New Degree Programs

The University of Saskatchewan Department of Music is pleased to announce a new graduate degree entitled Master of Music in Music Education and a new M.Mus. Performance degree in Conducting.

The Master of Music in Music Education degree will focus on the development of specific music educational philosophy and skill at the graduate level in a choice of Course-Based and Thesis-based streams. Students in the Course-Based stream will take 30 credit units including a 3-credit Capstone course (EMUS 911.3); students in the Thesis-Based stream will take 15 credit units plus a major thesis (EMUS 994).

The Master of Music in Performance (Conducting) is a project-based program consisting of 24 credit units and is designed to allow students to focus on repertoire, technique and leadership in a wind band or choral setting. Students will receive regular conducting lessons and have ample podium time with Department ensembles to hone and improve their skills. Large and small ensemble conducting will be available as part of the overall experience.

Any questions regarding these two new degrees can be sent to:

Dr. Jennifer Lang, Chair of Music Education, jennifer.lang@usask.ca, (306) 966-6812

Dr. Glen Gillis, glen.gillis@usask.ca, (306) 966-8356

Dr. Darrin Oehlerking, darrin.oehlerking@usask.ca, (306) 966-1370

Allison Fairbairn, Admissions Coordinator, allison.fairbairn@usask.ca

General Information

Graduate degrees in Music at the University of Saskatchewan are an opportunity for students to do intensive one-on-one study with experienced scholars and performing artists with particular specialties in piano, collaborative piano, voice, strings, brass, and woodwinds. Our conducting program centres on choral conducting or instrumental conducting depending on the goals of the student. Our musicology and theory programs focus primarily on 18th, 19th, and 20th century classical repertoire, though individual study paths may be possible in consultation with our graduate committee.

Each program culminates in a project, recital, or thesis, depending on the discipline and degree.  Courses are carefully tailored to each student by the graduate committee to complement studies in the major areas.

Generous graduate scholarships are available and are awarded on the basis of excellence and potential in the area of specialization.  Teaching assistantships may be applied for and are awarded on the basis of proven competency in teaching.

The Department of Music offers programs in music theory, conducting, and performance leading to a Master of Music (M.Mus.), in music education leading to a Master of Music Education (M.Mus. Ed.), and in musicology leading to a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree.

Our Master of Music in Performance is available for performers in piano, collaborative piano, voice, strings, brass, or woodwinds. The conducting M.Mus in Performance may be completed with an emphasis in choral conducting or wind band conducting. This program requires 24 credit units and is project-based, culminating in a final recital in the area of study.

The M.Mus program in music theory and the M.A. program in musicology require 15 credit units plus a thesis. Certain areas of concentration also include the successful completion of a comprehensive examination and a foreign language(s). The normal time for completion is two years, including a one-year residency. The M.Mus in Music Education is offered as a course-based or thesis-based program.

A meaningful graduate experience is enhanced by participating in professional activities.  Toward that end, the University of Saskatchewan offers the annual Fine Arts Research Lecture Series in Music, providing a forum for the exchange of scholarly ideas through the presentation of scholarly research in formal papers and lecture recitals prepared by both members of the Department of Music and guests from the national and international scholarly community. 

For further information, please contact the Department of Music:

Dean McNeill
Department of Music Head
music.depthead@usask.ca
Educ 1045

Dr. Veronique Mathieu
Graduate Chair
veronique.mathieu@usask.ca
Educ 1103

Allison Fairbairn
Pre-Application Program Inquiries
allison.fairbairn@usask.ca
Williams Building 202.3

Ashley Taylor
Application Admin Support
asg.gradapplications@usask.ca
Arts 518

Nadine Penner
Graduate Admin Assistant
 asg.graduateprograms@usask.ca
Arts 518

Admission Information

Admission Requirements

Degree requirement: A Bachelor of Music (Honours), or equivalent, with a cumulative average of 70% in the final 60 credit units (last 2 years). 

Further information regarding application requirements

We recommend that you review the current Music faculty members to determine if a faculty member is doing research in an area that interests you before beginning a formal application. For questions about a potential supervisor, please contact Allison Fairbairn to discuss options and she will recommend if you should start a formal application. For all other application inquiries, please contact Ashley Taylor at asg.gradapplications@usask.ca.

