Georgia State orchestra members
What does it cost?

Check out our cost calculator or visit student financial services for information on estimated costs.

How long will it take?

Minimum of 36 semester hours of graduate coursework must be completed in four semesters (two years)

Where can I take classes?
Atlanta Campus

Am I required to take classes at a specific location?
Atlanta Campus

Application Deadlines View Admissions Requirements

  • Fall: June 1 (All concentrations)
  • Spring: November 15 (All concentrations except Conducting)
  • Summer: March 1 (Music Education concentration and non-degree programs only)

Master of Music, Concentration in Orchestral Instrument Performance, M.Mu.

Graduate Director
Dr. Lara Saville Dahl
[email protected]

The Georgia State University Master of Music in Orchestral Instrument Performance program prepares students for rewarding careers as performing musicians or studio instructors. This specialized pathway emphasizes the development of a strong foundation in music reading and performance, nurturing students’ skills and musicianship to excel in their chosen orchestral instrument. Through active participation in bands, choirs, or orchestras, students gain valuable ensemble experience and develop the ability to perform collaboratively with others. They also have opportunities to showcase their talent as soloists and in small group settings. With dedicated private study and guidance from experienced faculty, students refine their technical proficiency, musical interpretation and expressive artistry.

Program Highlights

Unique Opportunities

Offers performance opportunities at professional conferences, conventions, and competitions like GMEA, Percussive Arts International Convention, North American Saxophone Alliance, International Navy Band Symposium, International Double Reed Society, International Clarinet Association, National Trumpet Conference, American Trombone Workshop, International Euphonium Tuba Festival and regional/national MTNA Competitions.

Vibrant Location

The downtown location fosters connections with local music ensembles and venues like Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Red Light Cafe, City Winery, Atlanta Opera, nearby theaters, schools and churches. Alumni, faculty and students actively participate in the thriving music scene, performing in various professional groups within the city.

Guest Artists and Ensembles

The School of Music hosts renowned educators and professional musicians who offer concerts, workshops and masterclasses for students. We also have three resident ensembles: Bent Frequency, Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra of Atlanta and Ensemble ATL.

College to Career

Students gain extensive performance opportunities with local and regional orchestras, contemporary chamber ensembles, churches and professional conferences. Many students secure employment in neighboring schools and churches, acquiring valuable real-world experience in their field prior to graduation.

Career Outlook

A Master’s degree in Music Performance from Georgia State University can unlock a diverse array of dynamic and rewarding career prospects within the music industry.

Benefiting from an extensive curriculum and guidance from esteemed faculty members, graduates emerge as accomplished musicians, capable of pursuing professional paths as solo performers or as integral members of orchestras, bands, or ensembles. Furthermore, they are well-equipped to delve into the realm of music education, imparting knowledge and mentoring budding musicians in educational institutions, ranging from schools and colleges to private studios.

Throughout their academic journey, students have abundant opportunities to engage in conferences, competition and collaborative ventures with local music ensembles and venues. These experiences provide graduates with invaluable exposure and hands-on expertise that will propel their careers to new heights.

Jazz saxophone player

Program Details

Please note: You must apply to both the Georgia State Graduate School and the School of Music.

Required University Application Materials:

  • Transcript(s): Upload unofficial copies of transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. The institution logo and your name must be present on the copies. Official transcripts will be required upon acceptance into the program.
  • Official TOEFL/IELT Scores (international applicants only): Institutional code 5251 should be used for reporting TOEFL scores.
  • Personal/Goal Statement: Please provide a statement of your educational and career goals (be as specific as possible).
  • Resume/Curriculum Vitae: Upload within the online Slate application.
  • Writing Sample: Provide a scholarly/research paper on a subject in the field of music of a level of intellectual and critical engagement appropriate to graduate-level work.
  • Letters of recommendation: 2 letters of recommendation are required. Applicants must enter the names and contact information of the 2 recommenders within the application. An electronic recommendation request will be sent to recommenders, and recommendation letters must be submitted via this request. It is strongly advised that letters of recommendation are completed before the application deadline and are written within the last year. Recommendations submitted after this date are not guaranteed to be reviewed.
  • GPA: Students considered for admission into the graduate program generally have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Get started on the Graduate School Application.

School of Music Application Materials: Complete the “Start an Application” fields to view your specific application and audition requirements for the School of Music

Use the HOW TO APPLY link below when you are ready to apply to the Music School.

For all MM concentrations:
Applicants must have a Bachelor of Music degree. The graduate committee will consider applicants without a Bachelor of Music degree on a case-by-case basis. All graduate applicants will be considered for a graduate assistantship (except for Low-Residency Conducting MM applicants) based on their audition, their application materials and their academic transcripts.

For all AC concentrations:
Applicants must have a Master of Music degree. The graduate committee will consider applicants without a Master of Music degree on a case-by-case basis.

The Master’s in Orchestral Instrumental Performance concentration at GSU offers an intensive and enriching curriculum for instrumentalists aiming to excel in orchestral performance. Students in this program engage in a range of courses that focus on advanced techniques, ensemble playing, orchestral repertoire and musical interpretation. Through individual lessons, masterclasses and ensemble rehearsals, students refine their technical proficiency, musicality and ensemble skills. The program provides ample performance opportunities, including collaborations with renowned guest artists and participation in diverse ensembles. Students also benefit from faculty mentorship and guidance, receiving personalized instruction to enhance their artistic development. The curriculum is designed to equip graduates with the technical mastery, musical sensitivity and collaborative abilities required for successful careers as professional orchestral musicians.

For detailed requirements, see the course catalog.

At Georgia State, we understand that students come to our institution from a range of financial backgrounds. We value the investment our students make in their education, and we aim to provide access to scholarships and aid opportunities that can support students through their academic journey.

Learn more about tuition rates or use Georgia State’s cost calculator to determine the investment required for your course of study.

Fees: There is an applied music fee of $350 per semester for a one-hour (8000 level) lesson and $200 per semester for a half-hour (6000 level) lesson. Additional lab fees for certain courses may apply.

The Georgia State School of Music provides unparalleled opportunities to study and work among an inspiring community of musicians in one of America’s most vibrant urban centers. Students receive exceptional training, are provided with meaningful opportunities and begin serious careers no matter what type of music drives their passion. The goals and outcomes from a graduate degree include:

  • Ensuring comprehensive exposure to an array of perspectives as represented by the various faculty approaches to music performance, music history, music theory and teaching styles.
  • Honoring the continuing traditions of music making and pedagogy while exploring new forms and contemporary issues within the various musical fields.
  • Developing pedagogical skills and strategies through teaching assistantships for undergraduate-level courses.
  • Preparing students for a professional career in music through rigorous performance preparation, exposure to important repertoire and attention to practical business aspects of various musical careers.


Graduate Director
Dr. Lara Saville Dahl
[email protected]

Administrative Specialist, Graduate
[email protected]

School of Music
75 Poplar St, 5th floor
Atlanta, GA 30303

College of the Arts Logo35 Broad St., 4th Floor
Atlanta, GA 30303