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Home>Study at York>Postgraduate taught>Courses 2019/20>Music (Performance Practice pathway) (MA)

MA Music (Performance Practice pathway)

Find creative ways to tackle the challenges arising from performance in your specialist area.

Year of entry: 2019
Show year of entry: 2020

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

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Whatever your specialism, this pathway gives you the opportunity for in-depth research into the aspects of performance which interest you most.

You'll work with academics and teachers with extensive knowledge in a wide range of repertoire, allowing you to explore your chosen area of study in depth. Regular workshops and performance opportunities will provide valuable feedback and allow you to expand your repertoire and improve your performance skills and understanding of musical style.

Previous students have gone on to professional performing careers or to further study on performance courses. This pathway is also an excellent preparation for students wanting to progress to research degrees in performance.

Instrumental/vocal tuition

Weekly lessons with one of our specialist teachers, all of whom have extensive knowledge in informed performance practice as well as modern repertoire.

Outstanding facilities

You'll have access to a wide range of early instruments, as well as practice rooms, recording studios and two professional concert halls.

Departmental ensembles

From choral to orchestral, jazz and folk to improvised electronica, gospel to gamelan, almost every kind of music is performed by the Department’s many ensembles.

Course content

All pathways for the MA Music follow the same structure. Over the year, you’ll take four modules totalling 180 credits. We place an emphasis on independence and creativity - you will have the freedom to study the areas that interest you.

In addition to these modules, we strongly encourage you to participate in department ensembles such as Chamber Choir, University Choir, The 24 and Baroque Ensemble, and to attend weekly research seminarsperformance classes and other seminars relevant to your studies. 

You’ll receive 30 hours of private instrumental or vocal tuition over the year.

Modules

You'll take a total of four modules:

Projects I and II

You’ll take Project I and Project II (30 credits each) in the Autumn and Spring Terms respectively.

In these modules, you’ll attend a weekly seminar related to your pathway. If you want to specialise in the performance practice, style, and repertoire of 1550 – 1840, you will attend a pathway seminar that deals specifically with these themes. If your interests lie after 1840, we can create a bespoke pathway to suit your needs. Whatever your specialist interests, however, you are welcome and encouraged to attend all relevant classes, including any suitable undergraduate modules.

Performance seminars which concentrate on issues that affect all performers are held on a weekly basis throughout the course.

At the end of the first two modules you’ll produce a guided submission; these take the form of 25-30 minute recitals with accompanying commentaries. The assessments for these two commentaires are submitted as part the Critical Reflection module.

Throughout these modules you’ll receive advice, support and feedback from your academic supervisor. You’ll have the freedom to submit work on areas that interest you - our courses our designed to allow maximum flexibility and independence.

Project III

During the Summer Term and summer vacation, you will work on Project III (100 credits), an extended individual project. For Performance Practice, this will take the form of a 40-45 minute recital along with a 1,000-1,500 word commentary.

Recent recital programmes have included:

  • Bach oboe and violin concerti
  • Handel trio sonatas
  • Gamba solos and duets by Marais and cello solos by Handel, Telemann, Fiocco
  • organ solos by Bach, Couperin, Clérambault
  • Purcell theatre songs

Critical Reflection in Musical Practice

Critical Reflection in Musical Practice (20 credits) runs throughout the year. In this module you’ll develop sophisticated ways to articulate critical and reflective outlooks on your creative work, culminating in a presentation to fellow pathway students.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Research independently and collaboratively with the sophistication, close attention to detail and creative flair developed through the advanced study of music at Master’s level.
  • Lead, or constructively contribute to, advanced-level musical activity, for example by performing, composing, critical listening and thinking, analyzing, editing, improvising, notating or employing studio techniques and digital literacy at a professional level.
  • Apply the musical and transferable skills gained throughout the programme with confidence and aptitude in a range of national and international professional contexts, for example performance, composition, teaching, management, academic work, and collaborative projects.
  • Communicate at an advanced level on a range of issues relating to music, the arts, society and culture, using appropriate written and oral media and music-making activities.
  • Plan and execute focused individual research projects, composition portfolios or recitals through rigorous planning and the application of appropriate principles, theoretical knowledge, methodologies, techniques and experience.
  • Apply self-evaluative skills of reflective practice to inform current work and continuing professional development – whether through written work, compositions or performance – with creativity, imagination and initiative.
Improving my playing, developing my confidence, leading to professional concerts and inspiring my doctoral research, this course was certainly one of my favourite and most pivotal years in higher education. I cannot recommend it enough!
MA Music (Performance Practice) student