Complete the on-line application which includes listing three referees and paying the application fee. Read through the application steps and then click “Apply Now” at the bottom of the web page. http://www.usask.ca/cgsr/applying/index.php

Upload the following supporting application materials to your on-line application:

  • 1-2 page statement of intent which describes your prior academic background, readiness to undertake the desired program, and the purpose/rationale for wanting to enroll in the program.
  • a CV (resume)

FOR M.MUS IN MUSIC EDUCATION programs, upload:

  • a two-page (maximum) letter detailing the specific reasons for pursuing graduate study and outlining a music education philosophy
  • C.V. typically, it would be expected that the CV would demonstrate a minimum of two years of successful teaching experience or equivalent professional involvement in music education

FOR MMUS in PERFORMANCE program, upload:

  • one example of academic writing (e.g. term paper) within the final two years of BMus program (or equivalent).
  • a comprehensive list of works studied to date in the principal applied area (as an undergraduate student and post-degree, as appropriate). Indicate (with an asterisk) all works performed or conducted publicly.
  • an audition submission. Provide a link to where the video file is located, attach a compressed (zip) video file or send a DVD (by mail) made within the last 12 months (at least 45 min in length).  Preference is to provide a live audition (if logistically possible). If unable to upload due to size/format restrictions, please email to asg.gradapplications@usask.ca

FOR MMUS in THEORY and MA MUSICOLOGY programs,:

  • two examples of academic writing (e.g. term papers) within the final two years of BMus program (or equivalent), illustrating the applicant’s methodology and research skills. [For MMus theory only one paper is required]
  • all post-secondary official transcripts sent directly from the institution. If applicable, please also provide an official translated version.  Copies or scanned versions can be emailed to asg.gradapplications@usask.ca while we wait for official versions
  • official test results of proof of English language proficiency from applicants from non-English speaking countries (eg. TOEFL, IELTS). For details, click here

GRADUATE ASSESSMENT TESTS:

All students entering MMus degree programs in the Department of Music at the University of Saskatchewan are required to sit two Graduate Assessment Tests, the one in Music History, and the other in Music Theory. These tests are held prior to the commencement of classes in advance of the initial semester of study in their MMus program. Students who earned a BMus degree from the University of Saskatchewan are exempted from sitting these two Graduate Assessment Tests.

Graduate Assessment Test: Music History

The Graduate Assessment Test in Music History assesses students’ knowledge of the history of Western music from the medieval period to the present, including intersections (in the twentieth century and later) with popular music, film music, and jazz.  

Multiple-choice and short answer questions:

  • Topics for these questions include musical terminology (including styles, genres, forms, and instruments), the periods of Western music history, and composers

 Written responses:

  • Students will be asked to write two responses (1-2 pages each) from a choice of five writing prompts
  • Topics may be drawn from all periods of Western music history
  • Topics may include important styles and genres, musical cultures, and the works and style of particular composers

 Score identification:

  • Students will be given three one-page score excerpts and will attempt to identify the composer, genre, and century of the work. Emphasis will be placed on students' explanation of their reasoning for their choices.
  • Scores may be drawn from all periods of Western music history

Students who have used any number of College- or University-level textbooks, and have successfully completed a two- to four-semester music history sequence ought to be well prepared for the GAT in Music History. For students who wish to review or prepare for the test, any of the following textbooks (as well as a number of other possibilities) would be suitable:

  • J. Peter Burkholder, Donald Jay Grout, and Claude V. Palisca, A History of Western Music (New York: W.W. Norton, 2019)
  • Barbara Russano Hanning, Concise History of Western Music (New York: W.W. Norton, 2014)
  • Christopher H. Gibbs and Richard Taruskin, The Oxford History of Western Music (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018)

Material on the Graduate Assessment Test (Music History) is taught in MUS 150, MUS 151, and MUS 250.

Graduate Assessment Test: Music Theory

The Graduate Assessment Test in Music Theory assesses students’ knowledge of Western music theory with a primary focus on common-practice traditions and a secondary focus on post common-practice traditions.

Part Writing:

  • ability to complete four-part chorale style exercises (SATB) where either a soprano, or a bass line is provided
  • common-practice and post common-practice vocabulary
  • level of difficulty: aligns with student learning objectives covered through a three- or a four-semester music theory sequence

Analysis:

  • ability to provide a Roman-numeral, figured-bass analysis of a Bach-style chorale, while also identifying all non-chord tones, and all cadences
  • the chorale features chromaticism

Form:

  • a movement of a sonata is given. Students are to provide an overview of the movement, identifying its formal type, and are also required to identify crucial aspects of the formal design, the location of significant tonal centres, and how those tonal centres align with the principal key of the movement. Should the movement prove not to be in a conventional key, other markers of its pitch design must need to identified.

Students who have used any number of College- or University-level textbooks, and have successfully completed either a three- or a four-semester sequence of Music Theory (usually covering the first two years of a BMus degree program) ought to be well prepared for the GAT in Music Theory.

In preparing for the Graduate Assessment Test (Music Theory) students are directed to the following website: http://ocw.usask.ca/AR/MUS/, where they are encouraged to read the descriptions associated with MUS 133, MUS 134, MUS 233, and MUS 234. Material on the Graduate Assessment Test (Music Theory) is taught in MUS 133, MUS 134, MUS 233, and MUS 234.

Additional Funding

NSERC

The objective of the Canada Graduate Scholarships-Master’s (CGS M) Program is to help develop research skills and assist in the training of highly qualified personnel by supporting students who demonstrate a high standard of achievement in undergraduate and early graduate studies.