M.Mus. Orchestral Instruments, Major Percussion

Programme details

Orchestra musicians have to meet both particular and complex demands regarding genre (sinfonia, opera, operetta, musical etc.), cast and style of the works which will be performed (knowledge of interpretational characteristics ranging from Early Music to vanguard playing techniques of the newest compositions is expected). Therefore, it is necessary for the musician to possess a high artistic potential as well as the ability to work as part of an ensemble and to take up a subordinate role in a group (following a concertmaster, principal, conductor).

Instrumental excellence regarding playing techniques and interpretational skills is the fundamental prerequisite for a successful orchestra musician. Therefore, the Major Specialism module (“Künstlerisches Kernmodul”, semesters 1–4) is the essential part of each semester. Ensemble playing from chamber music to orchestra playing in different contexts (university orchestra, practical period with a professional orchestra) is the pillar of the Key Module (“Schwerpunktmodul”, semesters 1–4). The core segment is supported by study fields such as audition training and performance skills.

The module Applied Music Theory and Musicology (“Angewandte Musiktheorie und Musikwissenschaft”, semesters 1–2) has been aligned with the core area of the course.

The Master’s course is characterised by its highly practical component which leads directly to the practical period in the second half of the study.

During the 3rd and the 4th semesters, students choose one module out of a module catalogue to either refine their artistic skills or to specialise.

Please note that the title of the degree course has been changed from M.Mus. Orchestra to M.Mus. Orchestral Instruments in the summer semester 2021. The study programme itself, however, has not changed.

Course Profile

  • Official Length of the programme: two years, 120 ECTS-credits
  • Start of the course: winter semester as well as summer semester
  • Application period: 1 October to 15 November for the summer semester. 1 March to 15 April for the winter semester.
  • University Degree: Master of Music
  • Teachers

Study documents

Please visit the German website.

Career perspectives

The Master’s course aims towards educating artists who are able to work as orchestra musicians and meet the various expectations of the professional market. The programme has been designed in such a way as to include all essential fields of study while providing sufficient space for the qualification in the main instrument.

Language requirements

Foreign students whose native language is not German must provide evidence that their knowledge of German is sufficient for their chosen course. 
For the Master’s degree (Orchestral Instruments), students are required to have reached level B2 as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. 
Applicants’ linguistic competence will be established during the aptitude test. 

You will find further information in the Aptitude Test Regulations and Matriculation Regulations (only in German) of Rostock University of Music and Drama.

Aptitude test requirements

Aptitude test in main subject (supplement to the aptitude test regulations of Rostock University of Music and Drama)

Studies or short solo works on

  • small drum
  • timpani
  • xylophone
  • two movements from one of Johann Sebastian Bach’s cello suites (marimba), approx. 15 minutes
  • Orchestral studies approx. 5 minutes
Aptitude test requirements

Please apply via our application website by uploading the required documents and application video by 15th of April for the next winter semester and 15th of November for the next summer semester.
In order to take part in the aptitude test part 1, you need to submit your application as well as five videos according to the regulations of the study course you are applying for.

In order to take part in the aptitude test, you need to submit application videos

1 etude for snare drum (classics), e.g.

  • Heinrich Knauer No. 6 from "Praktische Schule für kleine Trommel"
  • Bent Lylloff "Arhus Etude"
  • Mitchell Peters No. 7 from "Advanced Snare Drum Studies"

1 short orchestral part for snare drum, by your choice e.g.

  • N. Rimsky Korsakov, one movement from "Sheherazade"
  • S. Prokoffief "Peter and the Wolf"
  • M. Ravel "Alborada del grazioso"

1 orchestral part for xylophone or carillon, by your choice, e.g.

  • E. Humperdinck "Hansel and Gretel"
  • P. Hindemith "Chamber Music No. 1"
  • A. Glasunov "Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in A Minor"
  • P. Dukat "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" (1. passage)

1 Etude for timpani, e.g.

  • Jacques Delecluse Etude No. 29
  • Heinrich Knauer Etude No. 70

1 orchestral passages for timpani, by your choice, e.g.

  • L. v. Beethoven 9th Symphony

Should any of the requested instruments momentarily not be at your disposal due to the COVID-19 pandemic, please send us the other videos nonetheless.

Each video has to start with a short introduction (your name, your application number, the title of the piece you are about to present). The video has to be filmed in one take and live, which means the material must not be cut or post-edited. There is no need for professional video production. Videos taken with your mobile phone are absolutely fine. However, you should be clearly visible and audible whilst playing your instrument. The video should be framed to show the whole person.

You will receive an e-mail with the results of part 1 of the aptitude test. If you have passed part 1 of the aptitude test, you will be invited to part 2 which will take place in June for the winter semester and in January for the summer semester. The exact dates will be published under apply for studies.

Requirements for the aptitude test part 2:

Snare drum 

2 pieces of your choice with a high level of difficulty 

(e.g. Knauer 7, Wagner 64, Delecluse 1, Mitchell Peters 7, etc.)

2 orchestral excerpts of your choice


1 solo piece or etude with a high level of difficulty 

(e.g. Goldenberg, Schlagwerker etc.)

2 orchestral excerpts of your choice (on the xylophone and carillon)


2 pieces (etudes, solo pieces) for 4 timpani of your choice with a high level of difficulty including retuning (e.g. Beck, Krüger, Delecluse etc.)

2 orchestral excerpts of your choice


Marimba or Vibraphone: solo piece or concert with 4 mallets of your choice with a high level of difficulty 


Possibly sight reading 


Additionally, foreign students have to pass a German proficiency test.

We look forward to your application.


Click here for the ONLINE APPLICATION and the dates of the APTITUDE TEST.

A fee of 50 Euro is charged for processing your application for admission. Please transfer this amount when you submit your application.

Any other questions?

Mrs Dörtje Peters
Study Office for Music
fon +49 381 5108 220
fax +49 381 5108 201

Prof. Henrik Magnus Schmidt, Head of Percussion

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