Master of Music
Western offers a Master of Music degree with concentrations in composition, conducting, musicology, music education, and performance. The graduate program at WWU is small enough to be tailored to each student's individual needs and interests. We emphasize a rigorous level of creativity and scholarship, preparing the advanced student for a career in music and providing a solid foundation for doctoral studies.
Please note: Admission to the Master of Music program requires acceptance both of the general academic requirements of the Graduate School as well as acceptance by the Music faculty following an interview and/or audition and diagnostic exams.
Applications for admission in Fall, 2023 are due on April 15, 2023.
Graduate Coordinator and Advisor
Explore the University Catalog for information regarding degree requirements, programs, and audition information.
Applicants must have an undergraduate music degree, and must submit an application through the WWU Graduate School.
Once applications are received, the Graduate Coordinator will contact applicants directly to arrange next steps. Additional requirements vary by concentration as follows:
MMus Application Requirements
Students in the Composition concentration must submit a portfolio of at least three original recent compositions for evaluation by the composition-theory faculty. Please contact the Composition Faculty listed for more details.
WWU offers both Choral and Instrumental Conducting concentrations, with specialization in band and orchestral conducting in the latter. Those applying for the MMus in Conducting must provide a video of a recent conducting performance. Applicants to the Conducting concentration must also pass an audition with the appropriate faculty members. If a live audition cannot be arranged, an online meeting may suffice at the discretion of the faculty.
Choral conductors should demonstrate competence in vocal pedagogy and in German, French, Italian, and Latin diction via a diagnostic exam prior to admission.
Students applying for the Music Education concentration are accepted following an interview, either in person or through an e-conference, as well as an audition indicating a performance ability that meets or exceeds 300-level jury requirements for their instrument or voice. This will be arranged with the appropriate studio faculty.
The MMus in Music Education can be tailored as either a research-focused degree or can lead to certification to teach in Washington State K-12 public schools. Contact the Music Education Coordinator listed above for more information.
Students in the Musicology concentration must provide substantial scholarly work or term papers, and also complete an interview with the faculty coordinator. Materials should be submitted to the Musicology faculty coordinator after completing the graduate application.
Western offers Performance Concentration degrees in guitar, piano, voice, and all of the orchestral instruments, including saxophone and euphonium. Students in the Performance Concentration must pass an audition before members of the performance faculty. If a live audition cannot be arranged, a video-recorded performance may suffice at the discretion of the faculty. Vocal performers must demonstrate competence in German, French and Italian diction.
Auditions are arranged directly with the appropriate faculty following completion of the application for graduate study.
Students in Piano Performance will audition with a program equivalent to a senior recital: a balanced program presenting four works of contrasting styles from Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionistic, 20th/21st Century; one of these works is to be multi-movement (sonata, or suite).
Students in the Piano Performance, Pedagogy Emphasis, will audition with a half recital: a balanced program, presenting at least two contrasting styles, 30 minutes, plus a short paper (up to 5 pages) outlining the student’s philosophy of pedagogy, and what they want to accomplish in a M.M. degree.
Placement examinations in music theory and music history must be taken prior to beginning the program. Courses necessary to remove deficiencies are not credited toward the degree.
Prior to graduation, candidates for the Master of Music degree must successfully complete an oral defense which may be inclusive of any course work undertaken for the degree, as well as material related to the thesis. Thesis requirements and formats vary by degree concentration. Examples of written thesis projects can be found via CEDAR, Western's repository of student scholarship. Please contact the Graduate Advisor for more information.
In addition to completing thesis requirements, students in the Musicology concentration must also pass a reading examination in a language other than English related to their area of research.