This pathway of our MA Music intends to strengthen your playing and theoretical knowledge through intensive piano-based study.
You'll cover a variety of keyboard music from the early Baroque period to the present day, developing your interpretation through workshops and masterclasses, and learning to play different kinds of repertoire with historical understanding. This includes the chance to work with historical instruments such as harpsichord, clavichord and fortepiano.
You'll also have the opportunity to develop other skills such as ensemble performance and piano accompaniment, both as part of the course and externally. The University of York Piano Ensemble is made up of a group of pianists performing repertoire for multiple pianos. They particularly explore contemporary and experimental repertoire, as well as arrangements of older music. You'll gain experience as a pianist through chances to work as an accompanist for other students, frequent masterclasses in performance from visiting specialists and opportunities to perform in a variety of different settings. By the end of the programme, these experiences will have helped you develop into an independent, critically aware and technically proficient performer.
Weekly lessons with Jakob Fichert, our lead piano tutor, an internationally-recognised pianist who has performed extensively in the UK and overseas as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician.
You'll have access to a wide range of early keyboard instruments, as well as practice rooms, recording studios and two professional concert halls.
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.
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.
Over the year, you’ll take four modules:
In addition to these modules, we strongly encourage you to participate in department ensembles and attend weekly research seminars, performance classes and composition seminars relevant to your studies.
In these modules, you’ll attend a weekly seminar related to your pathway. You'll discuss larger issues of performance and repertoire, examining in detail the works you are studying and thinking about the implications for performance. You'll also study the history of piano repertoire, style and interpretation, pedalling techniques, fingering problems and other issues pianists may come across. The seminars will also consider practical issues such as overcoming performance anxiety, writing programme notes, developing good posture, and healthy practice habits.
At the end of each module, you’ll produce a ‘guided submission’, which differ according to each pathway. For Piano Studies, these take the form of 25-30 minute recitals with accompanying commentaries. The assessment 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.
During the Summer Term and summer vacation, you will work on Project III (100 credits), an extended individual project. For Piano Studies, this takes the form of a 40–45 minute recital with accompanying commentary.
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, writing short, critically reflective essays each week that relate wider issues connected with piano performance to your own practice. These essays are not assessed, but will provide valuable experience and feedback for your assessed recital commentaries.
In Summer Term, your classes will prepare you to write and deliver a research presentation on a topic of your choice to your fellow students.
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
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.
Preparing a recital every three months pushes me to a higher level of playing.Ling Wang, MA Music (Piano Studies pathway)
Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
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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.
We've made some changes to the way our courses are delivered to minimise potential disruption from the ongoing global pandemic.
Your teaching will largely take the form of weekly pathway seminars and regular one-to-one tutorials, as well as your individual piano lessons.
You will have regular meetings with your supervisor, who will advise you and help develop your ideas as you progress through your studies.
As well as several concert grand pianos by Steinway and Fazioli, the department also has a fine collection of early keyboards including two fortepianos, a square piano, four harpsichords, a clavichord, a three-manual neo-classical organ and a continuo organ.
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.
We encourage you to get involved with our lively departmental community, from our ensembles to our weekly seminars, performance classes and research seminars.
The Department of Music is located in the Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, on the west part of our campus.
Almost all of your teaching will take place within the department.
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.
You will be assessed through a total of two 25-30 minute recitals and one 40-45 minute recital, all with accompanying commentaries. You will also recieve a mark for your research presentation in the Summer Term.
Written and verbal feedback will be available for all these assessments to help you develop as a performer and a researcher.
By the end of the course, you'll have a firm understanding of the core issues of technique and interpretation surrounding each period of standard keyboard repertoire, and you will be able to use this understanding to prepare thoughtful and sophisticated performances. You'll also be able to reflect critically on your performance decisions, and communicate your ideas about performance in writing and speech, skills that are highly valued in any sector. MA Music graduates go on to a diverse range of careers as performers and teachers, as well as administrative work and further study at both universities and conservatoires.
|Undergraduate degree||2:1 or equivalent in Music or another relevant discipline. We will also consider your application if you have a 2:2 honours degree and relevant professional experience.|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
Performance ability will need to be demonstrated through submission of a recording.
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS||6.0, minimum 5.5 in each component|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||169, minimum 162 in each component|
|Duolingo||100, minimum 90 in all other components|
|PTE Academic||55, minimum 51 in each component|
|TOEFL||79, minimum 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing|
|Trinity ISE III||Pass in all components|
For more information see our postgraduate 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 English language test 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.
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