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M.A. in Music (Performance)

Our 36-credit Master of Arts in Music with a concentration in Performance is geared toward candidates with a strong background in solo instrumental, vocal, or conducting performance. This plan of study is based substantially on courses and activities with performance emphasis. Advanced instruction in applied music, coaching, conducting, master classes and workshops are offered as well as opportunities in solo, chamber, and various large ensemble performances.

A thesis with performance component is required to complete this degree program.

As a student in this program, you will work with faculty members who are active musicians with flourishing professional careers and extensive networking connections in the music world. In addition, you will have access to workshops and master classes conducted by high-profile musical artists from New York City and around the world. Music majors also perform on national and international tours organized and led by their professors. You also will have the opportunity to participate in one or more of LIU Post’s performing ensembles, including groups that specialize in contemporary, traditional and early music styles.

Qualities that Set Our Program Apart

  • You will work with some of the most talented and successful musicians and teachers in the New York metro area. Our faculty members are active musicians and teachers, and they represent some of the most cutting-edge and high profile people in the profession.
  • Our proximity to New York City and connection to Tilles Center for the Performing Arts at the LIU Post Campus will give you direct access to a wide variety of outstanding professional music-making in the form of concerts, workshops, master classes and collaborative projects. Recent musical artists who have worked with our students include: the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Chanticleer Choral Ensemble, Shanghai String Quartet, Bobby McFerrin, United States "President's Own" Marine Band, New York Voices, United States Air Force Band, guitarist David Leisner, flutist Sir James Galway, jazz artist Paquito D’Rivera, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
  • You will have an opportunity to make music as a soloist, chamber musician and large ensemble member both on campus, and as part of our domestic and international touring program.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to this Master of Arts program must meet the following requirements for admission:

  • Have an undergraduate major in music or must have a minimum of 30 credits in music classes
  • Hold a Bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average in undergraduate studies or successful completion of another master's degree. Applicants who do not meet this academic requirement will be reviewed individually by the program director. Based on a review of all credentials, students may be offered limited matriculation status
  • Submit an Application for Admission
  • Submit an Application fee: (non-refundable)
  • Submit a current résumé
  • Submit official copies of undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts from any colleges or universities attended
  • Submit a personal statement that addresses reasons for pursuing graduate work in this area of study
  • Applicants for whom English is a second language must submit official score results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The required minimum acceptable TOEFL score is 79, the required minimum IELTS score is 6.5.
  • An audition is required for applicants to the Performance Concentration. Audition requirements for this concentration are listed below. In addition, dependent on past academic records and performance, applicants may be asked to appear before a faculty member or panel, either individually or as a participant in a group situation, for assessment of interpersonal and musicianship skills. If an applicant is asked to appear and his or her location makes it difficult to meet a faculty member or panel during the application process, he or she may be conditionally accepted on a limited matriculated basis, with full matriculation dependent on the results of the required personal interview and assessment of interpersonal and musicianship skills to be done at a later date

Graduate applicants should send their admissions materials to:
LIU Post
Attn: Graduate Admissions
720 Northern Boulevard
Brookville, NY 11548-1300

International applicants should send their admissions materials to:
International Admissions
LIU Post
720 Northern Boulevard
Brookville, NY 11548-1300 USA

Auditions for Admission

An audition is required for applicants interested in pursuing the M.A. in Music with a Concentration in Performance.

Audition Days will be posted on the university’s website and routinely updated in print media. Alternate dates by appointment.

Auditions will be held in the LIU Post Fine Arts Center. Here are directions to the campus and a campus map.

You can register to audition by completing this online Audition Registration Form. To register by phone or schedule an appointment for an alternate date, call 516-299-2475 or contact us through email at

Note: Performance applicants from abroad or distant geographical regions for whom travel to LIU Post to audition is not possible should submit a video recording of their audition performance either on DVD or via a web link (such as YouTube video) in lieu of a live audition. Audio-only recordings will not be accepted.

Audition Requirements

Professional attire is expected.

You may choose to perform a classical or jazz audition according to the course of study you wish to follow.

