students playing the cello instrument wearing black dress

Performance, MM

Earn a Master of Music (MM) in Performance at Azusa Pacific University

You’ll enhance your musical career with graduate-level training and experiences, including performance opportunities in renowned ensembles and lessons with world-class musicians. Further hone your abilities with a specialization in piano and organ, vocal performance, instrumental performance. You’ll have access to the greater Los Angeles area—a hub of diverse venues and opportunities—graduating equipped with rigorous performance preparation to thrive in your career as a professional musician.

Program at a Glance

The School of Music nurtures students’ faith and talents to develop and excel as world-class music professionals.

Application Deadline

  • Spring Semester: October 15 (priority), December 1 (standard)
  • Fall Semester: March 15 (priority), June 1 (standard)

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Program Information

  • Program Units: 30-36
  • Cost per Unit: $684
  • Base Cost: $20,520-$24,624

Location

  • Azusa (Main Campus)
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Choir singing

Gain Hands-on Experience

  • Excel in your musical craft with our world-renowned faculty.
  • Foster professional connections with faculty-mentors in small class sizes.
  • Perform in choral or instrumental ensembles to increase your experience and skill.
  • Take advantage of performance opportunities in L.A., in all music genres from classical to pop.
  • Integrate faith and musicianship.

By the Numbers

1 of 126 Best Western Colleges according to Princeton Review's 2023 Best Colleges Guide
10 :1 Student-to-faculty ratio
100 % of incoming students receive financial aid

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Program Details

The Master of Music in Performance allows emphasis in several areas, including instrumental performance, piano and organ performance, vocal performance, and keyboard collaborative arts.

Browse the tabs below—if you have questions, visit the Student Services Center page, and we’ll make sure you get the info you need.

Application Deadlines

Entering Spring

Priority Deadline – October 15tudents
Applications are reviewed as they are received and applicants are encouraged to apply by this date for the first priority for admission and scholarship opportunities.

Standard Deadline – December 1
Applications will be reviewed and considered for remaining scholarship funds available. Applications submitted after this date are welcome and reviewed for admission and scholarships as cohort space and scholarship funds permit.

Entering Fall

Priority Deadline – March 15
Applications are reviewed as they are received and applicants are encouraged to apply by this date for the first priority for admission and scholarship opportunities.

Standard Deadline – June 1
Applications will be reviewed and considered for remaining scholarship funds available. Applications submitted after this date are welcome and reviewed for admission and scholarships as cohort space and scholarship funds permit.

Note: The standard deadline for the fall 2020 semester has been extended to July 31.

Admission RequirementsDomestic Applicants

The university graduate and program admission requirements below must be met before an application is considered complete.

Applicants must possess:

  • Bachelor’s degree in music from an NASM-accredited university or conservatory by the date of entrance
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with a GPA between 2.5–2.99 may be considered for provisional admission.

Applicants must submit:

  • Graduate application for admission
  • $45 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official transcripts from all institutions leading to and awarding the applicant’s bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and all postbaccalaureate study


    An official transcript is one that Azusa Pacific University receives unopened in an envelope sealed by the former institution and that bears the official seal of the college or university. A cumulative minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade-point average on the posted degree is required for regular admission status. Provisional admittance may be granted to individuals with a lower GPA if competency can be shown through multiple measures.
  • Résumé or statement of experience including academic experience and employment in the music field and professional organizations. Performance majors, please include a repertory list of major performance areas.
  • Letter of intent (500-1,000 words) addressed to the Associate Chair of Graduate Studies that answers the following questions:
  • Please share your interest in studying music as it relates to your emphasis (conducting, performance, composition, music education) at APU.
  • What are your career goals, and how would this degree assist you?
  • Share a significant experience with a work of music.
  • What is your understanding on the relationship between music and religion?
  • Two letters of recommendation: one from an academic and/or professional source, and one from a personal source (no family members).

Send official transcripts to:

Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000
[email protected]

Applicantion is not complete without:

  • Complete an entrance exam to qualify for admission. Contact Alisa Barsegyan at [email protected] for requirements.
  • Schedule an audition for your area of performance (vocal, guitar, keyboard collaborative arts, percussion, piano, strings, winds/brass). View the audition requirements below.

What to Expect

After all admission materials have been received by the Student Services Center, the faculty or department chair reviews the applicant’s file. The applicant is notified in writing of the admission decision.

Admission RequirementsInternational Applicants

Azusa Pacific University is authorized under federal law by the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services and the U.S. Department of State to enroll nonimmigrant, alien undergraduate and graduate students. APU issues and administers both the I-20 and DS 2019 (F-1 and J-1 status documents respectively).

To apply for a graduate program at APU, the following requirements must be fulfilled in addition to meeting the domestic applicant and program-specific admission requirements specified above.

