Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Instrument (DMA)
The D.M.A. program is designed for performers who have already reached a high level of proficiency and artistry in their fields and who may wish to teach at the university level. This program offers an opportunity to bring creative and performance achievement to a high level while enriching individual backgrounds with academic studies, including specialized training in music history and theory, and other areas. Candidates in music performance are expected to pursue supplementary individual projects in performance practice and music literature. Studies in music theory and music history are included.
What makes the program unique?
UBC’s DMA Orchestral Instrument Performance degree program is distinguished by its outstanding faculty performers who play in the Vancouver Symphony, Vancouver Opera Orchestra, National Broadcast Orchestra, Standing Wave, Turning Point Ensemble, and enjoy successful careers as solo recording artists and entrepreneurs.
Students enjoy the opportunity to study with passionate teachers who care a great deal about their students. The School of Music also provides many master classes with internationally renowned guest artists and ample playing opportunities in ensembles of the highest calibre.
The main focus is to allow each student to progress to the apex of their performance potential, and admission is selective and enrollment limited so that all students are allowed ample performance opportunities to do so.
Orchestral Instrument Performance students perform in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Concert Winds, Symphony Orchestra, and Jazz Bands, and participate in numerous chamber ensembles and opera productions annually. While in residence at UBC, students are placed in various large ensembles throughout each season so that all students receive training in various repertoires under multiple conductors.
In addition, opportunities for performances in regional community, youth, and professional ensembles — such as the Vancouver Academy Orchestra, Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra, Kamloops Symphony, Vancouver Island Symphony, 15th Field Army Band, and many other Vancouver area ensembles — make the UBC School of Music a great place for practical experience in the freelance and community music scene.
Contact the program
Admission Information & Requirements
1) Check Eligibility
Minimum Academic Requirements
The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:
Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Please review the program website carefully to understand the program requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitive process.
English Language Test
Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.
Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:
TOEFL: Test of English as a Foreign Language - internet-based
Overall score requirement: 93
IELTS: International English Language Testing System
Overall score requirement: 6.5
Other Test Scores
Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:
The GRE is required by all applicants.
Prior degree, course and other requirements
Prior Degree Requirements
M.Mus degree in orchestral instrument performance, or equivalent.
i. Outstanding performing ability
ii. M.Mus. degree in orchestral instrument performance, or equivalent
An audition, whether in-person or via video, is required.
2) Meet Deadlines
September 2022 Intake
Application Open Date10 September 2021
3) Prepare Application
All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.
Letters of Reference
A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications.
Statement of Interest
Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.
Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.
Instructions regarding supervisor contact for Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Instrument (DMA)
Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.
4) Apply Online
All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.
The string division and woodwind, brass, and percussion division are distinguished by outstanding faculty performers who enjoy successful international careers as solo recording artists, chamber musicians, and entrepreneurs. Our faculty includes members of the Vancouver Symphony, Vancouver Opera Orchestra, National Broadcast Orchestra, Standing Wave, Turning Point Ensemble, Vancouver Brass Project, Touch of Brass, and Vancouver Saxophone Ensemble.
From the state-of-the-art Chan Centre for Performing Arts, one of North America's premier musical venues, to the historic Old Auditorium and intimate Roy Barnett Recital Hall, you will have the opportunity to train and grow as a professional musician in front of diverse audiences.
Tuition & Financial Support
|Fees||Canadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / Diplomat||International|
|Installments per year||3||3|
|Tuition per installment||$1,732.53||$3,043.77|
|Tuition per year|
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
|Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible)||$3,200.00 (-)|
|Other Fees and Costs|
|Student Fees (yearly)||$969.17 (approx.)|
|Costs of living (yearly)||starting at $17,242.00 (check cost calculator)|
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.
Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.
Program Funding Packages
Students admitted to the School of Music’s graduate programs are automatically considered for scholarships under the GSI (Graduate Support Initiative) program. These competitive awards typically range from $1,000 to 12,000 and are guaranteed for two to four years.
Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)
All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.
Teaching Assistantships (GTA)
Graduate programs may have Teaching Assistantships available for registered full-time graduate students. Full teaching assistantships involve 12 hours work per week in preparation, lecturing, or laboratory instruction although many graduate programs offer partial TA appointments at less than 12 hours per week. Teaching assistantship rates are set by collective bargaining between the University and the Teaching Assistants' Union.
Research Assistantships (GRA)
Many professors are able to provide Research Assistantships (GRA) from their research grants to support full-time graduate students studying under their direction. The duties usually constitute part of the student's graduate degree requirements. A Graduate Research Assistantship is a form of financial support for a period of graduate study and is, therefore, not covered by a collective agreement. Unlike other forms of fellowship support for graduate students, the amount of a GRA is neither fixed nor subject to a university-wide formula. The stipend amounts vary widely, and are dependent on the field of study and the type of research grant from which the assistantship is being funded. Some research projects also require targeted research assistance and thus hire graduate students on an hourly basis.
Financial aid (need-based funding)
Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.
All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.
Foreign government scholarships
Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.
Working while studying
The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.
Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals
Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.
Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.
Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.
6 students graduated between 2005 and 2013. Of these, career information was obtained for 6 alumni (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016):
Sample Employers in Higher EducationKwantlen Polytechnic University
University of Victoria
Indiana University East
Sample Employers Outside Higher EducationVancouver Academy of Music
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher EducationHead of Brass
Freelance Violist and Composer
PhD Career Outcome SurveyYou may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
DisclaimerThese data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Enrolment, Duration & Other Stats
These statistics show data for the Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Instrument (DMA). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.
|2020||Dr. Graham examined the pedagogical benefits of learning and performing a musical genre known as complexism - a style that has received much criticism over the years. He presented interviews with well-known performers, analysis of his own experience, and highlighted the benefits the musician will see as a result of an experience with this genre.|
|2020||Dr. Falta examined Pablo Casals' views on interpretation and cello technique, and defined the extent of his influence on the methods of master cello pedagogues Diran Alexanian and Maurice Eisenberg. Dr. Falta showed how both works reflect Casals' ideas and together form the most significant expression of his teaching legacy.|
|2019||Dr. Hockley examined performer agency in complexism, a contemporary musical aesthetic. Although complexism is often suggested as leaving the performer no room for interpretation or expression, he developed a new analytical perspective that examines how complexism's distinctive material and conceptual elements engage unique forms of performer agency.|
|2018||It is essential for the modern violist to be familiar with various methods of creating sound. Dr. Kwok explored extended techniques and demonstrated teaching methods for students of all ages with six commissioned etudes. Her work encourages students to use these techniques to expand their technical and expressive abilities on their instrument.|