About the Program
The master's degree in Viola Performance develops expertise beyond baccalaureate-level achievement. Students specialize in the study of the major instrument and take courses outside the major area that support advanced musical and academic development. The Department of Instrumental Studies provides the potential professional performer and/or teacher with the finest instrumental training within the context of a comprehensive university. Students study privately with professional artist-teachers and enjoy opportunities for performance in numerous large and chamber music ensembles.
Time Limit for Degree Completion: 6 years
Campus Location: Main
Full-Time/Part-Time Status: The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.
Interdisciplinary Study: With approval of the major advisor, students may elect to take up to 6 graduate credits outside the field of music.
Accreditation: This degree program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
Areas of Specialization: Study focuses on performance of the major instrument, the solo and ensemble literature of the instrument, and academic support areas in music.
Job Prospects: The program prepares musicians for either professional activity or doctoral study.
Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Non-matriculated students may enroll in select courses in music with permission, but may not take applied lessons until they have been fully admitted and matriculated.
Financing Opportunities: Boyer College of Music and Dance offers a number of assistantships and academic internships to matriculated graduate students. Full awards carry a cash stipend plus full tuition remission for the Fall and Spring terms. Partial awards also are available in values of 1/4 or 1/2 of a full award. Duties for assistantships and internships vary, but typically include teaching, tutoring, classroom assistance, research, artistic performance and/or direct service related to academic programs. Assistantship and internship awards are made only in the Fall term for up to two terms: Fall and Spring. Awards may be renewed on an annual basis (typically up to one additional year for master's students and up to three years for doctoral students) based on departmental needs as well as satisfactory academic and musical progress by the recipient.
Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Fall: March 1
Spring: November 1
Applications are processed as they arrive. Late applications may be considered for admission.
Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2
From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from evaluators who can provide insight into the applicant's abilities, talents and aptitude for graduate study.
Coursework Required for Admission Consideration: All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of the appropriate Bachelor of Music degree at Temple University, which is based on a curriculum of 124 to 135 hours.
Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A degree in Music is expected.
Statement of Goals: Share your special interests within the discipline and expectations for the program.
Standardized Test Scores:
Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:
- TOEFL iBT: 75
- IELTS Academic: 6.5
- PTE Academic: 51
Audition: See https://www.temple.edu/boyer/admissions/graduate-admissions/audition-requirements.asp for audition repertoire requirements.
Resume: Current resume required.
Transfer Credit: A student who wishes to transfer credit should speak with their academic advisor and obtain a "Request for Transfer of Graduate Credit" form, found in TUportal under the Tools tab within "University Forms." Transfer credits must be approved by the advisor, the department chair, and the Associate Dean. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 6.
Other: Due to the large number of applications for admission and the competitive nature of its music programs, the College admits only a portion of its applicants. In addition to the general admissions credentials required of all Temple University graduate applicants, specialized admission criteria (i.e., auditions, portfolios, interviews, recommendations, departmental term papers, and standardized examinations) are very heavily weighted in admission decisions of the Boyer College of Music and Dance. Graduate applicants may be rejected for admission for failing to obtain the required level of proficiency in any one area of the specialized admission criteria regardless of the level of success in meeting the Temple University general admission criteria. In addition to the level of success demonstrated in the above-mentioned criteria, a final admission factor is the College's Optimum Enrollment Policy. This policy may preclude the admission of any student who meets the minimum requirements.
General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 32
|Instrumental Ensemble (4 terms) 1
|Instrumental Ensemble (4 terms) 1
|Lower String Pedagogy
|or MUSC 8562
|Upper String Pedagogy
|Research in Music
|Instrumental Major (Recital)
|Total Credit Hours
MM candidates must be available for ensemble assignments, which are determined by the department chair and may exceed curricular requirements.
Select from Music, Music Education, Music Studies, or other graduate departments. At least 3 credits must be in academic, non-performance coursework. No more than 2 credits of MUSC 8555 Orchestral Repertoire can be taken as an elective. Advisor approval required.