International Applicants must also:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in English through a placement test with the Academic Success Center, or through a TOEFL/IELTS score that meets program-specific requirements. Refer to APU’s English proficiency requirements to learn more. Request that official test scores be sent to APU. All other forms of proof indicated in the English proficiency requirements must be submitted directly to International Services.
  • Provide a Graduate Affidavit of Financial Support (PDF) and a bank statement from within the last six months proving financial ability to pay for education costs through personal, family, or sponsor resources.
  • Submit a copy of a valid passport showing biographical data, including your name, country of citizenship, date of birth, and other legal information.
  • Get foreign transcripts evaluated. International credentials (transcripts, certificates, diplomas, and degrees) must be evaluated by a foreign transcript evaluation agency. View our policy and a list of approved Foreign Transcript Evaluation Agencies.

Send official transcripts to:

Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000
[email protected]

What to Expect

After all admission materials have been received by the Student Services Center (SSC), the faculty or department chair reviews the applicant’s file. The applicant is notified in writing of the admission decision.

Many financial aid options are available to make your music performance degree affordable.

Tuition
Tuition (per unit) $684
Units 30-36
Base Program Cost $20,520–$24,624

Estimated Cost Breakdown

See the tables below for the tuition charges and fees that comprise your estimated total program cost.

Tuition and Fees
  Cost
Graduate Application Fee for U.S. Students $45
Graduate Application Fee for International Students $45
Tuition ($684/unit) $20,520–$24,624
Audit (per unit) half-price tuition
Music: Private Applied Voice, Instrument, Conducting, or Composition $350
Intent to Commence and/or Graduate Fee $100

View a complete list of university fees.

All stated financial information is subject to change. Contact Student Services Center (SSC) at (626) 815-2020, for more information.

Paying for Your Program

APU offers a variety of ways to help you pay for your graduate program. From scholarships and grants, to loans and company reimbursement, we're committed to being sure that cost doesn't keep you from reaching your educational goals.

Learn more about the financial aid opportunities available to you.

Scholarships are available in all disciplines.

To view specific requirements and coursework information, visit the current academic catalog:

Vocal

Applicants must schedule an audition time and perform the following:

  • Three art songs and two arias (one may be from an oratorio)
  • Four language requirements: Representation of German, French, Italian, and English
  • Style requirements: The repertoire presented should reflect a variety of time periods and styles, tempos, moods, and characters. One piece must be written in a contemporary idiom; works written after 1950 by Stravinsky or Schoenberg, for example, would be suitable.

Please contact Alisa Barsegyan at [email protected] to schedule an audition time.

Guitar

Applicants must schedule an audition time and perform the following:

  • One of any of the Bach violin, cello or lute suites, or the “Prelude, Fugue and Allegro, BWV 998”
  • One larger work of contrasting style, either a sonata or theme and variations from the classical period by Sor, Giuliani, or Aguado; or a larger work by a more modern composer such as Ponce, Tansman, Brouwer Tedesco, or Villa-Lobos.

Please contact Alisa Barsegyan at [email protected] to schedule an audition time.

Keyboard Collaborative Arts

Applicants must perform the following:

  • One complete solo work, performed from memory
  • One complete instrumental sonata
  • One opera aria
  • Three art songs of varied style and language

Applicants may also be required to demonstrate sight-reading skills. All sonatas must be performed with an instrumentalist. All songs and arias must be performed with a singer. The applicant is expected to provide his or her own musical partners.

Please contact Alisa Barsegyan at [email protected] to schedule an audition time.

Percussion

Applicants for the music performance degree must schedule an audition time and may select from the following list of books that are highly recommended for use in auditioning. You are not limited to this list; you may use anything comparable in level and content. As a Master of Music candidate you are expected to perform on all of the following instruments (drumset is optional).

Snare Drum: Portraits in Rhythm by Anthony Cirone, Advanced Snare Drum Studies by Mitchell Peters, Douze Etudes pour Cassie Claire by Jacques Delecluse. Also be prepared to sight-read.

Keyboard Percussion: A 2-mallet transcription of any Bach work; a 4-mallet solo, grade 5 or higher such as those by Abe, Musser, Stout, etc. Also be prepared to demonstrate major/minor scales and to sight-read.

Timpani: Modern Method for Timpani by Saul Goodman, Fundamental Method for Timpani by Mitchell Peters, Exercises, Etudes and Solos for Timpani by Raynor Carroll, or something comparable. Also be prepared to sight-read.

Drumset (optional): Jazz Drumset auditions consist of the applicant being able to demonstrate rhythmic and “groove” competency in the following musical styles:

  • 4/4 swing at a variety of tempos
  • Shuffle
  • Funk, Hip Hop and Rock styles at a variety of tempos
  • Funk, Hip Hop and Rock styles at a variety of tempos
  • Samba and Bossa Nova
  • Mambo, Songo etc.
  • Afro-Cuban 6/8

Additional skills assessed during the Jazz Drumset audition:

  • Brush technique
  • Knowledge of form and repertoire
  • “Trading Fours” in each of the above styles
  • Solo based on the form of a jazz standard
  • Sight-reading big band charts

Please contact Alisa Barsegyan at [email protected] to schedule an audition time.

Piano

Applicants must schedule an audition time and perform the following:

  • One Prelude and Fugue from The Well Tempered Clavier by J.S. Bach
  • One complete classical sonata by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven or Schubert (excluding Beethoven “Opus 49”)
  • One large-scale work from the Romantic period
  • One virtuoso etude

The applicant may also be required to demonstrate sight-reading skills.

