The M.Mus. degree in performance and composition is offered to candidates who have achieved necessary levels of attainment and productivity at the undergraduate level, and who give reasonable promise of further significant accomplishment. This degree is often a final academic step for the musician who wishes to enter the professional world, although it may prove to be an intermediate step for those wishing to prepare for university teaching. Performance candidates present a recital or opera performance in lieu of thesis, while the graduate composition student presents a program of original works. A two-year residency is the norm.
Performers in the M.Mus. may concentrate in piano, organ, harpsichord, guitar, orchestral instruments, voice, choral conducting, and opera. In addition to fulfilling recital requirements for their degrees, students of performance have many opportunities to play in large and small ensembles of substantial quality, both for credit and in voluntary support of colleagues. Ensembles specializing in new music, early music, and non-European music are available for credit. The School typically presents one or more fully staged operas each year.
Graduate student composers have occasions to hear their works in regularly scheduled concerts as well as in their degree recitals. The UBC Symphony performs or reads students' orchestra pieces from time to time and the choirs are all active in presenting student works. The computer music studio is of considerable scope and is open to students on a 24-hour basis.