Diagnostic examinations in Aural Theory, Written Theory, and Music History are required for all entering master's students. The exceptions are students in Jazz Studies and Music Therapy who have their examinations arranged within their respective departments. In addition, Keyboard students take an additional two-hour examination in Keyboard Literature. As stated in the Boyer College Graduate Handbook, master’s "students may not take final qualifying examinations nor perform graduation recitals until all diagnostic examinations have been successfully completed."
The exams may be taken in one day or split over three days, or the exams can be taken online for a fee. Preparations are provided upon registration. Visit the Boyer College of Music and Dance website for the graduate music examination schedule and registration form.
Please note that registration for a student's first term of study is completed in consultation with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Please re-read the admission letter, especially the "Special Notes" section on page 2, regarding any entrance deficiencies. If any remedial coursework is required, it must be completed by the end of the first year of study. It is also best for students to complete MUST 8701 Research in Music, which is required of all students except those in Jazz Studies, Music Education, and Music Therapy in the first year of study.
A. Graduate Diagnostic Examination in Aural Theory
The examination lasts approximately 40 minutes and consists of a written portion in which students are asked to:
- Dictate a chord progression that modulates and contains chromatic harmony by writing out the bass line and identifying chords by Roman numerals and inversions.
- Complete a two-part melodic dictation that modulates and contains chromatic pitches.
B. Graduate Diagnostic Examination in Written Theory
The examination lasts one and one-half hours and is in two parts:
- Harmonic analysis of two chorales: one that uses diatonic harmony, and one that uses chromatic harmony.
- Analysis of the form, motives and phrase structures of the first movement of a Classical-era piano sonata.
C. Graduate Diagnostic Examination in Music History
The examination lasts one hour and contains objective questions in a multiple choice and/or true/false format. It covers composers, forms, instruments, musical works, styles and terms from 1450 to the present. Sample questions are:
- The basso continuo came into use in about which year?
(a) 1500 (b) 1600 (c) 1650 (d) 1700
- Who composed Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth)?
(a) Mahler (b) Bruckner (c) Brahms (d) Schumann
- Which of the following instruments would not be found in the score of a symphony by Haydn?
(a) horn (b) oboe (c) timpani (d) trombone (e) trumpet
D. Conditions for Exemption from Diagnostic Examinations
The requirement to take the Diagnostic Examination in any area is waived only for graduates of the Boyer College of Music and Dance who:
- matriculate and enroll in the term immediately following completion of all undergraduate degree requirements; and
- received grades of "B-" or better in every undergraduate course taken in each individual examination area to be waived.
Professional Development Policy:
In addition to taking the required subjects for their degrees, all students in the Boyer College of Music and Dance are obligated to serve in a number of capacities in order to enrich their academic and musical expertise. Boyer College of Music and Dance believes that such experiences give impetus to successful professional careers. Among the duties that may be required are conducting laboratory classes; tutoring; teaching private lessons; coaching; participating in the distribution and inventory control of Temple University-owned musical instruments and instructional materials; participating in ensembles; accompanying; performing at admissions and open house events; supervising performance classes; and engaging in other academic activities.
- Touring: All students in touring performing ensembles are required to participate in all scheduled tours. These tours, usually one or two weeks in length, often take place immediately after termination of terms. Students must arrange their schedules to accommodate this requirement.
- Participation: Master's degree candidates in wind, brass and percussion instruments must be available for ensemble assignments at the discretion of the department chair, including participation beyond curricular requirements.
- Non-Credit Participation: With special permission, graduate students for whom there is no ensemble requirement, or where previous ensemble credits exceed the graduation requirement, may participate in choral and instrumental ensembles without cost, with prior permission from the ensemble director, the department chair and the Associate Dean.
At the master's degree level, all bowed string majors must perform in the University Orchestra each term they receive lessons.
Independent Study Courses:
Independent study courses provide a special opportunity for graduate students to work in a highly individualized setting with one or more faculty members. All such study must receive the approval of the faculty member providing the instruction, the students' major advisor, and the Associate Dean. Approval is granted only after the student has presented a detailed description of the intended independent study project. Approval of independent study projects is granted only for students whose academic and musical record provides substantial support for the benefits of this type of study. In no case may more than 20% of a graduate student's curriculum be taken as independent study. Private lessons beyond those required in the curriculum are not an appropriate form of independent study.
