Take your passion and talent for performing to a completely new level. As a master’s student in contemporary performance, you’ll hone your concert performance skills in a variety of styles with other advanced, highly proficient instrumentalists and vocalists. Students will also learn to master the unique demands performers face when working in a 21st-century studio, as well as the technological and entrepreneurial skills that are essential for the contemporary performer. Through study of music business and production, students will develop strategies for producing and marketing their performance projects.
This program is distinct from a jazz studies or contemporary performance degree in its approach: students are not limited to studying jazz or contemporary art music, but will work with master musicians in a variety of genres, such as salsa, rock, Afro-Cuban jazz, and bluegrass. Through applied lessons, small ensembles, master classes, and directed studies, students will deepen their understanding of the harmonic and stylistic practices associated with their chosen area of performance.
Students will perform, record, and develop a digital promotional package of their own music. This project may take a variety of forms: a compact disc, a lecture/demonstration, a grant proposal, a website marketing plan, or another option of the student’s devising.
Contemporary studio performance is a three-semester master’s program focusing on concert performance in a variety of styles and the professional production of performance projects in a variety of media with a sub-specialization in either music business or music technology. This program offers advanced studies to instrumentalists and vocalists who demonstrate excellent musical proficiency and desire to develop their performance career in any style. Students accepted into the program will perform frequently in a wide array of projects, including an emphasis on studio recording sessions. The goal of this program is to ensure that students have a well-rounded knowledge of performing, producing, and marketing their performance projects in a variety of media from the concert stage to various digital audiences. The final stage of this master of music degree is a concert and a digital promotional package of this performance.
*Course content is subject to change.
A PDF with course descriptions can be found here.
The master’s program runs from September to August. For a list of important dates for the upcoming intake, click here.
These are some examples of the career paths graduates can pursue:
- Concert artist
- Performing artist/teacher
- Performing artist/composer
- Performing artist/songwriter
- Performing artist/entrepreneur
- Music entrepreneur
Learn more about careers in Music Performance.
Who Are We Looking for?
We seek focused, motivated, creative candidates with excellent academic and professional backgrounds who can contribute skills that will benefit the program. Instrumentalists and vocalists must demonstrate excellent musical proficiency and a desire to develop their performance career in any style, with a proven track record of academic excellence. Students who want to learn about marketing and producing their music while continuing to develop as performers will highly benefit from this program.
Applicants are required to hold a bachelor of music degree, or a bachelor of arts degree with a major in music, with a good academic record. Applicants should demonstrate strong working knowledge of harmony, leadership qualities, sequencing skills, ensemble experience, motivation, intellectual curiosity, and the promise of great achievement in their area of study.
Application deadline: December 1, 2013
Audition/Interview Deadline*: February 1, 2014
Admissions decisions issued: March 1, 2014
Application deadline: March 31, 2014
Audition/Interview Deadline*: May 1, 2014
Admissions decisions issued: June 1, 2014
*You will be contacted by admissions to confirm your audition site and date.
1. Complete online application, turn in all required supplemental material and pay application fee.
2. If selected to continue in the admissions process, you will be invited for an audition and interview.
3. Final admissions decision made.
Program Specific Supporting Materials
In addition to completing all the steps listed on the admissions page, applicants to this program must submit the following:
- Please submit a link to a website where we can see the breadth and depth of your performance/ensemble skills. Examples may include youtube, myspace, personal website portfolio, etc.
For complete information about the admissions process, click here.
Auditions are only required for applicants to contemporary performance. Auditions are invitation only, to applicants selected by the Graduate Admissions Committee. You will be contacted to arrange an audition if you are chosen to continue in the admissions process.
During the audition, applicants will be assessed on their musicianship based on the following criteria:
- Demonstration of strong musical and technical skills
- Prepared piece should demonstrate significant understanding of musicality, expression, phrasing, appropriate articulation and displays excellent intonation and tonal quality
- Melodic and rhythmic play back
- If the audition is performed with an ensemble, the student will display the ability to work effectively and musically in a group performance situation
For more information about auditions, please check audition dates and locations. If it is difficult for you to make an audition, you may discuss alternative options with admissions.
Tuition and Related Costs
2013-2014 Academic Year
Waived for Berklee alumni
|Nonrefundable tuition deposit
To be credited towards tuition
|Required Software Fee
Late payment fee: $250
Late check-in fee: $250
The comprehensive fee covers services and facilities that augment the students’ academic experience and includes, but is not limited to, students’ required registration into the Spanish educational system, students’ compulsory health insurance, and a variety of other services and facilities to which students have access.
A $250 late payment fee will be applied to your account if full payment is not received by the due date indicated. Please keep in mind certain payment methods take longer to process than others and arrange accordingly.
Late Check-In Fee
Late check-in fee is applied if you do not check-in by 12 noon the first day of class each term.
Laptop and Software Requirements for the Master in Contemporary Studio Performance
Berklee College of Music requires all entering master’s students to own a laptop computer that meets certain standards established by the college’s academic and technology leadership. For over half a century, Berklee College of Music has been committed to preparing our students for the musical, technological, and business necessities of the world they will be entering. We firmly believe the laptop and software requirements stated in the below PDF provide students with a unique resource that will maximize the potent music education available only at Berklee and will help prepare students for successful entry into the music industry. Entering students should follow the information specific to their program.
You can find the laptop and software requirements for the 2013 intake in this PDF.
Is the GRE or the GMAT required to apply for this program?
The GRE or the GMAT is not required to apply for this program.
I have an undergraduate degree from Berklee College of Music. Is there a special process for me to apply to this master’s degree program?
The process is the same as for any other applicant.
Can I transfer credits from another institution?
Credits may not be transferred to this program.