Back To Main Menu
Overview Modules Entry Requirements Fees How to Apply
Overview Students' Work Modules Entry Requirements Fees How to Apply
Duration: 2 Years
Mode: Full-time

Duration: 3 Years
Mode: Part-time*

The RCM-NAFA Master of Performance programme is designed to allow performers to develop their skills to a professional level. The programme offers intensive training in practical skills, complemented by a range of targeted options which reflect current industry and professional needs. Such skills are aimed at performers who aspire to enter the profession as practitioners at the highest level.

* To apply for a Student’s Pass, international applicants must enroll into an approved full-time programme in Singapore. Part time programme is not eligible.

Please click here to view the English programme brochure.

At the end of this programme, students should be able to:
  • Perform at a level expected of a professional musician in terms of technique, musical insight, imagination, interpretation and communication
  • Apply personal research, analysis, reflection, listening and the application of theory to practice in the process of forming a musical interpretation
  • Demonstrate a strong grasp of musical traditions, while embracing or seeking new innovations in musical styles, media, performance and practice
  • Execute projects requiring written and/or verbal presentation, as well as for musical performance, in a confident and independent manner
  • Work effectively as part of a team, often in a leadership role, taking spontaneous decisions and responding to the decisions of others
  • Be self-motivated and disciplined, and promote projects/performances with critical self-awareness
  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of professional environments and protocols

The unique partnership between NAFA, RCM and CCOM

With the seven-week International Placement at the Royal College of Music (London) or Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing), you will have the unique opportunity to experience living and studying in another environment for a period of time. You will gain exposure to artistic and cultural practices in a new environment and acquire valuable learning experiences, which will widen your perspectives towards your own musical practice and learning.

NAFA’s artistic and cultural diversity

For the first time, Chinese instrumentalists will have the option of undertaking a performance degree programme at the Master’s level in Singapore. For our Western and Chinese instrumentalists and composers, you will co-exist in a synergetic relationship, experiencing and reflecting on your cultural practices in the arts as you relate to performance and research. For our musicians, this provides a rich cultural environment and collaborative opportunities.

Opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations

NAFA’s position as a multidisciplinary arts institution gives our music students the opportunities for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary collaborations with other artistic disciplines within the academy and the new University of the Arts.



More Information
RCM Graduation Requirements

In order to graduate from the master’s degree programmes, students are required to attain a total of 240 credits and complete the International Placement.

Mode of Instruction

Lessons may be delivered face-to-face on campus or facilitated online. Lecturers employ a variety of teaching strategies and methods according to the needs of each module. These include individual lessons, lectures and seminars, tutorials, masterclasses, concerts, student presentations, independent study, observation visits, workshops, and rehearsals. Besides the use of iLEARN, NAFA’s Learning Management System (Canvas), a range of new online/technology-enhanced methods will also be implemented to offer students additional learning flexibility and access to expertise and new audiences. Examples include individual supervision for projects/assignments via video conferencing, individual coaching for preparation of recital exams, webinars, workshops and masterclasses with overseas guest lecturers, including RCM professors, online lectures/seminars for elective modules, and live-streaming of students’ recitals.

Assessment Methods

Students will be assessed, both formatively and summatively, in the same way as their counterparts in the corresponding RCM programmes. Assessment methods are designed to mirror professional practice, in both the Principal Study modules and elective options, such as performing in a public recital. Formative feedback is important for students’ continued improvement of their performance, and peer feedback is encouraged to develop a supportive learning environment among the student body. NAFA students are expected to refer to the same assessment criteria and abide to the same performance standards as that in RCM. NAFA students are not only subject to assessment by examiners appointed by NAFA but will also be validated by an external examiner from RCM.

Career Pathways
  • Collaborative Musician
  • Composer/Arranger
  • Conductor
  • Ensemble Director
  • Music Administrator
  • Music Director
  • Music Lecturer
  • Music Librarian
  • Music Producer
  • Music Researcher
  • Music Teacher
  • Music Workshop Facilitator
  • Orchestra Musician
  • Opera Singer (for vocal performers)
  • Professional Musician (Soloist or Ensemble Member)
  • Session Musician
  • Music Festival Organiser

 

Modules

Check out the range of modules to build your technical skills, enhance your exposure and boost your employability.