All students, including those for whom English is not the native language, are expected to present all written work in acceptable English. No double standard exists to differentiate students on the basis of proficiency in the use of the English language. Students are also responsible for becoming familiar with the College's statement on plagiarism and academic honesty.
Graduate Private Lesson Policy:
Weekly one-hour private lessons are provided for all matriculated master's and doctoral performance majors in good standing, provided at least three additional credits of programmatically required graduate-level study are taken simultaneously. A $250 per term lesson fee (subject to change without notice) is charged for all private lessons. Tuition remission may not be used to cover the private lesson fee.
Private applied lessons beyond the four-term requirement currently in effect for graduate performance students may be extended with the permission of the jury, department chair, and the Associate Dean or Dean of the Boyer College of Music and Dance.
Students withdrawing from the recital requirement during the recital term receive an Incomplete and must register for extended study for non-degree credit (MUSC 5000 Recital Extension for 2 credits). Recital Extension must be taken each term until the recital has been presented. This course is offered on a "Credit/No Credit" basis only. Upon satisfactory completion of the recital, the Incomplete for the recital course is replaced by a letter grade and MUSC 5000 Recital Extension is issued a grade of "CR." Credit derived from Recital Extension is not counted toward degree requirements.
- Recital Extension Fees: Tuition for these additional terms of private study is the cost of 2 graduate credits plus a $400 Recital Extension fee. Graduate assistantships and other forms of University-sponsored financial aid do not cover the Recital Extension fee.
- Exceptions to Recital Extension:
- Students who perform their recitals during the first three weeks of the Spring term are not required to register for Recital Extension that term.
- Students who register for Recital Extension during the Summer may perform their recitals during the first three weeks of the Fall term. However, any student who does not take Recital Extension during the Summer may not present the recital in the Fall term, regardless of the date, without also registering for the Fall term of Recital Extension.
- Failure to Present Recital: The degree status of students who are unable to present a recital after one term of Recital Extension is reviewed by the Associate Dean and the major advisor, who, in consultation with the major teacher and department, determine whether or not the student may continue in the program. Inability to present the recital after one term of Recital Extension may be grounds for dismissal from the degree program for failing to maintain reasonable academic progress.
All incomplete grades and keyboard proficiencies must be fulfilled by the first day of the month in which the student expects to graduate.
Candidates for the Master of Music degree are required to complete a one-hour comprehensive examination in music literature and music theory. The examination is in three parts, all of which must be passed:
- identification of specific selections from a list of 100 musical works of the standard literature from the Middle Ages through the 20th Century;
- identification of one "mystery" selection not found on the list; and
- score analysis.
The examination, which is administered in both the Fall and Spring terms, may be taken at any time in a student’s program. Two graduate faculty members grade the examination.
Performance majors present a public recital as the culminating event for the master's degree (MUSC 8584). Graduation recitals are typically one hour in length; presented on campus in either Rock Hall or Klein Recital Hall; and adjudicated by three full-time music faculty members. The student must show evidence through Temple University transcript records of having taken private lessons up to the time of the graduation recital. Students who wish to play a recital in the early Fall should plan to register for and complete the final term of lessons during the preceding Summer months.
A Recital Permission Form indicating the private teacher's approval for performance of the graduation recital must be signed by the private teacher and submitted six weeks prior to the recital. (If the recital is in the first five weeks of the Spring term, the form must be submitted two weeks before the end of the Fall term.) If required by the private teacher, a Recital Permission Jury must be scheduled at least four weeks prior to the recital. If the form is not submitted or a required jury is not scheduled, the department reserves the right to cancel or postpone the recital.
Program Web Address:
Dept. of Instrumental Studies
Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts/Boyer College of Music and Dance
2001 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6079
Submission Address for Application Materials:
Professor Jeffrey Solow
Professor Terell Stafford