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Professional Performance Certificate

This program is for non-matriculated students only. If you are an M.M. student seeking an additional certificate in performance, please see pages for the Classical or Jazz Performance Certificate.

The Professional Performance Certificate, administered by the Department of Music & Dance through Continuing & Professional Education, offers performing musicians in the early stages of their careers the opportunity for private instruction with the faculty members of the UMass Music & Dance Department and for participation in the many small and large ensembles of the Department. The pre-requisite for participation in this program is an undergraduate degree in music or demonstrated equivalent musical training. The purpose of the Certificate program is to provide a concentrated year of artistic development, career preparation, and work experience for aspiring professional musicians.

The Professional Performance Certificate consists of weekly private lessons for a single academic year of two semesters (fall and spring). The student is expected to participate as directed in the ensembles of the UMass Music & Dance Department, or (in the case of pianists) in accompanying as directed. The work/study load will be determined by the studio teacher in consultation with the Professional Performance Certificate Committee, which reports to the Chair of the Department. Peace Twesigye, violin

A typical load would include approximately ten contact hours per week of instruction with faculty, including lessons, studio classes, and directed ensembles, opera, chamber music or other collaborative experiences, plus at least thirty hours per week of individual practice and preparation. As part of this program, students may be asked to travel with UMass Music ensembles - sometimes as a required part of ensemble participation and other times as an optional enrichment activity. Study in this program is not awarded academic credit; instead, the student's work and study will be evaluated by the instructor and a Certificate will be awarded upon the successful conclusion of the program.

The per-semester tuition fee for the PPC program is $1,100 for U.S. citizens and international students. There are no scholarships or graduate teaching assistantships available to PPC students. Housing and all other cost-of-living expenses are the responsibility of the student.

For further details, see PPC GOALS AND REQUIREMENTS.

How to Apply

Submit the Online Application/Audition Request Form, selecting the Professional Performance Certificate under Track A: Select a Degree Track on the form. After we receive the form, we will contact you to arrange an audition. A live audition is strongly recommended, but for foreign students and other applicants who are unable to visit campus, a DVD is acceptable. Other supporting materials will include evidence of prior musical education (bachelors degree or equivalent -- photocopies of diplomas are acceptable) and three letters of recommendation. Students whose first language is not English must also complete a telephone or Skype interview. Please refer to audition repertoire requirements (which are the same as those for the Masters degree) for the PPC audition. Foreign students must also complete the visa application form.

The review period for applications will only begin MAY 1, and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis if space is available.  Early applications are welcome, but space availability can only be determined after May 1.

Beginning the program in spring semester may be possible, depending on available space.

Please contact Nicole Avakian, the Graduate Program Coordinator if you have questions.