Strings

The USC Thornton Strings department’s eminent artist-teachers are exceptionally qualified in both individual instruction and in coaching for chamber music. Outstanding standards of professionalism in performance and teaching have been upheld for more than a century by a faculty that has included Jascha Heifetz, Gregor Piatigorsky and William Primrose. More recent faculty have included Donald McInnes, Midori Goto, Glenn Dicterow, and the chair of the Strings department, Ralph Kirshbaum.

Strings students will have the opportunity to participate in the varied, professional-level performance groups on campus, including the USC Thornton Symphony, the USC Thornton Chamber Orchestra and many prize-winning chamber ensembles.

Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Music

Strings Performance – Violin, Viola, Violoncello, Double Bass or Harp

4 years | 132 units

The BM in strings is a four-year, 132-unit program consisting of course work in the major (individual instruction, string pedagogy, orchestra repertoire, interpretation of baroque music), core music studies (theory, aural skills, music history, conducting, chamber music and symphony) and USC’s general education and writing program. Junior and senior recitals are required.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Graduate & Doctoral Programs

Master of Music

Strings Performance – Violin, Viola, Violoncello, Double Bass or Harp

2 years | 30 units

The MM in strings is a two-year, 30-unit program consisting of individual instruction, chamber music, symphony, music history, conducting, interpretation of baroque music and electives. A graduate recital is required.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Doctor of Musical Arts

Strings Performance – Violin, Viola, Violoncello, Double Bass or Harp

65 units

The DMA in strings requires a minimum of 65 units beyond the bachelor’s degree and consists of the following areas of study: the basic DMA curriculum, course work in the major, an academic field and two elective fields. Four doctoral recitals are required.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Graduate Certificate & Artist Diplomas

Graduate Certificate

Strings

2 years | 16 units

The Graduate Certificate in performance is a two-year, 16-unit program consisting of individual instruction, studio class, and two ensembles, or the equivalent thereof, each semester. This graduate-level program is designed for students who have completed their undergraduate education in music, or its equivalent, and intend to concentrate their energies on the full-time development of their discipline.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Artist Diploma

Strings

2-3 years | 16 units

This program is designed for young artists of exceptional ability and musical sensitivity who plan careers as solo performers. The Artist Diploma Program provides young artists with the opportunity to devote their full time to concentrated study and practice for the duration of their assigned programs. A minimum of 16 units at the 754 level (from MPEM, MPGU, MPKS, MPST, MPVA or MPWP) and four full-length recitals are required. This program typically requires two to three consecutive years of study for completion.

Refer to the USC Catalogue for complete course descriptions and degree requirements here.

Minors & Electives

Minor in Musical Studies


18 units

The Musical Studies minor is for students who already have a background in music performance and want to continue to develop their skills. Musical Studies minors have the opportunity to study their instrument in private lessons and participate in ensembles, as well as study music theory and music history. Through the electives, students may explore their own unique musical interests. Students may apply on virtually any instrument, including voice.

Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship

USC Thornton, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO), and the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA) have joined forces to offer the Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship, which offers rigorous training to top-tier string musicians in the Graduate Certificate program at USC Thornton as well as a generous financial package covering full tuition and living expenses. The purpose of the Fellowship is to help address the broad lack of diversity in American orchestras.

Contact

Lina Bahn, Chair
Jieun Park, Department Coordinator

Strings Department
USC Thornton School of Music
Los Angeles, California 90089-0851
(213) 740-7704
music.strings@usc.edu