Study with us
Learn from the best
Our students learn from renowned professionals with a passion for teaching. Our instructors are active in the international music world and perform, record, compose, conduct and publish regularly. They attract acclaimed guest artists to our masterclasses and provide wide-ranging opportunities for students to perform.
Pursue your musical styles
You will pursue your instrument in a conservatory-like atmosphere, with the freedom to explore many musical styles. You will combine technical study with an intensive study of repertoire and will benefit from a focus on both solo performance and ensemble playing.
Perform in our ensembles
University of Manitoba ensembles are an integral part of our music programs. Ensembles cover all major genres and range in size from an 80-piece concert band to small chamber groups.
Discover our financial supports
The financial support offered to qualifying students is among the most generous in Canada. More than 60 per cent of our students hold Desautels Faculty of Music or UM scholarships and bursaries.
Be inspired in our spaces
Study what you love; love where you study. A stunning transformation of our facilities has created an impressive performing arts complex, with a new concert hall opening in spring 2021. Our rehearsal rooms, music library, labs and recording studio are yours to explore.
Spacious, light-filled practice rooms
Ratio of faculty members to students
Value of scholarships, bursaries and prizes awarded annually
The Master of Music two-year program provides professional preparation in a strong academic and collaborative environment.
Expected duration: 2 years
Tuition and fees: One year tuition, then continuing fees in subsequent years (refer to Graduate tuition and fees)
Graduate students can choose from three areas of concentration:
- Performance (solo or collaborative) in voice, keyboard, guitar or any standard orchestral, wind or jazz instrument
- Conducting (choral or instrumental)
Students must complete 24 credit hours of study to earn a MMus degree. Each concentration requires 15 credit hours of core courses plus 9 credit hours of additional courses.
For degree information, please visit the Faculty of Graduate Studies Supplemental Regulations page
Sample course offerings
- MUSC 7000: Music History Seminar (3 credit hours)
- MUSC 7050: Bibliography and Research Methods (3 credit hours)
- MUSC 7110: Music Theory Seminar (3 credit hours)
- MUSC 7380: Piano Repertoire Seminar (2 credit hours)
- MUSC 7390: Piano Chamber Music Literature Seminar (2 credit hours)
- MUSC 7530: Operatic Piano (2 credit hours)
- MUSC 7810: Electroacoustic Music (3 credit hours)
- MUSC 7860: Topics in Music (3 credit hours)
For full course descriptions, please visit the Academic Calendar
Prospective students to the Master of Music program must have completed:
- A four-year undergraduate degree program in music with a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last two full years (60 credit hours) of study, or
- A conservatory diploma taken in residence; and
- An online application
To be considered for the program, all prospective students must successfully pass the audition and must possess the stated requirements.
Students admitted to the M.Mus. program must demonstrate knowledge of music theory and music history comparable to that of B.Mus. graduates of the Faculty. This will normally be assessed by diagnostic examinations administered by the Faculty prior to the first day of fall-semester classes. Appropriate review materials will be made available to students in advance of the diagnostic examinations.
Incoming graduate students who do not achieve satisfactory results on any component of these diagnostic examinations may be required to undertake remediation. Such remediation will normally take the form of successful completion of undergraduate coursework in the Faculty, which will not count for credit toward the M.Mus.
The second language requirement has been removed as of Fall 2022.
Meeting these requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program
How to apply
The MMus program accepts applications for both Fall and Winter entry.
Step 1: Apply online
Applications to the MMus program are completed online. To begin your application, click the "Start or continue your application" button. The online application includes several parts:
- $100 application fee (non-refundable)
- Statement of Intent
- Curriculum Vita outlining details of performance experience
- Repertoire list
- Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
- Proof of English language proficiency (if applicable)
- Portfolio (for Composition only)
- Conducting video and score analysis (for Conducting only)
- Two letters of recommendation
To be considered for Desautels Faculty of Music scholarships, applicants must meet the application deadline and audition during the advertised audition dates. Applicants will be notified 2-3 weeks after the application deadline to arrange their audition and interview.
Please read the Faculty of Graduate Studies online application instructions before beginning your application.
Step 2: Audition
Your audition may take up to 45-minutes. Whether you are auditioning in-person or by video recording, the audition will involve:
- Performing up to 20-30 minutes of prepared music that fulfills the specific audition requirements for your area of study;
- An interview covering a range of areas, including your background and experience in music performance; and
- Sight-reading, singing, rhythm and melody playback and/or performing 1-2 additional pieces.
Accompanists: Vocal and instrumental pieces must be accompanied. Arrangements for accompanists on the day of the audition or video recording are the responsibility of the student.
Jazz audition fee: Jazz audition fee: Jazz students auditioning in-person, must pay a $25 fee. This fee covers the expense of a rhythm section, which will be provided by that Faculty. Payments must be paid before the audition at the Music General Office.
