Until recently, postgraduate music education has barely explored the connection between the worlds of solo and choral singing. In this unique course led by Robert Hollingworth, a world-leader in the artform, you'll explore the subtleties of this sophisticated genre.
As well as receiving general vocal coaching, you'll work on the specific difficulties faced by singers in a genre that combines both choral precision and solo expression. You'll also be coached by singers from world-famous ensemble, I Fagiolini, and learn to challenge accepted norms about this kind of singing.
You'll explore how audiences receive this repertoire, much of which was not written with public concert performance in mind, and consider how this affects presentation and performance.
You'll receive 30 hours of tuition from one of our departmental teachers; Alexander Ashworth, Yvonne Seymour or Susan Young.
Led by Robert Hollingworth, director of British vocal consort I Fagiolini, you'll receive tuition from industry experts and professionals at the top of their field.
You'll have access to practice rooms, recording studios and two professional concert halls, as well as opportunities to work with the latest vocal technology in the Department of Electronic Engineering.
Throughout the year, you'll work within your ensemble to support each other and develop your skills within a consort environment.
All pathways for the MA Music follow the same structure. We place an emphasis on independence and creativity - you will have the freedom to study the areas that interest you, in consultation with your ensemble.
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.
You’ll receive 30 hours of private vocal tuition over the year. Lessons usually take place every week.
In these modules, you’ll attend a weekly seminar related to your pathway. You'll cover essential theoretical teaching and receive coaching in your ensembles from the course tutor.
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 are 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. Within your ensemble, you'll curate and perform an extended recital.
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.
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.
The greatest thing about the year was discovering just how high a performance standard it is possible to achieve with time, dedication, and diplomacy. Put simply, the course changed the way I approach making music.Thomas, MA Music (Solo Voice Ensemble Singing) student
|Full-time (1 year)||£7,810||£17,370|
|Part-time (2 years)
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
year 1 fee
year 1 fee
Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.
For courses which are longer than one year, the tuition fees quoted are for the first year of study. Fees for subsequent years are subject to increase (no more than 2% each year).
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.
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.
A full list of department scholarships, awards and bursaries can be found on the department website.
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.
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.
Your teaching will largely take the form of weekly seminars, covering musicological teaching and vocal coaching, and one-to-one tutorials. You'll also be expected to arrange regular rehearsals with your ensemble, as well as participating in rehearsals of department ensembles, including The 24.
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.
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.
You will be based in the Department of Music on Campus West. 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.
Within your group, you'll develop three concert programmes for assessment throughout the course, supplemented by individual commentaries. The first two recitals will be based on repertoire agreed with the course tutor, while the third focuses more on independent choice.
This course is directly beneficial to students wishing to break in to the commercial world of classical singing. You'll gain vital skills for performing your repertoire professionally, enabling you to be competitive within the professional solo and choral worlds.
Recent graduates have been employed by London-based professional ensembles such as:
A Bachelor's degree with a 2:1 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.
Ensembles can be any size depending on your interests, but groups are generally made up of 4-8 singers.
Applying with a pre-existing ensemble
The course is aimed at ensembles, and therefore you need to be part of a balanced group of voices that work together as an ensemble through the year. Please note that the MA application process requires individual applications to be made by each member of the ensemble.
If you're already in a group that wishes to apply as a group, please get in touch directly with Robert Hollingworth.
Applying as an individual
If you're applying as an individual, we will match you to other candidates and recommend that you meet to rehearse for a short period before the course begins.
If you're on different continents, this may be impractical. In this case, each singer will be encouraged to video-record two pieces (either solo or in consort with others) and make them available to the other singers so that each of you has a proper chance to listen to your colleagues in advance.
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability:
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.
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 can attach a short .mp3 file or .mp4 video file along with your application as evidence of your previous work in performance.
Please also provide a short written statement on your aims and objectives in taking this course.
After application, you will be called for interview or audition. For students outside the UK, this can be through Skype (or similar) if necessary.
You are encouraged to contact Robert Hollingworth at the beginning of the process to discuss your application.
Please indicate clearly in the written title of your application which MA Music pathway you wish to apply for.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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