Full time (2 Years)

MPerf 1
Module Type No. of Credits
Principal Study 75 credits
Elective Options Professional Artist Option 45 credits 15 credits
Elective Option 1 15 credits
Elective Option 2 15 credits
Overall Credits: 120 credits
120 credits are required for progression to MPerf 2

MPerf 2
Module Type No. of Credits
Principal Study 75 credits
Elective Options Professional Artist Option 45 credits 15 or 30 credits
Elective Option 1 15 or 30 credits
Elective Option 2 0 or 15 credits
International Placement Non-credited
Overall Credits: 120 credits
A total of 240 credits must be completed overall for the award of Master of Performance

Part time (3 Years)

MPerf 1
Module Type No. of Credits Remarks
Principal Study 50 credits  
Elective Options Professional Artist Option 30 credits 15 credits  
Elective Option 1 15 credits  
Elective Option 2 0 credits 0, 15 or 30 credits to be taken in MPerf 1, 2 or 3
Overall Credits: 80 credits
80 credits are required for progression to MPerf 2

MPerf 2
Module Type No. of Credits Remarks
Principal Study 50 credits  
Elective Options Professional Artist Option 30 credits 15 or 30 credits  
Elective Option 1 0 or 15 credits 15 or 30 credits to be taken in MPerf 2 or 3
Elective Option 2 0 or 15 credits 0, 15 or 30 credits to be taken in MPerf 1, 2 or 3
Overall Credits: 80 credits
80 credits are required for progression to MPerf 3

MPerf 3
Module Type No. of Credits Remarks
Principal Study 50 credits  
Elective Options Professional Artist Option 30 credits 0 credits  
Elective Option 1 0, 15 or 30 credits 15 or 30 credits to be taken in MPerf 2 or 3
Elective Option 2 0, 15 or 30 credits 0, 15 or 30 credits to be taken in MPerf 1, 2 or 3
International Placement Non-credited  
Overall Credits: 80 credits
A total of 240 credits must be completed overall for the award of Master of Performance

Code Title Semester Credits
MU5711

Principal Study Level 7 (I) 50 credits

(applicable to part time studies only)
The Principal Study is a central part of your learning experience at NAFA. It involves advanced exploration and development of the musical and technical skills to prepare you for your chosen field at a professional level. The module includes one-to-one tuition, performance classes, workshops, masterclasses, lessons from visiting professors, ensemble activities, seminars, and relevant lecture series.
1 & 2 50
MU5712

Principal Study Level 7 (II) 50 credits

(applicable to part time studies only)
The Principal Study is a central part of your learning experience at NAFA. It involves advanced exploration and development of the musical and technical skills to prepare you for your chosen field at a professional level. The module includes one-to-one tuition, performance classes, workshops, masterclasses, lessons from visiting professors, ensemble activities, seminars, and relevant lecture series.
1 & 2 50
MU5713

Principal Study Level 7 (III) 50 credits

(applicable to part time studies only)
The Principal Study is a central part of your learning experience at NAFA. It involves advanced exploration and development of the musical and technical skills to prepare you for your chosen field at a professional level. The module includes one-to-one tuition, performance classes, workshops, masterclasses, lessons from visiting professors, ensemble activities, seminars, and relevant lecture series.
1 & 2 50
MU5718

Principal Study Level 7 (I)

The Principal Study is a central part of your learning experience at NAFA. It involves advanced exploration and development of the musical and technical skills to prepare you for your chosen field at a professional level. The module includes one-to-one tuition, performance classes, workshops, masterclasses, lessons from visiting professors, ensemble activities, seminars, and relevant lecture series.
1 & 2 75
MU5730

Advanced Schenkerian Analysis Level 7*

The module focuses on applied musical analysis in performance, aiming to deepen students' understanding of analytical principles from a practitioner-led perspective. It explores alternative expressive possibilities and the broader use of Schenkerian concepts in various musical contexts. Students would be required to have a mastery in Schenkerian Analysis at Level 6.
1 & 2 15
MU5732

Composition Level 7*

This module supports students to improve their compositional skills through exploration of the art, craft, and technique of composition as specifically applied to contemporary concert music.
1 & 2 15
MU5734

Orchestration Portfolio Level 7*

This module offers the opportunity to develop advanced skills in transcribing music from one instrumental medium (e.g., piano) to another, larger one (e.g., orchestra). You will be introduced to a variety of approaches and techniques that may be effective in undertaking this task, before going on to formulate and complete a varied portfolio of orchestrations, in which you will be able to put into practice what you have learnt.
1 & 2 15
MU5735