Composition audition and portfolio requirements
- Present a portfolio of works, including a recording, demonstrating your ability to work in a variety of music genres.
Conducting audition requirements
Applicants must submit:
- a preliminary prescreening conducting video, including a minimum of 10 minutes of rehearsal and 10 minutes of performance (camera facing the conductor);
- lists of repertoire conducted in performance and rehearsal, respectively;
- lists of repertoire in which they have performed as an ensemble member (list up to 10 substantial works);
- a curriculum vitae detailing experience field (conducting, teaching, performing, etc.).
Applicants invited to audition in person will normally be required to conduct one or two pieces in rehearsal with a university ensemble, to be assigned from that ensemble’s current repertoire.
Instrumental conducting applicants will be required to display proficiency in score reading skills, which may include sight-singing, rhythmic reading, and oral score overview and analysis.
Choral conducting applicants will be required to perform a vocal selection of their choice (pianist will be provided); to display proficiency in sight singing and open score reading at the keyboard
Collaborative piano audition requirements
- First movement of any Beethoven violin or cello sonata
- One movement of any violin or cello sonata by Brahms or Franck
Vocal (All to be played in original keys)
- Schubert - Gretchen am Spinnrade OR Ganymed
- Strauss – Allerseelen OR Zueignung
- Debussy – Il pleure dans mon Coeur OR Faure – Clair de Lune
- Barber - One selection from the following list:
- St. Ita's Vision
- The Heavenly Banquet
- The Praises of God
- Mozart Aria – Giunse alfin il momento…Deh vieni, non tardar (Le Nozze di Figaro)
- Piano solo of your choice - approximately 7-10 minutes in duration. This can be a short piece or movement(s) from any larger work.
Instrumental audition requirements
- A program of works representing a variety of historical periods and contrasting styles; 20-30 minutes in total.
Jazz Studies audition requirements
- A short sight-reading passage
- A brief interview covering a range of areas, including your background and experience in jazz performance
- Technical requirement: play a major scale, one octave ascending and descending, in any key. Drummers and singers must perform this on piano.
- A medium tempo blues selection
- Play melody and a minimum of two improvised choruses
- Rhythm section players must comp for a soloist
- A jazz standard of your choice
- Play melody and a minimum of two improvised choruses
- Rhythm section players must comp for a soloist. Drummers must trade fours with the rhythm section.
You must provide three copies of charts for the music you perform (in your key).
Piano audition requirements
- A minimum of two contrasting movements of a classical sonata, one of which is in sonata form; a romantic work; a minimum of two other works chosen from baroque, impressionist and/or 20th century or contemporary works.
- The audition program should be approved by the Area Coordinator in advance.
Strings audition requirements
For all instruments, memorization is preferred but not required.
- Bach: two movements from any Sonata or Partita for violin solo
- Any virtuoso work for violin and piano or violin solo
- First movement only OR the second and third movements from any major violin concerto (including Mozart No. 4 and No. 5; Bruch G minor, Op.26 is not acceptable)
- Applicant may choose one of the following:
- J.S. Bach: two movements from any Sonata or Partita for violin solo or Suites for Cello solo; or
- Reger: two contrasting movements from any Suite for Viola solo
- Any virtuoso work for viola solo or with piano, or first movement from Sonata by Brahms or Schubert Arpeggione
- Two contrasting movements from concertos by: Bartok, Walton, Hindemith or Schnittke
- One etude from Popper’s 40 Etudes Op. 73 or Piatti’s 12 Caprices Op. 25.
- Prelude and two additional movements from the same J.S. Bach Cello Suite.
- Two contrasting movements from a standard cello concerto (First movement is compulsory) or the complete Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations.
- Any virtuoso work written for solo cello/cello and piano (no arrangements or transcriptions).
- Two contrasting pieces of applicant’s choice
- Three orchestra excerpts by: Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart or Strauss
- One major scale, one harmonic minor scale, one minor scale of choice in two or three octaves
- Sight-reading may be required
- The first movement from any J.S. Bach Suites for Lute or Fugue BMV 1001 or BMV 998. If you choose the Prelude from Suite BMV 996, you must play it presto.
- First movement of a major work (concerto, sonata, suite, etc.) for guitar solo or guitar and piano
- One piece representing a major 20th or 21st century work for guitar
Voice audition requirements
- Two arias (one opera, one oratorio)
- Three art songs in contrasting languages and styles, with at least one in English
- 20-30 minutes in total
Step 3: Wait for a decision
You will receive an email notification from the faculty when a decision has been made on your audition.
All decisions will be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies Admissions office for final assessment.
Once notified of a decision, you must log in to your application portal to view your decision letter and accept or decline your offer by the deadline date indicated in the letter. It is imperative that email accounts remain current and that emails are regularly checked.