MFA

2-Year Program

The MFA Program in Music is designed to enable students to acquire the multiple skillsets that will empower them to stake out their own, unique, career pathways to success. The program of study is designed to be a stimulating and challenging, collaborative learning environment, in which music and sound artists can refine and perfect their already distinctive voices to reach the highest levels of professional practice, while simultaneously exploring new and inspiring, creative territories.

About the Specialization

MFA Percussion studies is designed for already accomplished players to explore advanced performance techniques and branch out into new stylistic directions, as they develop their individual artistic profiles and prepare for professional careers across a number of diverse creative settings.

In addition to graduate major lessons, supplemental non-major lessons in other areas, experiences with traditional and global contemporary repertoire, students also participate in percussion workshops and performance forums. Intensive ensemble work focuses on playing in percussion ensembles, chamber music ensembles, experimental pop groups, extensive world music offerings, improvisation ensembles and the School’s principal conducted faculty-student group, The Ensemble at CalArts.

The curriculum further incorporates courses in composition, creative skills and pedagogy. It also encourages percussionists to incorporate experimental forms, improvisation, digital media, hybrid arts and interdisciplinary performance into their individual studies.

All MFA percussionists are required to pass a Mid-Residence Recital and a Graduation Jury and Recital in order to obtain the degree.

Full Curriculum

Detailed curriculum and academic requirements can be found in the online course catalog.

View Curriculum Requirements


Interdisciplinary Opportunities

In addition to CalArts' rich and diverse community and naturally collaborative atmosphere, the Institute provides several programs of study that can be pursued concurrently with a student's chosen metier.

Integrated Media

The Integrated Media concentration is designed specifically for MFA students whose creative use of technology—in particular digital media—goes beyond their primary areas of study.

Integrated Media

Interschool Degree

This option is available to a small number of graduates and advanced third- and fourth-year undergraduates whose skills and artistic interests warrant pursuing a degree in more than one School.

Interschool Degree


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