You will study five core modules:
Advanced Performance 1
This module is for advanced performers who are approaching a professional standard. Your performance skills will be honed through individual tuition with an expert on your instrument or voice. The module culminates in a recital which helps to establish technical skills needed for Advanced Performance 2 and other MA performance modules.
Assessment: 10 minute recital
Advanced Performance 2
Following on from Advanced Performance 1, your performance skills will be honed through further individual tuition with an expert on your instrument or voice, together with academic supervision that will support you in researching and delivering a Lecture Recital, in which you explore a chosen programme of music from historical, analytical, and interpretative perspectives.
Assessment: 20 minute lecture recital (10 minute performance + 10 minute lecture).
Performance Skills 1
This module runs in the autumn term. It is intended to develop skills that will complement and enhance performances given in other MA performance modules. You will attend a series of seminars exploring topics in Musicians' Health and Wellbeing, which focus on the physical and psychological elements of performance. You will deliver a presentation summarising the key skills and techniques explored in the seminars, relating them to your own performance practice. You will also attend Barber Concerts and critically reflect on professional performances through writing reviews of select concerts.
Assessment: 10 minute oral presentation and concert reviews (500 words per concert).
Performance Skills 2
This module runs in the spring semester. Following on from Performance Skills 1, Performance Skills 2 is again intended to develop skills that will complement and enhance performances given in other MA performance modules. You will attend a series of 'Performance Platform' classes, where students perform for one another, analyse and critically reflect on peer performances, and receive feedback and coaching from professional performers. Emphasis is placed on discussion and workshopping of stagecraft, presentation, and communication in performance. Your assessment - a performance and short presentation - will require you to apply to your own performance work the skills and techniques learned in the Musicians' Health and Wellbeing Seminars (autumn semester), as well as the feedback received during Performance Platform sessions (spring semester). You will also attend further Barber Concerts and produce reviews of select concerts.
Assessment: Ten-minute performance and five-minute presentation, and concert reviews (500 words per concert).
Music Employability offers opportunities to develop applicable skills to foster a music career and identify transferable skills for adjacent career trajectories. You will improve grant writing skills, cultivate public presentation skills, acquire skills in content creation, and explore new means of self-promotion. Using a combination of seminar discussions, masterclasses, and project-based work, you will draw on the resources of the University of Birmingham Careers Network and connections to the wider city community to pursue topics that may include leadership cultivation, digital literacy, professional development, copyright awareness, public presentation tools, podcast and video creation, and website development.
Assessment: Professional Development Statement and Portfolio and Creative Project
You will also choose two optional modules from a range which typically includes:
- Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art
- Historically Informed Performance
- Topics in Early Music
- Electronic Music Studies
- British Music in Performance
- Introduction to Global Popular Musics
- Sound Studies
- Sonic Alchemy: Live Electronic and Mixed Music Ensemble
- Fieldwork Methods
- Classical and Romantic Keyboard Music
- Gustav Mahler: The Philosophy of Music
- Postsocialist Music and Ethnography
For more information, see our Music module descriptions.
In addition to your taught modules, you will present a substantial solo recital, 45 minutes in length, which is delivered near the end of the MA programme. The recital offers you the opportunity to unite practical and theoretical musicianship, and to demonstrate the ability to plan and independently prepare a performance at an advanced level, with supervision through further individual tuition with an expert on your instrument or voice. Students are also required attend and to write short summaries of research seminars presented during the academic year.
Please note that the optional module information listed on the website for this programme is intended to be indicative, and the availability of optional modules may vary from year to year. Where a module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you to make other choices.