For Instrumentalists (Classical):

  • Two pieces of contrasting styles. These could be two complete pieces or individual movements from two different works.
  • Sight-reading.
  • Additional requirements as deemed necessary by area director.
  • Percussionists: audition repertoire should include: (1) advanced snare drum solo; (2) two- mallet keyboard piece (marimba, xylophone, or vibraphone); (3) two-drum timpani piece.

For Instrumentalists (Jazz):

  • Demonstrate knowledge of scales and arpeggios.
  • Sight-read an excerpt from a big band or combo arrangement.
  • Perform (3) jazz compositions or standards of your choosing. Your 3 selections must include one up-tempo selection, one medium tempo and one ballad. We recommend that one of your selections be a different feel other than swing; i.e. samba, straight eighth, cha-cha, etc. One of your selections must be a blues. Please be prepared to play the melody and improvise on each tune (only a half-chorus is necessary on the ballad).
  • Bassists: demonstrate your ability to play a "two-feel" and "walk" a bass line on each selection. Ability to demonstrate different Latin styles is encouraged. Doubling on electric bass is highly recommended. If you only play eclectic bass, we will encourage you to also study upright bass upon entering the program.
  • Drummers: demonstrate the ability to use brushes on your ballad selection. You will be also asked to trade "4's" or "8's" on your medium or up-tempo selection. Ability to demonstrate different Latin styles is encouraged.
  • Guitarists/Pianists: demonstrate your ability to "comp" on each selection.
  • Presenting original compositions at your audition is highly recommended but not required.

For Vocalists (Classical):

  • Two pieces of contrasting styles. One selection must be in a language other than English. The other Classical selection may be in English if desired, or another foreign language.
  • Exploration of vocal range and aural abilities.

For Vocalists (Jazz):

  • Two choruses of a medium swing jazz standard. Sing the melody and lyrics as notated on the first chorus and then embellish or improvise (scat) on some portion of the second chorus.
  • A ballad from the Great American Songbook.

Accompanist: An accompanist will be provided if you require one, or you may bring your own accompanist if you wish.

M.A. in Music (Performance) Degree Requirements
Required Music Course
MUS 608 Seminar in Musicology 3.00
Elective Performance Courses
12 credits from the following:
MUS 538A-Q Any Ensemble Course 1.00
MUS 539 Instrumental Performance Workshop 1.00
MUS 549 Vocal Performance Workshop 1.00
MUS 659 Institutes & Workshops in Music: Chamber Music Festival 1.00-3.00
MUS 710A Chamber Music Ensembles 1.00
MUS 545 Alexander Tecnhnique 2.00
MUS 557A-D Any Studio Lesson in Coaching 1.00-2.00
MUS 750-788A-D Any Studio Lesson 1.00-2.00
MUS 630 Any Conducting Course or Studio Lesson 1.00-2.00
MUS 679A-B Any Conducting Course or Studio Lesson 1.00-2.00
Elective Music History & Literature Courses
Two of the following:
MUS 540 Criteria for Musical Performance 3.00
MUS 600 Opera History 3.00
MUS 601 Seminar in the History of Music I 3.00
MUS 602 Seminar in the History of Music II 3.00
MUS 603 Seminar in the History of Music III 3.00
MUS 604 Seminar in the History of Music IV 3.00
MUS 605 The Role of the Symphony in the History of Music 3.00
Elective Music Theory & Composition Courses
Two of the following:
MUS 518 The Study of Musical Form 3.00
MUS 520 Jazz Composition and Arranging 3.00
MUS 611 Polyphonic and Harmonic Analysis 3.00
MUS 613 Seminar Harmony and Counterpoint 3.00
MUS 616 Analysis of 20th Century Music 3.00
MUS 619 Seminar in Composition 3.00
MUS 645 Orchestration 3.00
Required Music Thesis Courses
MUS 707 Research Methods 3.00
MUS 708 Thesis Seminar 3.00
Free Electives (3 credits)
Can be filled with 3 credits from any other graduate music course.


College of Arts, Communications & Design
Dr. Jennifer Holmes, Dean
Kahn 100, Kahn Hall