplement will appear on your application status page after submitting your Application for Graduate Admission. The supplement is required in order for your application to be considered complete.

Step 3: For Voice applicants only, submit Pre-Screening video. The Pre-screening should include a video recording of a recent performance (i.e. senior undergraduate recital) or 1-2 pieces of solo repertoire performed with accompaniment.  Submit video recordings as a link to an online source such as YouTube, DropBox, or GoogleDrive via email to music@butler.edu. The subject line of the email should include your full name and "Voice Pre-Screen". 

Step 4: Complete a performance audition with appropriate faculty, see audition requirements below. Auditions will be scheduled through the School of Music office in mid-January. Vocalists must receive approval of their pre-screening video before being invited to audition. If you have any questions or have not been contacted to set up an audition, please email music@butler.edu.

 

Audition Requirements
  • Brass and Woodwinds: Please consult the appropriate faculty in your instrument area to discuss repertoire, contact information is available on the Faculty & Staff page. Etudes, scales, arpeggios, and orchestra excerpts may also be included. No accompanist provided or required.
  • Piano: Prepare selections from at least three of the following areas- J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue or larger work; Classical sonata by Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven; significant work from the Romantic Period; standard 20th or 21st century work. Sight-reading is also required. It is recommended that you discuss your audition repertoire with Dr. Kate Boyd, Professor of Piano, at kboyd@butler.edu prior to auditioning.
  • Percussion: Prepare one major solo in three of the following areas- snare drum, marimba, timpani, multiple-percussion or Latin percussion, drum set; as well as two contrasting orchestra excerpts for snare, xylophone, and timpani. Sight-reading may also be required.
  • Strings: Prepare 20-30 minutes of repertoire representing at least three different periods (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary), at least one piece must be memorized. Sight-reading may also be required. No accompanist provided or required.
  • Voice: A Pre-screening video is required before an invitation to audition is extended, see requirements for the pre-screening and audition below.
    • The Pre-screening  should include a video recording of a recent performance (i.e. senior undergraduate recital) or 1-2 pieces of solo repertoire performed with accompaniment.  Submit video recordings as a link to an online source such as YouTube, DropBox, or GoogleDrive via email to music@butler.edu. The subject line of the email should include your full name and "Voice Pre-Screen".
    • If invited to audition, you are expected to prepare at least one selection in French, Italian and German, as well as one aria from opera or oratorio. Repertoire should represent various periods and styles.

Degree Overview

Total Credit Hours: 30 credit hours
Anticipated Duration: 2 years
Degree requires a full recital and final oral comprehensive exam

Required Courses:

  • Major Instrument or Voice lessons
  • Ensemble
  • Instrumental, Vocal, or Piano Pedagogy if not take as an undergrad or a Music Education elective
  • Research in Music
  • Music History Electives
  • Music Theory Elective
  • General Music Electives
  • Recital
  • Final Oral Examination

Download full degree guide as a PDF: MM in Performance

Graduate Assistantships and Tuition Waivers

We offer a limited number of graduate assistantships, fellowships, and tuition waivers to graduate music students in the fall of every academic year. Graduate awards are reviewed and renewed annually. Below is a list of positions related to the MM in Performance degree; click here to view a full list of graduate assistantship positions  or email music@butler.edu. NOTE: New students applying for entry in the spring semester will not be eligible for a graduate assistantship, fellowship, or tuition waiver, but may apply for the following academic year.

Ensemble Performance Tuition Waiver

Eligibility: Full-time, degree-seeking graduate students seeking fall-term entry only. Students pursuing any degree plan are welcome to apply.

How to apply: Select the Ensemble Performance tuition waiver when prompted on the Graduate Application. A performance audition is required, students pursuing the MM in Performance degree will automatically be considered for the award and do not need to complete a separate audition for consideration.

Award Details: Includes a full tuition waiver of graduate tuition for 15 credit hours per year.

Duties: Perform in two approved university ensembles.

Faculty supervisors: Applicable applied instructor and ensemble directors, see Faculty & Staff page.

Bassoon Performance/Bassoon Reed Company Assistantship

Eligibility: Full-time, degree-seeking graduate students whose primary instrument is bassoon. Must be seeking fall-term entry. Students pursuing any degree plan are welcome to apply.

How to apply: Select the Ensemble Performance tuition waiver when prompted on the Graduate Application and email Dr. Doug Spaniol, Professor of Bassoon, at dspaniol@butler.edu. A performance audition is required, students pursuing the MM in Performance degree will automatically be considered for the award and do not need to complete a separate audition for consideration.

Award Details: Includes a full tuition waiver of graduate tuition for 15 credit hours per year plus a stipend.

Duties: Perform in two approved university ensembles. Provide 10 hours per week of service in the Butler Bassoon Reed Company.

Faculty supervisors: Doug Spaniol, Professor of Bassoon and applicable ensemble directors.

Jazz Assistantship

Eligibility: Full-time, degree-seeking graduate students seeking fall-term entry. Students pursuing any degree plan are welcome to apply.

How to apply: Select the Jazz assistantship when prompted on the Graduate Application and contact Dr. Matt Pivec, Director of Jazz Studies, at mivec@butler.edu. A jazz audition and interview is required.

Award Details: Includes a full tuition waiver of graduate tuition for 15 credit hours per year plus a stipend.

Duties: Serve as assistant to Dr. Matt Pivec, Director of Jazz Studies. The position will require 10-20 hours per week of service. Schedule, specific duties, and exact number of hours per week will be determined at the start of the fall semester.

Faculty supervisors: Matt Pivec, Director of Jazz Studies.

Collaborative Piano Assistantship

Eligibility: Full-time, degree-seeking graduate students seeking fall term entry only. Preference will be given to students pursuing a MM in Piano Pedagogy or Piano Performance; however, students pursuing other degree plans are welcome to apply.

How to apply: Select the Collaborative PIano assistantship when prompted on the Graduate Application. A collaborative piano audition is required of all applicants.

Award Details: Includes a full tuition waiver of graduate tuition for 15 credit hours per year plus a stipend. 

Duties: Serve as collaborative pianist for vocal ensembles and/or vocal classes. Position will require 10-20 hours of service per week. Schedule and exact number of hours per week are TBD.

Faculty supervisors: Cathy Bringerud, Instructor of Collaborative Piano and Kate Boyd, Professor of Piano and Piano Area Coordinator

Faculty

See full list of applied faculty  and their contact information on our Faculty & Staff page.

Contact Us

For application or general questions, contact the School of Music office at music@butler.edu or 317-940-9065

To discuss audition repertoire, contact the applied instructor in your instrument area using the Faculty & Staff webpage.