Master of Music (Research) in Music Performance

Candidates undertake a supervised project that leads to a live, public recital consisting of at least 70 minutes of repertoire (plus an interval of 10-20 minutes) supported by an integrated written work of between 8,000 and 10,000 words. The related written project must be presented in a form that can be sent with the recorded performance for assessment by external examiners.

Candidates are expected to participate in Performance Class and Seminars and are required to present one lecture-recital during their candidature.

Course Outline

Supervision and Instrument Lessons

In this course students receive a combination of practical lessons and thesis supervision as follows:

  • 36 hours of practical lessons on their instrument.
  • 6 hours of thesis supervision.
Course Structure

The Master of Music (Research) specialising in Music Performance is completed over 3 semesters in the following sequence:

  • Complete the Research Process for Musicians subject in the first semester of enrolment.
  • Complete the written dissertation component in the second semester of enrolment.
    • Student must submit the final thesis component at the end of their second semester of enrolment for their annual review. They are not able to proceed to third semester of enrolment or receive any further practical lessons until the written component is at an acceptable level for submission.
  • Complete the lecture recital in Performance Seminar during the third semester of enrolment. The lecture recital fulfills the requirements for a completion seminar.
  • Complete the recorded final recital at the conclusion of the third semester of enrolment.
Progress Requirements

Masters students are required to report on their progress every 6 months. The first progress review is confirmation and there are reviews at 12 and 18 months of candidature.


Students in a research Masters confirm at 6 months of candidature or one semester of full time enrolment. In the Music Performance specialisation students must complete the following for their confirmation review:

  • Attend at least 6 seminars.
  • Attend at least 6 Performance Classes and perform at 4 Performance Classes.
  • Complete the Research Methods subject (MUSI90191) including completion of 5,000 words of the written component of their thesis.
  • A brief description (approximately 500 words) of their planned lecture recital and final recital.
  • Deliver a Confirmation Presentation, to your Advisory Committee, of of between 45–60 minutes, with synergy of material planned for the final Recital, the extent and nature of which to be determined in consultation with the Advisory Panel. You may complete the Confirmation Presentation at Postgraduate Seminar but this is not required, you can present to a meeting of your Advisory Committee.  The Confirmation Presentation coincides with confirmation at 6 months of candidature..

12 Month Progress Review

At the 12 month progress review students in the Master of Music (Research) specialising in Music Performance should have:

  • Attended at least 12 seminars.
  • Attended at least 12 Performance Classes and Performed at 8 Performance Classes.
  • Completed the written component of their thesis (or a nearly complete version which will only require revisions).
  • Presented their seminar paper/lecture recital.
  • Detail of the planned final recital including a draft of the repertoire to be performed.

The thesis and recital are submitted for examination at the end of the third semester of enrolment.

Completion Seminar

No more than 6 months prior to submission, students are required to present their completion seminar. This takes the form of a 30-minute presentation (20 minutes presenting and 10 minutes question time) on the research topic. The Completion Seminar can include either live or recorded performance to illustrate the findings, to be determined in consultation with the Advisory Panel.


Students in the Master of Music (Research) who are studying Music Performance are required to record a recital which is submitted as one component of their thesis.

The scheduling of recitals has always been difficult given the requirements for recording, staffing, ensuring technical requirements can be met and the like.

The Conservatorium sets a specific recital period each half year, following coursework examinations, to accommodate recitals for research Masters students.

The recital periods for the upcoming half years are as follows:

  • Mid 2023: Monday 26 to Friday 30 June 2023
  • End 2023: Monday 20 November to Friday 24 November 2023
  • Mid 2024: Monday 24 June 2024 to Friday 28 June 2024
  • End 2024: Monday 18 November to Friday 22 November 2024

Students are required to plan their recitals in these periods or seek permission to hold their recital at a different time, subject to availability of venues, staff and any other requirements.

The Research Office will identify students who are due for a recital in the upcoming recital period to negotiate a time with each student in consultation with their Principal Supervisor.

Research Methods

Music Performance Students are required to complete MUSI90191 The Research Process for Musicians (RHD) in their first semester of enrolment.

Performance Class

Every Thursday during semester at the Conservatorium as follows:

  • Performance Class: 2.00pm-4.00pm, 880-G12 (Kenneth Myer Auditorium, Conservatorium Building, Sturt St Southbank).
  • Rehearsal: 1.00pm-2.00pm, 880-G12 (Kenneth Myer Auditorium)

The Performance Class requirement prior to your final submission is:

  • At least 27 attendances at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Performance Class and at least 12 performances at this class.