Performance Major

The student majoring in performance will learn skills, concepts, and methodology sufficient to demonstrate a level of proficiency on his/her principal instrument typical of that generally required in professional performance. This is achieved through private lessons, which include proficiency-based final exams, instrumental or vocal labs, and performance studies classes. To demonstrate mastery of these skills, the student will complete a performance portfolio, including a senior recital, that typifies current professional performance standards. This is supported by four recital preparation lessons, the jury, and extracurricular and cocurricular concert performances.

Performance majors will attend recital classes and take specialized courses in ear training and harmonic applications designed to develop improvisational skills; they also will have the opportunity to audit classes given by visiting master performers. Through these activities and interactions, the student will develop an aesthetic and critical understanding of the meaning of quality performance, and will be able both to define quality using technical and interpretive musical criteria and to apply those criteria to his/her own work and to that of others. The student will be able to work effectively with others in situations typically found in the professional performance field. Each performance major will participate in ensembles and public performances in the college's recital halls and the Berklee Performance Center. Additional activities available through the ensemble program may include recording sessions and on- and off-campus concerts, festivals, and tours.

The student will have developed a sufficient theoretical, conceptual, and philosophical background in the area of musical performance to be able to cope with and adjust to changes in the professional music environment.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of a major in performance, a student will:

  • Synthesize and integrate knowledge of contemporary and traditional styles into musical interpretation
  • Synthesize and integrate knowledge of posture, breathing, and instrumental technique into daily practice routine
  • Demonstrate technical proficiency on principal instrument
  • Demonstrate the ability to sight read music in a variety of styles
  • Play music in a variety of contemporary and traditional styles
  • Play in ensembles of varying size, instrumentation, and stylistic orientation
  • Apply knowledge of musical styles and harmonic practices in improvisation

The following grids indicate which courses should be taken in each semester to complete this major's academic requirements:

  • / (updated March 2014)

Performance Links

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