Individual Performance Studies

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

Previous instruction in the instrument of choice; an audition may be necessary to determine the appropriate level of instruction.

Additional student cost: 

The student will receive the lesson subsidy (currently 500 Euros) to help defray the cost of lessons. Students may not receive a stipend for both the Individual Performance Workshop and the MS 390 Music Performance Workshop.


Individual Performance Studies is dedicated to a hands-on approach to the performance of music under the supervision of professional Viennese musicians. The number of credits awarded is determined by the number of contact hours with the personal instructor, number of hours of private practice, and the preparation of a private solo recital according to the following criteria:  

  • A minimum of 12 hours of private instruction (students may pursue more hours of private instruction but IES Abroad Vienna only reimburses up to 500 euros for these classes),
  • independent practice,
  • preparation and presentation of a recital,
  • the student must present all or parts of the recital program in a hearing before their teacher and at least one member of the IES music faculty 3 weeks or more in advance of the concert; only upon a successful hearing can the concert take place and a third credit be granted for the course,
  • the total performance time of the recital will be at least 30 minutes,
  •  the performer will play from memory (no use of scores during the recital),
  • vocalists must present at least one group of German Lieder,
  • the student must prepare a printed program for the recital for those in attendance,
  • an audio (and, if possible, also a video) recording will be made of the performances, and
  • the student’s private instructor and a member of the IES music department must attend and evaluate the recital; this evaluation constitutes one component (50%) of the final grade.

For each private lesson, students are expected to complete and document 6 hours of independent practice.  Students enrolled in Individual Performance Studies may not use private instruction or hours of preparation that are required as a part of the Music Performance Workshop in order to receive credit for this course.

Learning outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students will:

  • Be able to demonstrate improvement in their performance ability and knowledge of the instrument
  • Develop specific musical skills, including stylistic interpretative abilities and practice techniques
  • Expand their repertoire
  • Acquire the practical skills necessary for giving a recital: scheduling, organization, setting up and running recording equipment, writing a concert program, and preparing and presenting publicity
Method of presentation: 

Personal instruction.

Required work and form of assessment: 

Students must arrange for private instruction at their own initiative. They are required to document their practice times and the date and length of every private lesson. The instructor will complete a written evaluation form that provides an assessment of the student’s musicianship, preparation, progress, and any other relevant issues. The student is responsible for ensuring that this written evaluation is turned into the Registrar’s Office at the IES Abroad Center before the end of the semester.