Skip to main content
Norges musikkhøgskole Norwegian Academy of Music Search

Main instru­ment II

  • Year of study: Year 3 and 4, four semesters.
  • Final assessment: Exam concert.
  • Prerequisites: Passing mark from 1st module of Bachelor of Music in Music Education.
  • Language of instruction: Norwegian.

Course description

This course is for students that specialise in classical music.

Students take the course as a part of their second module. Central to this course is development of students' performance competence focusing on technical skill and learning new repertoire, as well as training to perform repertoire alone and together with others. Working towards the student's final exam concert will be central to the last two semesters of the course.

The course is based on Principal instrument I (MPHO10).

Learning objectives

On completion of the course, the student is expected to

  • Demonstrate creativity and confidence in the genre when playing solo and in ensembles.
  • Present music in various performance situations and be able to communicate with the audience.
  • Have acquired a comprehensive, balanced repertoire of music in various styles and traditions.
  • Be able to work independently and with purpose, when playing alone and in ensembles.
  • Know and show an ability to reflect upon relevant academic and professional ethical issues.


The repertoire is chosen with the intention of building a widest possible repertoire within students’ interests and proficiency levels. The exam repertoire must include repertoire learned in chamber music tuition. The course places heavy demands on students’ ability to judge and create independent musical renditions.

In the course, students will mainly work on:

Principal instrument

  • Learning a new repertoire.
  • Technical exercises.
  • Interpretation and performance presentation.
  • Techniques for rehearsal and learning new repertoire.
  • Studying recordings and literature. Students will choose material under supervision from their instructor.

Accompaniment and rehearsal

  • Learning repertoire and playing with accompaniment.
  • Guidance in the repertoire, and musical and interpretational challenges in works. As well as the challenges of playing with accompaniment.

Forum and interpretation

  • Performance practice, knowledge of the instrument and repertoire.
  • Developing the ability to judge and comment verbally on performances, the students' own and those of peers.
  • Developing musical and verbal skills for communicating with the audience.
  • Knowing the elements of a good performance.
  • Ensembles/orchestra groups.
  • Audition training.

Orchestra and chamber orchestra (for students with orchestra instruments)

  • Learning and performing repertoire common to orchestras, chamber orchestras, wind ensembles and other large ensembles from the seventeen hundreds until now.

Chamber choir (for singers)

  • Learning and performing repertoire which includes music from various periods and genres. As a suggestive norm for the repertoire, a three-year period should include at least one project with an orchestra or ensemble, one of the Academy's ensembles or orchestras, or external; one a capella project; one contemporary music project; one church music project, usually with an ensemble (may also be a capella or contemporary); and one opera project with an ensemble.

The Academy also arranges optional courses and specialist seminars on topics like musicians' health, performance preparation, how to be a freelancer and commercial awareness.


Organisation and methods vary in this course. The student's independent work with rehearsing and material studies (recordings, literature) related to rehearsing is central. Students will participate in several organised concerts and performances.

Principal instrument

  • Individual guidance and classes with instrument teacher will take place weekly.

Accompaniment and rehearsal

  • Individual lessons with an accompanist.
  • Performances with an accompanist in principal instrument lessons, forum, interpretation lessons, classes, concerts and exams.

Forum and interpretation

  • Weekly lessons and/or projects/workshops in instrument groups (strings, woodwinds, brass etc.).
  • Will be taught by several Academy teachers, as well as guest teachers.

Orchestra (for students playing orchestra instruments)

  • Project weeks ending with concert(s) and two to four group rehearsals before every project.
  • A plan for repertoire, seminars, rehearsal times, concerts, instructors and conductors will be made available at the start of each academic year.
  • Student participation is regulated by instrumentation and repertoire demands. Lists of participants and final project schedules (including group rehearsals) are made available no later than three (3) weeks prior to the start of each project.

Chamber choir II (for singers)

  • Project weeks, normally three choir projects per academic year, and one to two concerts per project.
  • At the start of each academic year, there will be made a schedule over repertoire, rehearsal times, concerts, instructors and conductors.
  • Details for the individual student's participation is regulated by lineup lists. Detailed rehearsal plans are ready three weeks before a project begins, at the latest.

Students have registered automatically for instruction/supervision and assessment in the course in accordance with the study progress requirements set out in the individual education plan.

For an overview of the anticipated study progression, please see Organisation under the description of the individual study programme.

Course requirements

1. Compulsory participation in orchestra or choir

  • Students playing orchestra instruments: Compulsory active participation in accordance with lineup needs, rehearsal schedules and applicable guidelines.
  • Vocal students: Compulsory active participation in two-chamber choir projects per academic year.

2. Submit the principal instrument report

The report must be signed by the principal instrument teacher and must include:

  • Exam programme of 30 minutes Durata (not more than 35 minutes), of which 10 minutes must be chamber music.
  • All learned repertoire (at least 270 minutes including 1st module repertoire).
  • Performances, no less than once per academic year).
  • Participation in concerts and seminars.
  • Relevant literature and sound material the student has studied.

Deadline: Three copies of the principal instrument report must be submitted to the exam's office by 15 April in the fourth semester of the course.

Final assessment

All course requirements must be approved prior to obtaining a final assessment.

Assessment is based on learning objectives. The final assessment is given on a scale from A to E and is determined based on an exam concert at the end of the fourth year of study. Students are assessed by at least one external and two internal examiners, one of which is normally the principal instrument teacher. The Examination Committee will give the student oral feedback regarding the concert.

Exam concert

The concert is normally held at the Academy. The student and principal instrument teacher will determine the exam repertoire together. In the case of disagreements, the principal instrument teacher makes the final decision.

Scope: approx. 30 minutes (no more than 35 minutes). Minimum 10 minutes must be chamber music.

New assessment

In the case of re-assessment, the same procedures apply.

Published: Apr 3, 2020 — Last updated: Apr 26, 2021