School of Music

Application for Graduate Admission

The Dr. Alfred and D. Suzi Osher School of Music at the University of Southern Maine offers a personalized and opportunity-based approach to educating musicians, featuring a faculty of distinguised performers, teachers, scholars and mentors.

 

Steps to Apply by Area of Study

 

Admission Information

Every applicant for admission must submit:

  • An electronic application form 
  • The application fee
  • Official transcripts of all previous college and university work
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An essay of 300-500 words on your professional goals
  • A professional résumé

In addition, applicants to the School of Music graduate program in composition must fulfill the following requirements prior to enrollment:

  • A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in music or music education
  • An interview and portfolio review (by invitation only; see details below)
  • Applicants in composition must also submit:
  • Scores of three representative works from three different performance media showing originality and technical competence. Electronic submission is preferred
  • Recordings (CD, mp3, or url link) of three representative works (to correspond with scores above, if possible)
  • Complete list of works with first performances arranged chronologically.
Music Interview and Portfolio Review

Once the application in the Office of Admissions is complete, the School of Music Graduate Studies Committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the School's coordinator of graduate studies. The program advisor for composition will contact applicants selected for interview.

Each degree program has specific audition requirements. Acceptance into an area of study is exclusive to that area, and a separate application and audition is required for each area. Due to the intensive and individualized nature of a graduate program in music, admission in specific areas will be limited.

The Master of Music - Area of Study in Conducting has the following areas of emphasis:

  • Choral
  • Orchestral
  • Wind

Admission Information

Every applicant for admission must submit:

  • An electronic application form.
  • The application fee.
  • Official transcripts of all previous college and university work.
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An essay of 300-500 words on your professional goals
  • A professional résumé

In addition, applicants to the School of Music graduate programs in conducting must fulfill the following requirements prior to enrollment:

  • A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in music or music education.
  • An audition (by invitation only; see details below). Music education applicants submit additional materials in lieu of an audition.
  • One year or its equivalent of full-time teaching or conducting experience.

Applicants in conducting must submit:

  • A video recording which contains at least fifteen minutes of conducting, at least half of which should be of a performance.
  • A representative repertoire of works performed.
  • Music Audition.

Once the application in the Office of Admissions is complete, the School of Music Graduate Studies Committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the School's coordinator of graduate studies. The program advisor for the specific area of concentration will contact applicants selected for audition. Applicants will take a sight singing exam at the time of the audition.

Each area of conducting specialty has specific audition requirements outlined below. Acceptance into an area of study is exclusive to that area, and a separate application and audition is required for each area. Due to the intensive and individualized nature of a graduate program in music, admission in specific areas will be limited.

The conducting audition requires:

  • Choral: prepare a musical score(s) of at least ten minutes duration, know its musical structure and be able both to conduct it and to sing any musical line.
  • Orchestral: prepare the first movement of a Beethoven symphony, know its structure, and be able to conduct it.
  • Wind: prepare the Ralph Vaughan Williams "Folk Song Suite," know its musical structure, and be able to conduct it and to sing any musical line.
  • Optional for the conducting audition:
  • Choral: play at the piano the following: a five-minute piece of at least the level of difficulty of a Clementi sonatina; all major and minor scales, hands together, two octaves; a Bach chorale at sight; "My Country 'tis of Thee" in all keys with an improvised accompaniment of I, IV, V chords; sing two art songs, one in Italian and one in English.
  • Instrumental: perform a five-minute piece on an instrument of the applicant's choice that demonstrates a level of competence equivalent to a Bachelor of Music on that instrument.
  • Preference will be given to conductors who have performance expertise.

Every applicant for admission must submit:

  • An electronic application form
  • The application fee
  • Official transcripts of all previous college and university work
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An essay of 300-500 words on your professional goals
  • A professional résumé

In addition, applicants to the School of Music graduate program must fulfill the following requirements prior to enrollment:

  • A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in music or music education
  • An audition (by invitation only; see details below).

Applicants in jazz studies must also submit:

  • A representative repertoire of works performed
  • A recent recording that contains at least fifteen minutes of a live performance including a demonstration of your improvisational abilities.
Music Audition

Once the application in the Office of Admissions is complete, the School of Music Graduate Studies Committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the School's coordinator of graduate studies. The program advisor for jazz studies will contact applicants selected for an audition. 

Each degree program has specific audition requirements outlined below. Acceptance into an area of study is exclusive to that area, and a separate application and audition is required for each area. Due to the intensive and individualized nature of a graduate program in music, admission in specific areas will be limited.

The jazz studies audition requires a fifteen-minute performance of jazz repertoire that is diverse in style and shows improvisational abilities. Applicants will take a sight singing exam at the time of the audition.

Admission Information

Every applicant for admission must submit:

  • An electronic application form
  • The application fee
  • Official transcripts of all previous college and university work
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An essay of 300-500 words on your professional goals
  • A professional résumé

In addition to the above submitted materials, applicants must complete a free Tk20 Admission Application in order for their program application to be reviewed.  The link to the instructions can be found here:  http://usm.maine.edu/sites/default/files/educatorpreparation/How-to-Crea....