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2019/20

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year) £7,810£17,370
Part-time (2 years)
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
£3,905
year 1 fee
£8,685
year 1 fee

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

A full list of department scholarships, awards, and bursaries can be found on the department website.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Teaching format

Your teaching will largely take the form of weekly pathway seminars and regular one-to-one tutorials. Performance seminars from internal and external speakers will also run throughout the week, which you will be expected to attend. These will concentrate on issues that affect all performers, such as ornamentation, rhythmic alteration, editions, recordings, baroque dance, rhetoric, communication. You'll have the opportunity to perform recital repertoire to members of the group for coaching, comment and discussion.

You will have regular meetings with your supervisor, who will advise you and help develop your ideas as you progress through your studies.

We encourage you to get involved with our lively departmental community, from our ensembles to our weekly seminars, performance classes and research seminars.

Facilities

The department has a fine collection of early instruments including a copy of a 1795 Viennese fortepiano, a Broadwood square piano (c.1830), three harpsichords, a clavichord, a three-manual neo-classical organ, a continuo organ, a chest of viols and various Renaissance, Baroque and Classical instruments.

We have a range of outstanding facilities, including the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall and dozens of teaching rooms and practice facilities. All spaces are designed to be flexible and are used for projects, seminars, ensemble rehearsals and recordings. Discover our facilities.

Teaching location

The Department of Music is located in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall on Campus West.

Almost all of your teaching will take place within the department.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You will be assessed through a total of three recitals: two of 25-30 minutes and one of 40-45 minutes. Each recital must also be accompanied by a commentary of 1,000-1,500 words.

In some circumstances, the length of the recital may be reduced and supplemented by an essay.

Careers and skills

Performance Practice graduates have gone onto a variety of performance-based careers and further study. Graduates have also gone on to teaching posts, both freelance and employed by an institution. Further study destinations include both conservatoires and other universities.

Career opportunities

  • Arts administration
  • Teaching at all levels
  • Freelance solo performer
  • Orchestras including Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Academy of Ancient Music, English Concert and Yorkshire Baroque Soloists
  • Choirs including The Sixteen, BBC Singers, Genesis Sixteen and Tallis Scholars
  • Conservatories including Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Royal Northern College of Music, Trinity Laban and Guildhall School of Music (as both students and staff)

Transferable skills

  • Time management
  • Teamwork
  • Creative problem solving
  • Critical analysis
  • Research skills
  • Communication
  • Self-evaluation

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Degree

A Bachelor's degree with a 2:1 (hons) or above in music or another relevant discipline. We will also consider your application if you have a 2:2 honours degree and relevant professional experience.

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. 

  • IELTS: 6.0, with no less than 5.5 in each component
  • PTE Academic: 55, with no less than 51 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (taken from January 2015): 169, with no less than 162 in each component
  • TOEFL: 79, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Pass in all components

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.

Applying

You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

You'll be required to attend an interview which will include a performance of around 15 minutes, preferably including repertoire that you would intend to study on the course. If it isn’t possible to attend a live interview you should provide a video recording of approximately 15 minutes.

The audition repertoire should include standard western classical repertoire from the 17th or 18th centuries, though later repertoire may also be included as appropriate. Singers should include some repertoire in English.

Please indicate clearly in the written title of your application which MA Music pathway you wish to apply for.

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