Orchestration for Chinese Orchestra Level 7*

This module explores relevant models of Chinese orchestral/instrumental transcription, other Chinese orchestral repertoire, as well as how to write effectively for Chinese orchestra and other ensembles. Students learn to use Chinese instrumentation to define and articulate compositional ideas.
1 & 2 15
MU5736

Teaching Music Level 7*

This module enables students to engage with the concept of music teaching as a sociocultural practice, developing skills relating to lesson planning and delivery, and exploring modes of assessment and progression in music education.
1 & 2 15
MU5737

Practical Teaching Portfolio*

This module draws on practical teaching situations whilst enhancing awareness of learning by introducing a range of pedagogical methods and approaches through workshops delivered by expert practitioners.
1 & 2 15
MU5738

MU5738 Art of Piano Teaching Level 7*

This module is for principal study pianists who are interested in developing a career in piano teaching. Through lectures, discussions, and practical workshops, tutors will guide students to discover what a teacher's role consists of in the present day. Students will explore creative methods and approaches to problem-solving, developing independent thinking, and engaging in autonomous learning.
1 & 2 15
MU5740

International Placement (Masters)

This module provides the opportunity to study in a foreign environment, both as a musical and personal experience. Students will receive Principal Study tuition and attend Faculty and Performance Classes at the partner institution. Students may have the opportunity to take part in the orchestra and/or ensembles at the partner institution, on the premise of audition, and the availability of positions in diverse ensembles.
1 & 2 -
MU5743

Conducting Level 7*

An introduction to conducting skills, and the art of decision making as needed for conductors, specifically on how to make musical (i.e. interpretative) decisions and then put them into practice through gesture and rehearsal. The module will follow a rolling programme of practical sessions in which you will be required to conduct the group of your classmates towards your own interpretative ideas.
1 & 2 15
MU5750

The Song Pianist*

A practical introduction for pianists to a wide range of piano-accompanied song focusing on German Lied, French Mélodie and English Song.
- 15
MU5751

Chamber Music Level 7*

In this module you will develop the skills required to work effectively as a professional chamber musician. Working closely with the other members of your group, you will rehearse regularly together and receive specialist coaching. Your group will work together to curate and rehearse a short programme for examination in Semester 2.
1 & 2 15
MU5752

Concerto Performance Level 7*

This module explores the skills required to become a successful concerto performer. It provides a platform for deep exploration of a concerto and development of your confidence as a solo artist at the highest level. You will select, prepare and perform a section of a concerto. One-to-one lessons provide specialist support to prepare your chosen concerto. Accompanying group seminars delivered by guest artists explore the role of the concerto in performance today, how to prepare effectively for the demands of concerto performances, and advice on career development as a solo artist.
1 & 2 15
MU5753

Orchestral Performance Level 7*

This module will develop your understanding of orchestral repertoire and professional orchestral standards. Through study of orchestral repertoire in instrumental seminars you will improve your confidence and readiness for orchestral auditions. You will also explore a range of essential skills for orchestral musicians today, including rehearsal skills, working with conductors and sections, sight-reading, and studio session skills.
1 & 2 15
MU5754

Music, Culture, and Society Level 7*

This module explores the interdisciplinary nature of ethnomusicology, particularly its relationship with anthropology, diaspora, gender, language, politics, race, and religion. The module introduces the key texts and various approaches to ethnomusicology. Through selected readings and discussion sessions, students will learn about the relationship between music and society.
1 & 2 15
MU5763

Professional Musician Level 7*

This module prepares you for a healthy, proactive, and sustainable career in music through individual career coaching, cross-faculty group workshops, and industry knowledge and insights. Through these activities, you will explore a range of ideas and practices in the classical music profession today. On the completion of this module, you will have a deeper understanding of your artistic identity and areas for professional growth.
1 & 2 15
MU5764

Professional Project Level 7*

In this module, you will develop and deliver a self-directed project with a professional focus. Your project must include an external-facing element. Examples could include: curating and presenting a concert in an external venue or festival; collaborating with an external artist to develop a new work; developing and pitching a business proposal; or undertaking a research project based on an extended work placement. With the support of a supervisor, you will develop an innovative project that builds on your musical strengths, interests, and professional aspirations.
1 & 2 15
MU6718

Principal Study Level 7 (II)

