Program in Music Performance

Academic Unit

Program Information

The Program in Music Performance provides an opportunity for students study the performance of vocal or instrumental music (both jazz and classical), electronic music, and music composition in the context of a liberal arts education. It provides extensive opportunities for students to hone their skills through participation in department ensembles, recitals, studio instruction, and performance classes, and also provides a solid foundation in music history, theory, and composition. The program provides a solid foundation for students who may wish to pursue professional music training at the graduate level. 

Admission to the Program

The two-year program is open to rising juniors who can demonstrate in an audition a high level of proficiency in a performance medium such as an orchestral instrument, piano, electronic media, voice (either solo or consort singing), and jazz (voice or instrument), and conducting; students may also be accepted into the program in music composition or electronic music by submitting a satisfactory portfolio or its equivalent. MUS 105-106 is required for the certificate, and students are urged to fulfill this requirement as early as possible in their enrollment, preferably during the freshman or sophomore year. Under special circumstances, students may be able to place out of the course by demonstrating equivalent knowledge. Any student who wishes to postpone MUS 105-106 until their senior year must obtain special permission from one of the directors.  

Program of Study

In addition to MUS 105-106, students studying voice, instruments, or conducting in the Program in Music Performance take two elective courses from the music major requirements (additional courses in theory or music history), two performance courses in their area of specialization (MUS 213, 214, 216, 215, 219), present a major performance project in their junior or senior year (usually a recital), and take studio instruction, with full subsidy from the department, which must be taken for credit (MUS 289-290) at least once. Certificate students are also required to participate in Music Department ensembles as appropriate, including the Princeton University Orchestra, Glee Club, Chamber Choir, Jazz Ensembles, and the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk). 

Students focusing in music composition are required to take MUS 205-206 as their music electives.  Composition students take two 300-level courses in composition in lieu of the performance courses and write a composition as a major performance project under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Students also have access to private compositions lessons with Princeton University graduate students.  

Students focusing in electronic music are required to take two 200-level courses and two 300-level electronic music courses (MUS/COS 314, MUS 316, MUS 315) Additionally, students are required to participate in PLOrk and complete a senior thesis project in the form of software/hardware development, instrument design, or an electronic music composition. Students also have access to private compositions lessons with Princeton University graduate students.

Certificate of Proficiency

Students who fulfill the program requirements receive a certificate upon graduation.