Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance (DMA)

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Admission Requirements

  • A Master’s degree in Performance or its equivalent
  • Successful audition and interview
  • Minimum 70% average in Master's degree

Application Materials

  • A recent academic paper (approx. 3,000 words) that demonstrates ability to carry out music research
  • A current resume or CV
  • A  statement of interest 
  • A repertoire list and copies of recital programs
  • Optional: additional writing samples (published articles, reviews, CD notes, etc.)
  • Three confidential letters of reference
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended, uploaded in PDF
  • Proof of English language proficiency (if applicable)

Application Deadline: Extended to January 15

The Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) is a doctoral degree in music performance with areas of concentration in voice, piano (solo and collaborative), violin, viola, cello, clarinet, trumpet, percussion, saxophone, trombone, and choral conducting.

The program is available in two different streams: project-based (Stream 1) and thesis-based (Stream 2). At the end of Year 1, with the approval of their DMA Advisory Committee, students indicate their intention to pursue Stream 1 or Stream 2. 

Photo of Connor O'Kane"If you want to thrive as a music professional today, you need to be not only an excellent performer, but also a well-rounded communicator, researcher, and creative thinker. The DMA program at Western is the perfect setting for refining these skills."  
Connor O'Kane, DMA (Solo Piano) 2023.

Learn more about Connor O'Kane and our DMA program.


Program Requirements

 

 

Project-Based (Stream 1)

Courses
(8.0 credits)

Studio lessons for 4 years (9801-9808)

5 courses in support of performance

3 non-performance courses

Research-Creation Portfolio Milestones

4 Performance Events

Four Performance Events are required, on average one per year. The Performance Events may include solo recitals, chamber music recitals, opera roles (only one, normally), and lecture recitals, as well as concerto performances. Students should discuss with their studio instructor and their DMA Advisory Committee their plans for Performance Events well in advance.

DMA Performance Event Approval Form (DOC)

Instructions for how to prepare a recital program

DMA Research Paper Proposal

The DMA Research Paper is the written component of the Research-Creation Portfolio for Stream 1 DMA students. The first step is the creation of a Research Paper Proposal. Supervised by a project director, the DMA student will draft a proposal by Term 7 (Fall of Year 3). 

The proposal should include a tentative title, the name of the director and second reader, a description of 1000–1250 words (4–5 pages) outlining the main argument, scope, goals, and significance of the topic, as well as a working bibliography.

DMA Research Paper Proposal cover page template (DOC)

DMA Research Paper

The DMA Research Paper is a scholarly or professionally oriented investigation into a topic of significance to music performance, reflecting the student’s research interests. It may be focused on repertoire, pedagogy, or professional practice individually or in combination.

The DMA Research Paper will generally result in a paper of 40–50 pages (approximately 10,000-12,250 words, double-spaced, exclusive of bibliography) or a research project of equivalent scope. It will demonstrate the highest scholarly standards of quality and excellence.

There is no formal defense of the DMA Research Paper.

Guidelines for DMA Research Paper

Milestones

Academic Integrity Module

To support success in graduate studies, all incoming graduate students are required to complete the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) Academic Integrity Module in order to progress beyond the first term of their degree. Eligible students can access the module in the Graduate Student Web Services Portal.

Students who do not complete the module will not be able to progress beyond the first term of their degree.

This module is designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge and resources to abide by academic principles during their graduate career and to help combat scholastic offenses. After reviewing the material and finishing the readings, students are required to complete both a multiple-choice assessment and a series of short case studies to evaluate their knowledge of academic integrity. Students have unlimited opportunities to pass the module. 

Research Ethics Tutorial TCPS-2 CORE

New doctoral students in Music are required to complete the TCPS 2: CORE-2022 (Course on Research Ethics) in their first term. 

The Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2) is a joint policy of Canada’s three federal research agencies: CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC.

This policy is a Canadian guideline for the ethical conduct of research involving human participants. TCPS 2: CORE-2022 is an online, self-paced tutorial featuring interactive exercises and examples from each of the three agencies that help to familiarize researchers with the TCPS 2 guidelines. The course consists of nine modules and a knowledge consolidation exercise.

Qualifying Examination

The examination provides students an opportunity to demonstrate breadth of knowledge in their field and readiness to write a DMA Research Paper.

Written over a 2-week period in summer term, the exam consists of two tasks set by the student's DMA advisory committee and approved by the Associate Dean (Graduate Studies). 

The student’s advisory committee reviews the papers and the possible outcomes are:

  • Pass
  • Supplemental work is required within a given time period
  • Fail (the student is invited to repeat the exercise or to withdraw from the program).

Expected duration of program

12 terms (4 years)
 
 

 

Thesis-Based (Stream 2)

Courses
(8.0 credits)

Studio lessons for 3 years (9801-9806)

5 courses in support of performance

3 non-performance courses

Research-Creation Portfolio Milestones

3 Performance Events

Three Performance Events are required, on average one per year. The Performance Events may include solo recitals, chamber music recitals, opera roles (only one, normally), and lecture recitals, as well as concerto performances. Students should discuss with their studio instructor and their DMA Advisory Committee their plans for Performance Events well in advance.