The Principal Study is a central part of your learning experience at NAFA. It involves advanced exploration and development of the musical and technical skills to prepare you for your chosen field at a professional level. The module includes one-to-one tuition, performance classes, workshops, masterclasses, lessons from visiting professors, ensemble activities, seminars, and relevant lecture series.
1 & 2 75
MU6734

Orchestration Project Level 7*

This module offers the opportunity to undertake a more ambitious and extended challenge in orchestral transcription. You will formulate and complete an orchestration project which allows you to demonstrate imagination, range and ambition. To guide and inspire you, you will study innovative examples from 20th and 21st-century orchestral repertoire.
Pre-requisites: MU5734 Orchestration Portfolio Level 7
1 & 2 15
MU6751

Chamber Project Level 7 (15 credits)*

In this module you will continue to develop the skills required to work effectively as a professional chamber musician. Working closely with the other members of your group, you will rehearse regularly together and receive specialist coaching. Your group will work together to curate and rehearse a short programme assessed in Semester 2. Composers are also eligible to take this module in collaboration with an ensemble.
Pre-requisites: MU5751 Chamber Music Level 7
1 & 2 15
MU6752

Chamber Project Level 7 (30 credits)*

Designed for highly committed chamber groups, this module provides extended support and opportunities for your group to develop to a professional level. Working closely with the other members of your group, you will rehearse regularly together and receive specialist coaching. Your group will work together to curate and rehearse a full concert programme for public performance.
Pre-requisites: MU5751 Chamber Music Level 7
1 & 2 30
MU6753

Orchestral Leadership*

This module enables you to take your knowledge of orchestral practice and standards to the next level. Through further study of orchestral repertoire in instrumental seminars you will extend your understanding of orchestral repertoire and enhance your audition preparation. You will continue to explore a range of essential skills for orchestral musicians today, including rehearsal skills, working with conductors and sections, sight -reading, and studio session skills
1 & 2 15

*Electives

Show More

entry requirements

NAFA hopes to attract applicants with the potential to become excellent arts practitioners. Applicants are selected by merit, based on the following criteria:

  • Potential in Artistic Talent and Creativity
  • Educational Qualifications
  • Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning (APEL)
  • English Language Proficiency

Selection is competitive and is subject to the availability of places. However, the Academy may give consideration to talented applicants who excel in Artistic Talent and Creativity, but have not fully met the education qualification stated.


In order to be considered for enrolment into the Master of Performance programme, all prospective students should meet both the educational and audition requirements.

Mode of Audition

The audition will be done live with an audition panel. Applicants residing overseas are to submit a video recording at least 4 weeks before the scheduled audition. If they successfully pass the video screening, they will be invited to attend the live audition.

Audition Requirements

We understand that auditions are a significant milestone on every applicant’s journey towards a career as a conservatoire musician. The guidance below will help you prepare to the best of your abilities and make you aware of what will happen at your audition.

  • Your audition will be recorded and may be reviewed by the appropriate Head of Faculty from the RCM.
  • Applicants should present a varied programme and show a range of styles, periods and characters.
  • Please note these specific audition requirements for each faculty of study:

    Keyboard Studies
    Piano applicants should prepare a varied programme of at least 50 minutes. The programme should include an advanced étude and must be performed from memory.

    Orchestral Studies
    String instrumental applicants should prepare all of the following:
    • one significant movement from a concerto composed after 1800
    • a contrasting piece of your choice

    Brass, woodwind and percussion applicants should prepare a programme of two contrasting pieces at a standard reflective of your artistry, expressive and technical competency.

    It would be preferred if at least one of these works was from memory, but it is not compulsory.

    Vocal Studies
    Vocal studies is not offered in AY2024/25.

    Chinese Instrumental Studies
    Chinese instrument applicants should prepare all of the following:
    • One significant movement of a concerto, or a work written originally for the solo instrument and orchestra (一首协奏曲)
    • A chuan tong piece from standard repertoire (一首传统乐曲)
    • A piece written after 1970 (一首创作乐曲(1970年后))
    • You must perform your programme from memory

  • During the live auditions, the panel will listen up to 20 minutes of your programme. For video submission, the video recordings should contain the full programme based on the specified audition requirements.

  • Live auditionees should bring a list of the repertoire studied in depth in recent years as well as proof of recent public performances along to the audition.

  • If you are a current NAFA student applying for a postgraduate performance or composition course, you may submit a recording of your graduation recital, in lieu of a live audition.

