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Study music performance abroad

An in-depth guide to studying music performance as an international student.

Explore music performance programs abroad

See other programs in music performance

Music performance degrees abroad

Music performance programs are designed to equip students with the tools, confidence, and experience they’ll need to become successful professional musicians.

You’ll study the art of performance and work towards mastering your instrument. Alongside developing a detailed understanding of topics including composition, musicology, songwriting, and audio production, you’ll get to grips with industry-standard recording equipment and top-notch music software.

Studying abroad is a great opportunity to explore a range of musical styles, genres, and cultures in their original environments. You’ll see first-hand how the music industry operates across the globe, sharpen your performance skills, and make lasting friendships and memories.

Music performance program structure

At the undergraduate level, you can study music performance as either a BA or a BMus. A BA lasts for a minimum of three years and includes a wide variety of music-related topics. A BMus is a more specialized four-year program that is highly structured around performance-focused modules.

If you’ve always wanted to study in the US, you’ll probably select music performance as your undergraduate major. In the US educational system, you must spend the first two years of your degree taking general education classes, before focusing on music-specific courses for the remaining half of the program.

Those wanting to pursue a postgraduate qualification can enroll in a master’s program. An MA is normally studied on a full-time basis over one year. By contrast, an MMus requires two years of full-time study because students are expected to complete an additional year-long research project.

If you’re aiming to get the highest qualification possible, you can follow a doctorate program. A research-based PhD typically takes between four and seven years to complete.

Teaching methods on music performance degrees include lectures, seminars, tutorials, ensemble rehearsals, performance classes, and hands-on studio sessions. You’ll likely be assessed through a combination of exams, essays, reports, independent research projects, practical assessments, and live performances.

Music performance is a highly flexible program and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to tailor your degree to reflect your strengths and interests. While program content will differ between students and universities, most institutions will cover these core areas:

  • Understanding music
  • Performance skills and techniques
  • Composition
  • Sound, technology, and music
  • Music in context
  • Improvisation in performance
  • Ensemble performance
  • Music research skills

Alternative music degrees

How to study music performance abroad

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Music performance study abroad programs

Music performance undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in music performance

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    Music Performance - BMus University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    29,800 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about
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    Music - Performance Track - BMus University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    27,000 USD
    Start date
    January, June, August
    Show program overview about
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    Music Performance: Strings and Harps - BM University of Kansas, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    26,960 USD
    Start date
    January, June, August
    Show program overview about
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    Music Performance - Percussion - BM University of South Carolina, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    33,928 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about
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    Music: Performance - BM University of Central Florida, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    22,478 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about
See all bachelor's degrees in music performance

Pathway in music performance

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    Music Performance & Production (Foundation) - FD Leeds Beckett University, UK

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    10,900 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about
See all undergraduate pathways in music performance

Associate in music performance

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    Music Performance - AA Hesston College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    28,440 USD
    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about
See all associate degrees in music performance

Music performance graduate programs

Master's in music performance

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    Music (Performance) - MA Long Island University Post, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    44,100 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about
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    Music Performance - MM Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    25,118 USD
    Start date
    August
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    Classical String Performance - MA University of Limerick, Ireland

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    11,173 EUR
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
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    Music - Latin Music Performance - MM Texas State University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    15,034 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about
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    Music Performance - MMus University of Southern Mississippi, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    10,770 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about
See all master's degrees in music performance

Future music performance careers

As a music performance graduate, you’ll be poised to start a successful career within the music industry and beyond. Your communication, collaboration, and technical skills will be transferable across a wide range of sectors and roles, including:

  • Professional musician
  • Music producer
  • Music therapist
  • Music teacher
  • Studio manager
  • Composer
  • Sound engineer
  • Conductor

Securing some work experience during the university holidays is helpful for those looking to take their employability to the next level. Getting involved in your university’s music societies, radio show, or bands will also demonstrate your passion and talent to potential employers.