DMA Performance Event Approval Form (DOC)

Instructions for how to prepare a recital program

DMA Monograph Proposal Defense

The proposal defense brings together the members of the student’s advisory committee, plus the supervisor and second reader if either or both are not already members of the committee. All in attendance should receive a copy of the proposal in advance. At the defense, all in attendance may pose questions or comments to the student and determine that the proposal meets expectations.

Following the proposal defense, the student submits a final version of the proposal to the office of the Associate Dean (Graduate Studies) for approval by the Graduate Committee. This marks the completion of this milestone.

Guidelines for writing a monograph proposal

Template for DMA monograph proposal cover page

DMA Monograph and Oral Defense

The length of a DMA monograph is normally approximately 80 - 120 pages. In addition to the elements of a doctoral thesis required by SGPS, DMA monographs should include a preface that briefly explains how the candidate came to the topic of the monograph. DMA monographs should also include an appendix with the programs for the candidate’s three Performance Events be included with the monograph.

All procedures and formatting found in the School of Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies' (SGPS) Thesis Regulation Guide must be followed in the preparation of a monograph.

Please note the deadlines set by SGPS for dissertation submission and scheduling of the defense.

All DMA Stream 2 candidates must present a public lecture (approx. 45 minutes) which is usually on the same day just before the defense. 

pdf icon Guidelines for requesting a doctoral defense 

Other Program Milestones

Academic Integrity Module

To support success in graduate studies, all incoming graduate students are required to complete the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) Academic Integrity Module in order to progress beyond the first term of their degree. Eligible students can access the module in the Graduate Student Web Services Portal.

Students who do not complete the module will not be able to progress beyond the first term of their degree.

This module is designed to provide students with the necessary knowledge and resources to abide by academic principles during their graduate career and to help combat scholastic offenses. After reviewing the material and finishing the readings, students are required to complete both a multiple-choice assessment and a series of short case studies to evaluate their knowledge of academic integrity. Students have unlimited opportunities to pass the module. 

Research Ethics Tutorial TCPS-2 CORE

New doctoral students in Music are required to complete the TCPS 2: CORE-2022 (Course on Research Ethics) in their first term. 

The Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (TCPS 2) is a joint policy of Canada’s three federal research agencies: CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC.

This policy is a Canadian guideline for the ethical conduct of research involving human participants. TCPS 2: CORE-2022 is an online, self-paced tutorial featuring interactive exercises and examples from each of the three agencies that help to familiarize researchers with the TCPS 2 guidelines. The course consists of nine modules and a knowledge consolidation exercise.

Qualifying Examination

The examination provides students an opportunity to demonstrate breadth of knowledge in their field and readiness to write a DMA Monograph.

Written over a 2-week period in summer term, the exam consists of two tasks set by the student's DMA advisory committee and approved by the Associate Dean (Graduate Studies). 

The student’s advisory committee reviews the papers and the possible outcomes are:

  • Pass
  • Supplemental work is required within a given time period
  • Fail (the student is invited to repeat the exercise or to withdraw from the program).

Expected duration of program

12 terms (4 years)
 

DMA Timeline – Stream 1 (Project-Based)

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Term
1
Term
2
Term
3
Term
4
Term
5
Term
6
Term
7
Term
8
Term
9
Term
10
Term
11
Term
12
2 terms
lessons
2 terms
lessons
Qualifying Exam 2 terms
lessons
2 terms
lessons
5 half courses in support of performance
(completed by end of Year 2, Term 5)
Research Paper Proposal
(4-5 pages)
DMA Research Paper
(40-50 pages)
3 half course non-performance
(completed by end of Year 3, Term 8)
Performance Event 1 Performance Event 2 Performance Event 3 Performance Event 4

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DMA Timeline – Stream 2 (Thesis-Based)

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 4
Term
1
Term
2
Term
3
Term
4
Term
5
Term
6
Term
7
Term
8
Term
9
Term
10
Term
11
Term
12
2 terms
lessons
2 terms
lessons
Qualifying Exam 2 terms
lessons
DMA Monograph
(80-120 pages)
5 half courses in support of performance
(completed by end of Year 2, Term 5)
Monograph Proposal
(10-15 pages)
3 half course non-performance
(completed by end of Year 3, Term 8)
Performance Event 1 Performance Event 2 Performance Event 3 Oral Examination

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Recently Completed Monographs

Meet our Doctoral Students 


Contact Info

Associate Dean (Graduate Studies) 
Kevin Mooney
TC 215
kmooney@uwo.ca

Graduate Program Assistant
Audrey Yardley-Jones
TC 216
519-661-2111 x85354
ayardley@uwo.ca