A smiling student sits in the Music library concourse holding a trumpet.
  • icon house

    Faculty

    • Desautels Faculty of Music
    • Faculty of Graduate Studies

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    Degree

    • Master of Music

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    Expected duration

    • 2 years

  • 20+

    Student ensembles

  • 40

    Spacious, light-filled practice rooms

  • 1:5

    Ratio of faculty members to students

  • $600,000+

    Value of scholarships, bursaries and prizes awarded annually

Program details

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
  • Composition
  • 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

Admission requirements

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 fulfill the theory and second-language requirements. 

Theory requirements

MMus students are expected to possess a certain breadth and depth of knowledge in music theory. All incoming students will write a diagnostic exam to evaluate their knowledge of theoretical aspects of tonal and post-tonal music. This exam will be administered by the faculty during the week prior to class commencement.

Please see the Graduate Theory Diagnostic (PDF) for details on suitable review materials. 

Second-language requirements

MMus students must have reading knowledge of one language other than English (normally, French, German or Italian)

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 must be completed online, submitted before the application deadline (for your intended term of entry) and include the following documents:

  • $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

Only completed applications will be scheduled for an audition. You will receive email notification from the faculty with your audition schedule in January for Fall entry and in July for Winter entry. 

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, your background and experience in your area of study; 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 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.

Due to our commitment to supporting public health measures, there will be no in-person auditions for 2021-22. Video recordings will replace in-person auditions and interviews will be held online.

For Winter 2021 applications:

You will submit audition video recordings fulfilling the specific requirements for your area of study. Video recordings can be uploaded to YouTube (unlisted) or OneDrive. Please submit links to your video recordings to louella.yambot@umanitoba.ca by June 15, 2021.

Accompanists and Jazz fee:

We understand it may be difficult to arrange accompaniment for your audition recordings. Applicants may record with an accompanist if they would like to and/or are able to work with the accompanist in a safe and socially distance manner; however, this is not required for the audition.

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.

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

  • A preliminary high-quality recording of your rehearsal and performance conducting (facing the camera).
  • A list of repertoire conducted in both performance and rehearsal
  • An analysis of a piece of music from a theoretical/conducting standpoint. Applicants should consult with the conducting faculty regarding the specific piece to be analyzed.

Collaborative piano audition requirements

  • Details coming soon.

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). Students auditioning in-person for Jazz Studies must pay a $25 fee at the time of their audition. This fee covers the expense of a rhythm section, which will be provided by the Desautels Faculty of Music.

    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.

    Violin
    • 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)
    Viola
    • 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
    Cello
    • 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).
    Double bass
    • 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
    Guitar
    • 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

    Application deadlines (Canadian, US and international applicants)

    Term Application deadline Apply
    Winter 2022 June 15, 2021 Apply
    Fall 2022  December 1, 2021 Apply

    Audition dates

    Term Audition date
    Winter 2022 July 2021
    Fall 2022  January 2022

    Applicants must submit their online application with supporting documentation and application fee by the deadline date indicated.

    Learn more

    Contact us

    Admission and application inquiries

    Faculty of Graduate Studies
    Room 500 UMSU University Centre
    65 Chancellors Circle
    University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
    Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2 Canada

    graduate.admissions@umanitoba.ca
    Phone: 204-474-9377
    Fax: 204-474-7553

    Monday to Friday
    8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Program inquiries

    Desautels Faculty of Music
    Room T319 
    150 Dafoe Road West
    University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus)
    Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2

    music@umanitoba.ca
    204-474-9310