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Graduate & Professional | In-Person

Master of Music in Classical Performance

Have you achieved a high level of skill in your undergraduate career? Are you looking for the next step in developing your performance abilities?

Why Study Classical Performance? 

Belmont's Master of Music in Classical Performance is taught by talented, expert faculty and will provide the hands-on opportunities students need to hone their craft as professionals performers.

Students are offered frequent opportunities to perform both on and off campus. Belmont’s state-of-the-art facilities allow students to experience professional stage experience so they can excel around the world. Private study with our highly sought after faculty creates a space for students to expand their skills and grow rapidly as a musician. This experience is highly individualized and collaborative.

What You'll Learn 

  • feature-classical.jpgMusic research tools, materials and techniques.
  • Analytical techniques in addition to harmonic and formal analysis. A variety of techniques will be explored and may include LaRue style analysis, analysis of rhythm and meter and an introduction to Schenkerian and related linear-reductive systems.
  • An overview of the current methods and literature, instructional techniques, philosophical bases, curriculum building and administration of the teaching of applied music.
  • Each principal area will explore a survey of literature, past and present, with a focus including performance practice and important composers.
  • You will have the opportunity to participate in one or more of Belmont's ensembles.

Career Possibilities

  • Professional musician in orchestra or opera company
  • Member of a military performing ensemble
  • Participation in a touring musical group or ensemble
  • University professor and applied lesson teacher

Program Details

View all program requirements:

Performance, Instruments, M.M.

Performance, Keyboard, M.M.

Performance, Voice, M.M.

  • Introduction to Music Research: Introduction to music research tools, materials, and techniques. The focus of the course will include major references and indexes, database and internet research. The course will be relevant to all majors and will encompass both quantitative and qualitative research. A research project relating to the student’s major will be required.
  • Music History Seminar: A series of in-depth topical seminars for graduate music students which will cover a wide range of periods, composers and musical genres. Prerequisites: MUG 5010 or passing score on Graduate History Placement Exam.
  • Analytical Techniques: Advanced study in the analysis of music from across a range of genres and styles. In addition to traditional harmonic and formal analysis, a variety of techniques will be explored and may include LaRue style analysis; analysis of rhythm and meter; and an introduction to Schenkerian and related linear-reductive systems. Prerequisites: MUG 5020 or passing score on Graduate Theory Placement Exam.
  • Culminating Project/Examinations: MUG 6000 includes the terminal requirements for the M.M. degree. All students are required to successfully complete comprehensive written and oral examinations and a culminating project which varies, depending on the student’s particular track. Options and requirements for each culminating track are described in Guidelines for the Master of Music Degree accessed through the Belmont University Portal. Students should register for the course during their final semester of enrollment. The class is graded pass/fail.
  • Graduate Chamber Music Studies: Composed of graduate students interested in pursuing the chamber repertoire for their applied area. Requires two (2) hours of rehearsal and 30 minutes of coached time per week. A Graduate Chamber Music Studies Contract designating a coach and planned repertoire must be completed by student and coach and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies. Prerequisites: Permission of director required.
  • Ensemble Internship: Graduate students may select an internship with any of the following School of Music classical instrumental or choral ensembles: Instrumental - Belmont Wind Ensemble, Belmont Orchestra, Belmont Percussion Ensemble, Belmont Guitar Ensemble, Belmont Jazz Ensemble; Choral-Belmont Chamber Singers, Belmont Chorale, University Singers, Nashville Children’s Choir, Opera Workshop, Oratorio Chorus, Women’s Choir. An Internship Contract must be completed and approved by the Director of Graduate Studies, describing specific responsibilities of the internship (e.g. assistant director, lead roles, etc.). Limited to two semesters of participation. Prerequisites: Permission of director required.
  • Graduate Ensemble Studies: Graduate students may participate in an approved School of Music ensemble. Prerequisites: Permission of ensemble director and instructor required.
  • Instrumental Literature: A historical survey of major instrumental music literature through the study of selected pieces from the solo, chamber, wind band and orchestral repertoire.
  • Keyboard Literature: A survey of keyboard literature from the Baroque era through the present. Emphasis will be placed on the standard keyboard performance literature along with the preeminent keyboard composers and common performance practices.
  • Opera Literature: A survey of solo literature in opera from the Baroque period through the present. The focus will include literature, performance practice and important composers.
  • French and Italian Song Literature: A survey of Italian art song from the Baroque period through the present and French song literature from 1830 to the present. Emphasis will be placed on evolving performance practice and the important composers of both genres.
  • German Lied: A survey of German and Austrian lieder and its composers from the Baroque era to the present. Focus will be placed on evolving performance practice. Literature from the 19th and 20th centuries will be emphasized.
  • American/British Art Song: A survey of British and American art song works and their composers. The British portion will focus from John Dowland to the present. The American portion will focus on the post civil war period but will emphasize the 20th century.