Please contact Alisa Barsegyan at [email protected] to schedule an audition time.

Strings

Students preparing for an audition on Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, or Harp should prepare the following:

  • Three octave major scales of your choice
  • One movement of a standard concerto, or an equivalent work
  • One other work of your choice, preferably a movement of a Bach Sonata, Partita, or Suite
  • Sight reading

Please contact Alisa Barsegyan at [email protected] to schedule an audition time.

Winds/Brass

Please contact Alisa Barsegyan at [email protected] to schedule an audition time.

Woodwinds

Two to three selections of solo literature representing various stylistic periods of music should be prepared. If any of the selections are taken from a multi-movement work, applicants need only prepare one movement of each piece, unless otherwise indicated. The repertoire listed below are faculty preferences but not required.

Flute

  • Bach: B minor Sonata
  • Mozart: Concerto in D Major or G Major
  • Dutilleux: Sonatine
  • Prokofiev: Sonata

Oboe

  • Mozart: Concerto in C Major
  • Strauss: Concerto
  • Dorati: Cinq Pieces Pour Le Hautbois

Bassoon

  • Mozart: Concerto in B flat Major
  • Vivaldi: Concerto in E minor or A minor
  • Milde: Scale Studies and Etudes

Clarinet

  • Brahms: Sonatas No. 1 and 2
  • Mozart: Concerto, K. 622
  • Debussy: Premiere Rhapsodie
  • Stravinsky: Three Pieces
  • Weber: Concertos No. 1 or 2, Grand Duo Concertant
  • Rose: 32 Etudes

Saxophone

  • Creston: Sonata, Rhapsodie
  • Glazounov: Concerto
  • Heiden: Sonata
  • Ibert: Concertino de Camera
  • Muczynski: Sonata
  • Bozza: Etudes
  • Ferling: Etudes
  • Karg: Etudes

Percussion

Snare Drum

  • Etudes by Cirone, Peters, Delecuse

Multiple Percussion

  • Solo pieces by Kraft or other approved composers

Marimba

  • Bach: Sonata
  • Multiple mallet solos by approved composers
  • Concertos by approved composers

Timpani

  • Solos by Carroll, Carter, or other approved composers

Brass

Trumpet

  • Fasch: Concerto in D
  • Haydn: Trumpet Concerto
  • Hummel: Trumpet Concerto
  • Honegger: Intrada
  • Charlier: Etudes

French Horn

  • Bach: Selection from Cello Suite
  • Beethoven: Sonata
  • Bozza: En Fore
  • Gallay: Etudes
  • Gliere: Concerto
  • Hindemith: Concerto
  • Kling: Etudes
  • Alphonse: Books 4-6
  • Mozart: Horn Concerto No. 2 or No. 3
  • Strauss: Concerto No. 1 or No. 2
  • V. Reynolds: 48 Etudes

Trombone

  • Bourgeois: Concerto
  • Bozza: Ballade
  • Ewazen: Sonata
  • Grondahl: Concerto
  • Saint-Saens: Cavatine
  • Hindemith: Sonata (1st or 3rd mvt)
  • DeFaye: Deux Danses
  • Ewazen: Sonata
  • Martin: Ballade
  • Rimsky Korsakov: Concerto (1st mvt)
  • Bach: Unaccompanied Cello Suites

Tuba

  • Bordogni: Solfeggi for Tuba
  • Broughton: Sonata
  • Plog: Three Miniatures
  • Vaughan Williams: Concerto
  • Williams: Concerto
  • Excerpts:
    • Berlioz: Overture to Benvenuto Cellini (#16 to 5 measures after #19)
    • Gershwin: An American in Paris (#67 to #68)
    • Respighi: Fountains of Rome (#11 to #14; 13 measures after #14 to Largamente)

If you have questions, we’re here to help! Connect with a representative who can walk you through the program details and application process.

Contact Your Admissions Representative

Additional Program Contact

Alisa Barsegyan, [email protected], (626) 387-5725

School of Music

Phone

(626) 815-3848

Fax

(626) 969-7419

Mail

School of Music
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000

Hours

Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

 

Student Services Center

Contact (626) 812-3016 or [email protected], and visit apu.edu/ssc for details on the admissions process, financial aid, and class registration.

International Services

International students should contact +1-626-812-3055 or [email protected], and visit apu.edu/international/.

  • Azusa Pacific University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). 
  • A degree from Azusa Pacific University is respected and recognized internationally, and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Featured Faculty

Pin Fei Tang

Pin Fei Tang

Applied Instructor: Cello

Suli Xue

Suli Xue

Artist in Residence, Violin

Career Outlooks and Outcomes

Helena singing on stage

Helena Mayer ’20: Reaching the Lost Through Music

At just 25-years-old, Helena Mayer '20 has built a strong career as a musician. Her songs have been streamed more than 10 million times on Spotify and she performs four times a week for more than 9,000 followers on Twitch.​

Note: This information is current for the 2023-24 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.
 
*Base Cost (cost per unit x program units) is provided to aid in program comparison only.
All stated financial information is subject to change. View Tuition tab above.

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