Certificate in Music Performance

The Program in Music Performance

provides an opportunity for students study the performance of vocal or instrumental music (both jazz and classical), electronic music, and music composition in the context of a liberal arts education. It provides extensive opportunities for students to hone their skills through participation in department ensembles, recitals, studio instruction, and performance classes, and also provides a solid foundation in music history, theory, and composition. The program provides a solid foundation for students who may wish to pursue professional music training at the graduate level. 

The two-year program is open to rising juniors who can demonstrate in an audition a high level of proficiency in a performance medium such as an orchestral instrument, piano, electronic media, voice (either solo or consort singing), and jazz (voice or instrument), and conducting; students may also be accepted into the program in music composition or electronic music by submitting a satisfactory portfolio or its equivalent. MUS 105-106 is required for the certificate, and students are urged to fulfill this requirement as early as possible in their enrollment, preferably during the freshman or sophomore year. Under special circumstances, students may be able to place out of the course by demonstrating equivalent knowledge. Any student who wishes to postpone MUS 105-106 until their senior year must obtain special permission from one of the directors.  

Vocal/Instrumental/Conducting Certificate Requirements
The four requirements for successful completion of the Certificate in Performance are completion of six required courses, participating in one of the Music Department’s main ensembles, taking studio instruction, and presenting a major performance project (usually a recital).
Required Courses
Music Staff
  • 2 Music Theory Courses: Completion (or placing out of) MUS 105 & 106
  • 2 Performance CoursesThese include MUS 213, 214, 216, 215, & 219
  • 2 other Music Department Courses: Selected from those that satisfy the Music Major.

For a complete list of current courses, please click here

Required Departmental Ensemble Participation
Princeton University Department of Music

includes being a part of either the Princeton University Orchestra, Glee Club, Chamber Choir, Jazz Ensembles, or Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk). For further information about these groups, please click here. Pianists who are not a part of these groups should pursue chamber music and accompaniment projects. 

Performance Project

For completion of the Certificate, a major performance project (usually a recital) must be presented in the junior or senior year. Recital Procedures & Requirements

Studio Lessons

in the major instrument are free and required for all students enrolled in the program, and can be taken for academic credit. For further information, please click here

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Composition Certificate Requirements
The requirements for successful completion of the composition-focused Certificate in Performance are completion of six required courses, and writing a composition as a major performance project under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Students also have access to private composition lessons with Princeton University graduate students.
Requirements
Music Staff
  • 4 Music Theory Courses: Completion (or placing out of) MUS 105 & 106, as well as MUS 205 & 206
  • 2 300-level Courses in CompositionFor a complete list of currently offered courses, please click here
  • Performance Project: Completion of a written composition under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

For questions about the composition track, contact Prof. Mackey

Private Composition Lessons

with Princeton University graduate students are coordinated by Andrew Lovett.

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Electronic Music Certificate Requirements
The requirements for successful completion of the composition-focused Certificate in Performance are completion of six required courses, participation in the Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk), and a senior project in the form of software/hardware development, instrument design, or electronic music composition. Students also have access to private composition lessons with Princeton University graduate students.
Required Courses
Music Staff
  • 2 Music Theory Courses: Completion (or placing out of) MUS 105 & 106
  • 2 200-level Courses
  • 2 300-level Electronic Music Courses: These include MUS/COS 314, MUS 316, & MUS315

For a complete list of currently offered courses, please click here. Contact Jeff Snyder with questions.

Princeton Laptop Orchestra
Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk)

participation is required. The ensemble reinvents the traditional model of the orchestra for the 21st century. Each laptopist performs with a laptop and custom designed hemispherical speaker that emulates the way traditional orchestral instruments cast their sound in space. Wireless networking and video augment the familiar role of the conductor. The group is currently directed by composer and instrument designer Jeff SnyderMore information

The Senior Project

can take the form of software/hardware development, instrument design, or an electronic music composition.

Private Composition Lessons

are available with Princeton University graduate students, coordinated by Andrew Lovett.

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Program Auditions

Admission to the Program in Performance for instrumentalists is by live audition at the end of the sophomore year, for a panel of ensemble directors. Audition sign-up sheets are posted on the bulletin boards on the first floor of Woolworth when the audition date is announced online, by email, and by flyer.

Audition Requirements:

  • PIANO & ORCHESTRAL INSTRUMENTS: one movement from a standard sonata or concerto, showing an element of contrast.
  • SINGERS: two selections from standard opera arias or songs - one in Italian, and the other in French or German.
  • All classical performers must bring a brief musical CV and repertoire list, signed by their studio instructor, covering their freshman and sophomore years. 
  • JAZZ: two selections of contrasting style that demonstrate awareness of the jazz tradition and the ability to improvise.  Repertoire selection is open across jazz genres, including Afro-Latin and Brazilian pieces.  Musicians should be prepared to improvise over several choruses with their own ensemble accompaniment.
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