You'll have a variety of opportunities in Belmont's Master's of Music in Pedagogy program including:

  • Participating in ensembles with other students passionate about music
  • Performing in state-of-the-art performance halls
  • Joining a thriving and creative musical community in Nashville

National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)

1. Apply to the University

  • Create a BU4U account
  • Complete the Belmont University Graduate Studies Application for Admission
  • Pay the $50 Application Fee

2. Submit Supplemental Materials

Once the application is submitted and the application fee is paid, an email will be sent with instructions for submitting the supplemental pieces of the application. Applicants will be required to provide the following:

  1. Two completed recommendation forms from individuals who know the applicant's musical abilities. At least one recommendation must be completed by an individual who can address the applicant's accomplishments and potential in the academic classroom setting.
  2. A list of repertory studied in the principal performing area, including undergraduate junior and senior recital repertory, if applicable.
  3. A writing sample from undergraduate academic course work.
  4. Statement of Purpose. This one-page essay should describe why you are interested in the desired degree program and Belmont University, and address your personal and professional career goals.
  5. Official transcripts of all previous college and masters level work. International applicants with college level coursework from foreign institutions must have their transcripts evaluated by a credential evaluation service such as World Education Services (wes.org). Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative GPA. Students who have earned below a 3.0 may be considered on a case-by-case basis.


All prospective students should apply as soon as possible to submit their application, including all supplemental materials by the deadlines.


3. Audition for the School of Music

All applicants are required to audition for the School of Music. The audition day will consist of a live audition and interview with our performance faculty and an informational meeting. The information session will also allow time for questions from attendees.

Audition Dates


Audition Requirements:


  1. Three (3) art songs
  2. One (1) aria from the operatic or oratorio repertoire in the original language.

The four (4) pieces performed in the audition should include a selection in each of the following languages: Italian, German, French and English.


  1. Two (2) works appropriate to the instrument that will demonstrate two (2) distinctly different styles, including individual works, sonata movements or etudes.
  2. A movement from a concerto that has been written for the instrument.
  3. Scales and sight-reading
Detailed audition expectations for percussion applicants are as follows:
  • A four (4) mallet work for marimba by one of the following composers: Abe, Bach, Gomez, Helble, Musser, Rosauro, Smadbeck or Stout
  • A three (3) or four (4) drum composition for timpani by one of the following composers: Beck, Bergamo, Carter, Firth, Goodman, Leonard, Peters or Whaley.
  • An appropriate work for snare drum or multi-percussion. Appropriate works for snare drum would include those by such composers as Colgrass, Goldenberg, Hurley, Markivich, Pratt, Smith, Wilcoxon and Wooten; for multi-percussion, composers such as Cage, Cahn, Fink, Kraft, Tagawa and Whaley provide suitable repertoire from which to choose.
  • Demonstrate scales and arpeggios on marimba, various rudiments for snare drum and tuning proficiency on timpani.


  1. A work by J.S. Bach or other important Baroque composer for organ.
  2. A 19th century work by a composer such as Franck or Mendelssohn
  3. A 20th century work by one of the following: Dupre, Hindemith, Langlais, Vierne or Widor
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of appropriate pedal exercises and pedal scales.


  1. A substantial Baroque work by one of the following composers: Bach, Handel, or Scarlatti or a sonata movement by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven or Schubert.
  2. A substantial work by a 19th century composer such as Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Mendelssohn or Schumann.
  3. A work from the 20th century by composers such as Barber, Bartok, Copland, Debussy, Hindemith, Prokofiev or Ravel.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of scales and arpeggios.

All scholarships will be distributed based on the strength of the audition. All applicants are considered for scholarships.

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Contact Us

College of Music & Performing Arts

Angela Stenzel
Graduate Admissions Coordinator
(615) 460.8307
Email Angela