Yale University School of Music—Doctor of Musical Arts

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The Yale School of Music has recently introduced a new program of graduate professional studies for performers and composers leading to the degrees of Master of Musical Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts. A unique feature of the program is the recognition given to professional achievement as a decisive factor in determining the candidate's qualification for admission to the higher degree. Pre-doctoral studies are to be completed in residence at the University through the three-year program leading to the Master of Musical Arts degree. No further formal study at the University will be required, but the doctoral candidate will be expected to prove his ultimate right to the Doctor of Musical Arts degree by presenting convincing evidence of significant professional accomplishment after leaving the University.

The three-year program leading to the Master of Musical Arts degree has been designed to provide intensive training in the student's major field, supported by relevant and practical studies in essential theoretical and historical subjects. The presentation of two formal public recitals and the completion of two extended research projects are included among the major requirements. The University, in awarding the Master of Musical Arts degree to candidates who complete this program successfully, will consider them as having done all of the course work required for the doctorate "except the dissertation."

The dissertation requirement for an academic doctorate is a well established and well understood procedure, and it is deemed essential as major evidence of the candidate's scholarly achievement. It seems logical to ask a candidate for a professional doctorate in music to meet the "dissertation" requirement by submitting appropriate evidence of his professional achievement in music. This, obviously, cannot be accomplished while he remains at the University as a student. He will be required, therefore, to demonstrate within a period of not less than two or normally more than five years after receiving the Master of Musical Arts degree that his subsequent work as a performer, composer, conductor, or some combination of the three—whether in professional or academic situations or both—merits his being given further consideration as a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree.

Proof of such accomplishment is to be submitted to the School of Music in the form of reviews, letters, and comparable testimonials from recognized professional musicians not associated with Yale. Additional evidence, such as commercial recordings of performances or publications of compositions, would serve further to enhance the candidate's eligibility.

After these requirements have been met, final qualification for the doctorate will be determined through a public performance presented by the candidate at the University. This performance is to be planned as an appropriate demonstration of the candidate's professional specialty and is not to include music performed or written by him during his pre-doctoral study in residence at the University. A committee including professional musicians from outside the University as well as members of the Yale music faculty will pass on the performance. If it is approved, the candidate will then be recommended for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree.

It is much too early at this date to offer here more than the brief summary of the program as given above. It has just begun, and the first doctorate will not be awarded before 1971, if then. We are confident, however, that the plan is sound, and that it provides a feasible and realistic approach to the problem of determining a candidate's qualifications for a doctoral degree in musical performance or composition.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 14/11/2018

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