In addition, applicants to the School of Music graduate program must fulfill the following requirements prior to enrollment:

  • A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in music education
  • Music education applicants submit additional materials in lieu of an audition

Applicants in music education must submit:

  • A video recording that contains a ten- to -fifteen-minute teaching sequence from a classroom or rehearsal setting. Videotapes of concert performances will not be accepted.
  • A written, critical analysis of the teaching episode on the video recording
  • An essay of 1,000 words on a current topic in music education
Music Audition

There is no audition for music education. Once the application in the Office of Admissions is complete, the music education program advisor and the School of Music Graduate Studies Committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the School's coordinator of graduate studies.

Each degree program has specific audition requirements outlined below. Acceptance into an area of study is exclusive to that area, and a separate application and audition is required for each area. Due to the intensive and individualized nature of a graduate program in music, admission in specific areas will be limited.

Admission Information

For application instructions, go to http://usm.maine.edu/apply and find the Graduate Application Process.

Every applicant for admission must submit:

  • An electronic application form
  • The application fee
  • Official transcripts of all previous college and university work
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An essay of 300-500 words on your professional goals
  • A professional résumé

In addition, applicants to the School of Music graduate program in pedagogy must fulfill the following requirements prior to enrollment:

  • A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in music or music education
  • An audition (by invitation only; see details below).

Applicants in pedagogy must submit:

  • A complete repertoire list, specifying those works that have been performed
Music Audition

Once the application in the Office of Admissions is complete, the School of Music Graduate Studies Committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the School's coordinator of graduate studies. The program advisor for the pedagogy area will contact applicants selected for an audition.

Each degree program has specific audition requirements outlined below. Acceptance into an area of study is exclusive to that area, and a separate application and audition is required for each area. Due to the intensive and individualized nature of a graduate program in music, admission in specific areas will be limited.

The audition will include:

  • A performance audition of at least 15 minutes of music containing repertoire that represents various music styles according to the discipline of the student's applied area.
  • A sight singing exam will be taken by all students at the time of audition, demonstrating the ability to sight sing a melody and clap, tap or recite a rhythm pattern at sight.

Additionally, vocalists must perform from memory in English, Italian, and one (1) other language.

Vocalists must demonstrate the ability to play at the piano: I, IV, V, I chord progressions in keys up to 3 sharps and flats.

The Master of Music in Performance has the following concentrations:

  • Performance - Brass or Percussion
  • Performance - Organ
  • Performance - Piano
  • Performance - Strings
  • Performance - Voice
  • Performance - Woodwinds

Every applicant for admission must submit:

  • An electronic application form
  • The application fee
  • Official transcripts of all previous college and university work
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An essay of 300-500 words on your professional goals
  • A professional résumé

In addition, applicants to the School of Music graduate program must fulfill the following requirements prior to enrollment:

  • A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in music or music education
  • An audition (by invitation only; see details below).

Applicants in performance must also submit:

  • A complete repertoire, specifying those works that have been performed
  • A recent recording of a live performance
  • Vocal performance applicants must show evidence of completion of two semesters or equivalent of undergraduate Italian and two semesters or equivalent of either undergraduate French or German; show evidence of completion of undergraduate courses in Italian, French, and German diction
Music Audition

Once the application in the Office of Admissions is complete, the School of Music Graduate Studies Committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the School's coordinator of graduate studies. The program advisor for the specific performance area (brass, keyboards, percussion, strings, or voice) will contact applicants selected for an audition.

Each degree program has specific audition requirements outlined below. Acceptance into an area of study is exclusive to that area, and a separate application and audition is required for each area. Due to the intensive and individualized nature of a graduate program in music, admission in specific areas will be limited.

In addition to a sight singing exam taken by all students at the time of audition, specific requirements are:

  • Organ: perform three major works: one of J. S. Bach and one each from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; sight read an organ composition at the level of a Rheinberger trio.
  • Percussion: Timpani: play either an étude from Solo Timpanist (Vic Firth) or March (Carter); Drum: play an étude from First Twelve Études for Snare Drum (Deleceuse); Mallets: play a four-mallet solo and three orchestral excerpts.
  • Piano: perform from memory a major work of J. S. Bach (such as a suite, toccata, or prelude and fugue from the Well Tempered Clavier); a complete sonata by either Haydn, Mozart, or Beethoven; a major work from the nineteenth or twentieth century; sight read a piano composition at the level of a Haydn sonata.
  • Strings: perform the first movement (or equivalent) of a standard concerto (with cadenza); perform one movement from a nineteenth or twentieth century sonata; perform two contrasting movements from an unaccompanied work by Bach. It is recommended that at least one of the three excerpts be memorized. Harp and guitar performers may substitute an advanced étude of their choice for one of the above categories.
  • Winds: perform a complete concerto or sonata from the Classical era; perform one composition each from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; perform six standard orchestral excerpts.
  • Voice: perform a twenty-minute memorized recital of repertoire from various stylistic periods, including selections in Italian, French, German, and English; play at the piano the following chord progression: I, IV, V, I in all keys up to three sharps and three flats.