Irish World Academy of Music and Dance

MA Classical String Performance

Programme of Study

Technique, Repertoire and Style 1–2–3 (MU5401/MU5402/MU5003)

These modules provide progressive performance tuition on the individual instrument to the highest standard within studio teaching, masterclasses and performance practice classes. The purpose is (1) the development of instrumental skills aiming towards technical fluency and mastery, (2) the building of repertoire knowledge relevant to the instrument, and (3) making informed choices of interpretation by understanding musical performance styles relevant to the history and tradition in the classical genre. The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of the music-making and artistry demonstrated by the student, and to prepare students for public performances that aim towards professional level.

Ensemble 1–2–3 (MU5411/MU5412/MU5053)

An inherent part of a performing musician’s milieu is the art of collaborative playing. It must be constantly explored and valued as an artistic form of musical expression. Solo playing brings to bear the focus of individual decisions, while ensemble playing requires additional skills and a particularly-developed musical approach based on the ability to weigh musical options and opinions in the light of other individuals playing in the same continuum. These modules engage students in ensemble work with members of the Irish Chamber Orchestra and faculty of the Irish World Academy, through classes, workshops, seminars, and performances with a host of international performers, conductors and directors with whom the Irish Chamber Orchestra works on a regular basis. Goals of the module include exploration of the larger chamber orchestra, as well as various ensemble models: the duo, trio, quartet, etc., including string-piano repertoire. For keyboard players the modules include accompanying and an opportunity to study figured-bass and continuo playing. Collaboration with vocalists, dancers, writers and artists from other disciplines is also encouraged.

Creative Process 1–2 (MD8011/MD8012)

The aim of these modules is to prepare students to begin working towards future doctoral studies and address basic questions concerning the design of a research project, including ways of framing research questions, the relationship between theory and practice in research, research ethics and issues of representation. Self-reflective writing, (the relationship between arts practice and writing), is accentuated in this module. Writing out of creative practice, auto-ethnography, personal narrative, narrative enquiry and writing as a strand of the creative process are some of the modes of writing explored in the development of a research structure (apparatus) that can provide for the crossing of thresholds between the studio-based and text-based strands of arts-practice research.

Irish World Academy of Music and Dance Autumn Elective (MD5501)

This module offers students the opportunity to pursue self-directed learning of an academic or performance-based project, under the guidance of the course director and an elective supervisor. The student may wish to use the elective to pursue a more specialised project in his or her area of study, or to access the other areas of expertise available at the Irish World Academy.

Final Presentation (MD5522)

The final presentation involves a final public performance and written submission offered by the student as the culmination of his or her work during the course of the programme. The module primarily concentrates on preparation for the final recital project while students continue to receive instrumental tuition and are required to work within the ensemble context. The presentation is designed in consultation with the course director and specialist faculty.

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