24, 2002, Gazette)
In the fall of 2002, Memorials School of Music will become the
first school in Atlantic Canada to offer a master of music program.
The decision to offer such a program has been a long time coming,
according to the schools director, Dr. Tom Gordon.
Over the first 25 years, the school grew from eight students
and three faculty members to 150 students and 18 faculty. Then we
reached a point where the full professional program was in place,
we had all this wonderful expertise and we found ourselves saying
The question did not remain unanswered for long. The School of Music
was already a large and diversified program. Offering graduate study
in music seemed like the next logical step.
However, it was not simply a matter of what next, Dr.
Gordon said. There were a number of compelling reasons, one
of which is that there is no graduate program in music east of Montreal,
despite the fact that there are seven university music programs.
The new master of music program will offer students three specialization
options: performance, performance pedagogy and conducting. The courses
will directly address the wide variety of career and life skills a
musician must possess, including a range of other learning and experiential
opportunities that will give students experience in teaching and introduce
them to various entrepreneurial skills.
We have all of the elements of a conventional master of music
degree in performance, he said. We have also added to
this the development of life skills for the business part of being
a musician. We have a course in music career building that will feature
professionals from the community and will teach students how to build
a good press file, how to prepare a grant application, etc.
The program will also make use of the wide variety of excellent resources
available in Newfoundland. Students will have the opportunity to learn
from CBCs production studio, the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts
Council, Newfoundland Symphony Youth Choir, and more.
As Dr. Gordon pointed out, Typically a graduate student will
study for two years, practice for eight hours a day and give a couple
of recitals. We not only want to encourage our students to give recitals,
but also to facilitate them in making a professional level compact
disc out of the second of those recitals.
The program is guaranteed to be unique and is already attracting a
lot of interest from students across Canada.
Since we made the announcement we have had a huge amount of
interest expressed in it and a number of applications are already
in for next years class, remarked Dr. Gordon. The School
of Music anticipates taking eight students for the first class in
September 2002, and seven to eight each year after that. For more
information on the program please visit www.mun.ca/music