Music Performance Workshop

You are here

Course Information
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 

Completed application including student’s statement of goals form with advisor’s signature. (If not approved for credit, students may audit by permission of the IES Abroad instructor).

Admission of Instrumentalists as well as Vocalists is at the discretion of the IES Abroad Instructor and Music Coordinator based upon advance application, on site audition and recommendation by current home school instructor. The instructor is authorized to insist on withdrawal from the course by the designated deadline if participants do not prepare properly. In case, the instructor will try to implement incomplete groups with comparable level Italian students.

Additional student cost: 

Students must provide their own instruments. In special cases where size and transportation are a problem, exceptions may be made.


The workshop is designed to offer vocalists and instrumentalists the opportunity to enhance the practice of chamber music, increase performance skills, and expand repertoire. The pieces to be covered in class are chosen on the basis of semester enrollment in the course as determined by the Ensemble Workshop Applications and subsequent discussion with participants during orientation. Depending on the variety of voices and instruments available, the works studied vary each semester, reflecting a range of styles, eras, and genres, from simple Italian “Aria Antica” performance to small motets/madrigals, from instrumental duos to arrangements for chamber orchestra.  Students-composers as well as conductors can also be selected to compose a piece that will be included in the performers’ repertoire list. Sessions consist of a combination of rehearsal and discussion of aspects of the works in relation to the challenge of performance. Preparation between sessions is an integral factor in assuring the steady progress of all participants. The course encompasses a minimum of two live performances per semester per student.

Attendance policy: 

Regular class attendance is mandatory. Students are expected to attend classes each day, including course-related excursions.

IES Abroad Milano allows a maximum of TWO excused absences per semester. Each further absence will automatically result in a penalty of two points off (2/100) on the final grade. SEVEN absences per course (including 2 excused absences) will result in a failing grade for that course. Furthermore, an absence on the date of scheduled tests, presentations or quizzes does not entitle you to recover/reschedule such tests. Failure to attend your midterm and/or final exam will result in an F grade on that paper/exam.

Method of presentation: 

Language of Instruction: English/Italian depending on the language proficiency of the student(s).

Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Regular attendance (12 guided ensemble rehearsals per semester) - 20%;
  • Repertoire presentation - 30%;
  • Reviews of live performances - 20%;
  • Participation in a minimum of two public dress rehearsals and concerts during the semester (one solo, one in ensemble) - 30%.

Individual Instruction:
Students admitted to the Music Performance Workshop must also attend individual instruction either at some Milanese school or privately.  Each individual instructor is welcome to contribute to the choice of an ensemble repertoire which is most suitable to strengthen and challenge the technical skills of the student.


Below is a sample list of items to cover through the learning process.

  • Determination of repertoire
  • Criteria for a successful performance
  • Group-work and best collective-practice methodology; leadership-related issues
  • Sight-reading notions
  • Score-reading notions
  • Typology of ensembles and specific problems related
  • Organizational as well as artistic aspects of ensemble activity
  • Issues connected to shaping a coherent ensemble concert-program
  • Monitoring self-preparation
  • Issues connected to Italian Vocal repertoire from Renaissance to Twentieth Century
  • Issues connected to Italian Instrumental repertoire from Renaissance to Twentieth Century
  • Attendance to one or more rehearsals of Milanese professional ensembles/orchestras

Below is a sample reference list for repertoire.

  • A.& G. Gabrieli
  • Palestrina
  • Marenzio
  • Monteverdi
  • Gesualdo
  • A. & D. Scarlatti
  • B. Marcello
  • Corelli
  • Stradella
  • Vivaldi
  • Locatelli
  • Galuppi
  • Hasse
  • J.C. & C.P.E. Bach
  • Porpora
  • Padre Martini
  • Sammartini
  • Pergolesi
  • Paisiello
  • Salieri
  • W.A. Mozart
  • Clementi
  • Rossini
  • Donizetti
  • Malipiero
  • Casella
  • Rota, & contemporary composers