  • Applicants will be required to submit a personal statement (250 – 350 words) to support their application for the Master of Performance programme. The personal statement should be based on the following questions:
    • Why are you applying for the Master of Performance programme, based on your ambitions and interests?
    • What skills do you possess that make you suitable for the rigorous demands of the programme?

  • Applicants will require two professional references emailed directly to NAFA Admissions.

  • Current NAFA graduating students are not required to submit personal statement and references.

  • Non-pianists are required to bring along their accompanists if their chosen pieces require accompaniment. A list of NAFA's Official Accompanists would be made available to applicants along with their audition details. There will be a fee payable directly to the Accompanist.

  • All instrumentalists except percussionists and pianists are required to bring their principal study instrument for the audition.

  • Applicants cannot bring a page-turner, their teacher, or a translator into their audition. The only people in the audition room will be the applicant, the accompanist and the audition panel. As our programmes are taught in English, we expect applicants to be able to communicate in English at their audition.

  • Typical questions you may be asked during your interview include:
    • Why do you want to study at NAFA?
    • What are your musical interests?
    • What do you think you need to do most to improve your performance?
Live auditions in Singapore
Live auditions in Singapore are usually held in the months of December, February and April.

Audition Date
4 to 8 December 2023
26 to 29 February 2024
27 to 28 April 2024

Live auditions in China

Audition Date
11 – 12 Nov 2023
12 – 13 Mar 2024

Note: You will be notified of the outcome of your application 4 to 6 weeks after your portfolio interview or audition. Some application outcomes may take longer than expected.

Guidelines for Video Recording:

  • The recording should be a clear and accurate representation of the performer’s playing. The performance must be recorded in one continuous take, and the video is not to be edited.
  • The camera should be stationary for the performance of each work.
  • The video should show the performer in full body if possible.
  • The video should be recorded no more than six months prior to the scheduled audition.
  • The video recording files should be named with the title of the pieces.

 

Applicants are required to have at least:

  • A relevant undergraduate degree from RCM-NAFA or a recognised institution, usually in Music
  • Degree transcripts must indicate passing grades in equivalent RCM-NAFA Bachelor of Music modules
Applicants whose qualifications do not conform to the above requirements (such as those with relevant experience or prior learning) may be considered on a case-by-case basis. In such cases, approval by the Royal College of Music will be required prior to final acceptance into the programme.

 

Applicants whose qualifications do not conform to the above requirements (such as those with relevant experience or prior learning) may be considered on a case-by-case basis. In such cases, approval by the Royal College of Music will be required prior to final acceptance into the programme.

An English Language proficiency* of at least:

Entry Into IELTS TOEFL - iBT PTE ACADEMIC DUOLINGO
Master 5.5 71 42 95

Other qualifications equivalent to any of the above.

*Waived for NAFA applicants who have successfully completed NAFA's Bachelor of Music. Non-NAFA applicants who have successfully completed a recognised and approved Diploma qualification or higher, where the language of instruction was English, may be given a waiver on a case-by-case basis.

 


How to Apply

Take the leap! Begin the journey to becoming a world-class musician.

Apply online

Apply online here.

Keep the Application Acknowledgement for your reference and submit the required documents

Keep the Application Acknowledgement for your reference and submit the required documents for verification within five working days from the application date at:

Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts
Campus 1 (Admissions counter at level 1)
80 Bencoolen Street
Singapore 189655

Operating Hours
Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm
Closed on Saturday, Sunday, and Public Holidays

Alternatively, you can email a copy of the required documents to [email protected].

Required documents for verification:
  • NRIC for Singapore Citizens (SC) or Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR), passport and valid Student’s Pass card (if applicable) for international students

  • English proficiency qualifications (e.g. IELTS/TOEFL iBT), if applicable

  • Academic certificates and transcripts:
    • If you are currently in your final semester, please submit all your academic transcripts up to the latest available semester result. Subsequently, please submit your Educational certificate and full academic transcript (all semesters) within 5 working days from the official release date

Make payment of the Application Fee at the cashier counter in NAFA or online

Make a payment of the Application Fee at the cashier counter at the NAFA Campus or online at https://payment.nafa.edu.sg/Students. Applicants who are paying online will be required to upload the above documents to the application portal or email them to [email protected].

Receive a letter by email

You will receive an email from the Student Admissions Office on the details of your portfolio interview upon receipt of all required documents and portfolio.

Application outcome

Receive the outcome of your application via email within 4 – 6 weeks after your Portfolio Submission/Interview/Audition or Admission Test.