Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s master’s program in woodwind performance prepares students for vibrant careers in music through specialized performance and audition training, a broad range of opportunities to perform publicly and refine musicianship, and focused studies in career building and entrepreneurship.
opportunities are plentiful at the Conservatory. In addition to solo and studio recitals, woodwind graduate students participate and act as leaders in a number of Boston Conservatory ensemble groups, such as Boston Conservatory Wind Ensemble. In order to replicate the pacing and structure of a professional music company, students rehearse and perform with a new ensemble every two weeks, including symphonic orchestras, chamber ensembles, contemporary ensembles, and pit orchestras for dance, opera, and theater productions.
Throughout the program, students work closely with esteemed faculty members in private lessons to hone their artistic voice and build their technical skills. In order to achieve professional readiness by the end of the program, students will expand their audition and performance repertoire, compile professional materials, and begin to articulate their career goals.
Students may choose to focus on one instrument with one private instructor throughout the program, or they may choose the auxiliary opportunity, which allows students to explore three woodwind instruments with three different instructors.
Individuals who thrive in the woodwind performance graduate program are driven by their desire to pursue a career in the arts. They are committed to becoming masters of their instruments and experienced players in a vast range of styles, from standard repertoire, to early music, to classical contemporary.
In their first year, students expand upon their artistic skills and ensemble performance techniques, while continuing to build their knowledge of woodwinds, orchestral repertoire, and music history. They participate in a variety of ensembles, take woodwinds pedagogy courses, attend weekly Woodwinds Performance Seminars, and receive weekly lessons with their private teacher, in which they refine their technique and plan for their degree recital. Meanwhile, students are encouraged to take advantage of on- and off-campus opportunities to build their own performance resumés and collaborative networks.
In the second year of the program, students continue to perform with ensembles and prepare a degree recital with their private studio teacher, adding on elective courses to enhance their musical studies, such as Alexander Technique, Career Skills for Musicians, and Conducting, to name a few. For their degree recital, students are responsible for coordinating with their fellow student instrumentalists and vocalists to produce a program of music that showcases their unique skills and abilities.
The Master of Music in Woodwind Performance requires students to complete 34 credits, consisting of the course requirements listed below. View the Sample Curriculum by Semester for additional details.
Upon matriculation to the Master of Music degree programs, candidates take proficiency examinations in music theory and music history. These exams are designed to identify minimum competencies in both areas reflecting a typical undergraduate preparation in music. Any deficiencies revealed by these exams must be corrected within the first year in residence through successful completion of prescribed review courses in ear training, harmony, or music history.
- M-AP 0009 Applied lessons (12 credits total; 3 credits each)
- M-EN 0069 Instrumental Ensemble (4 credits total; 1 credit each)
- M-EN 0079 Chamber Music (2 credits total; 1 credit each)
- M-EX 6001 Oral Comprehensive Exam (0 credits)
- M-PD 0801 Pedagogy 1: Woodwinds (1 credit)
- M-PD 0802 Pedagogy 2: Woodwinds (1 credit)
- M-SK 0009 Recital (0 credit)
- M-ST 0809 Performance Seminar: Woodwinds (4 credits total; 1 credit each)
Academics and Electives
- M-LT 5103 Writing About Music (1 credit)
- M-LT 5104 Communicating About Music (1 credit)
- M-LT 712xx Graduate seminars in Theory & Analysis and/or M-LT 713xx Music History (6 credits total; 3 credits each)
- Xxxxx General electives (2 credits total)
What You Will Learn
The Master of Music in Woodwind Performance program seeks to take an established musician with a strong foundation of skills, identify areas of desired and required growth, and build upon them to enhance artistic potential and impact. Upon successful completion of the program, students will:
- prepare, research, and accurately perform a wide range of musical styles, genres, and repertoire with a high level of technical and musical understanding developed in applied instrumental lessons, large and small ensemble experiences, coachings, master classes, and observations, as well as through genre-specific repertoire courses, woodwind pedagogy, and the focused study of music theory and music history;
- apply ear-training skills, knowledge of theoretical and harmonic analysis, as well as historical context to the study and performance of a score;
- express the artistry of a score with respect to its tradition and informed by its context through intensive study and analysis, modeled in the coursework affiliated with the program;
- analyze instrumental technique to overcome technical challenges, with an ability to communicate the details of that technique to another, as studied in applied lessons as well as in woodwind pedagogy;
- research and perform works of underrepresented composers and appreciate the necessity of promoting those works;
- develop innovative artistic collaborations with partners across the musical and artistic spectrum;
- cultivate meaningful connections to the communities in which they perform and teach, informed by the experiences in which they took part in large and small ensembles, and through special partnership programs at Boston Conservatory; and
- establish an artistic identity that represents their individuality, celebrating music of past and present, and serving as a champion for the future of our industry.
Alumni of Boston Conservatory’s woodwind performance program have won prestigious competitions and are creating dynamic careers in solo, ensemble, and orchestral performance. They also hold prestigious positions as arts administrators and instructors around the country.
- Albany Symphony Orchestra
- Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
- Boston Modern Orchestra Project
- Boston Opera Collaborative
- Boston Philharmonic
- Boston Scoring Orchestra
- Guerilla Opera
- Luxembourg Chamber Orchestra
- Rhode Island Philharmonic
- United States Army Band
- Video Game Orchestra
- Boston University
- BU Tanglewood Institute
- New England Conservatory
- Providence College
- Alexander & Buono International Flute Competition
- Harold Wright Award—Boston Woodwind Society
- James Pappoutsakis Flute Competition
- Lucerne Festival Contemporary Music Fellowship
- National Flute Association's Piccolo Artist Competition
- New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition
- Tanglewood Music Center Fellowship
- Yamaha Young Performing Artist Award