Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Meet Chad Louwerse, DMA candidate in Music

“The course work has been interesting and challenging and the faculty members I’ve taken courses with have been knowledgeable and fun to work with. They create a really positive learning environment.”

What is it about your grad program that enables you to thrive and be successful?
Three things: the great faculty, the music library (staff and resources), and the support music students give to each other.

Where is “home” for you?
Vancouver Island, Sidney and the Saanich Peninsula particularly, are home for me.

Describe your research.
I am researching the life and music of Czech composer Victor Ullmann and his Songs of Hafez in particular. His music is really interesting because it bridges the gap between musical periods, language and styles. As a Jew, he was executed in Auschwitz in 1944 and much of his music was lost. What survived is not well known and it should be.

What’s your favourite music?
Bach’s music, particularly his orchestral suites, is what I come back to again and again.

Have you taken any professional courses that Western makes available to grad students?
I’ve taken the Teaching Assistant Training Program that Western offers. It was very useful. I find that I use the skills presented to me there in many areas of my life. I intend to complete the Certificate in University Teaching and Learning before I leave Western.

Have you worked as a TA or RA?
Working as a TA is really rewarding because it gives me the chance to teach and learn from my students. This ultimately makes me a better teacher, which is something I value. Students are great because they sometimes ask questions that I haven’t thought through. It has also helped me to continue innovating how I express material so that it’s accessible to the great variety of learning styles out there.

Program Websites

Program Contact

Audrey Yardley-Jones (
Graduate Program Assistant

Don Wright Faculty of Music

Western University
Talbot College, Room 216
London, Ontario N6A 3K7

t. 519-661-2111 ext. 85354

The DMA in Performance provides is designed for highly proficient artists in musical performance who wish to strengthen their background with advanced study of literature and pedagogy, and also wish to pursue independent research.

The Own Your Future doctoral professional development program will help you become a career-ready graduate with the skills necessary to excel in your studies and achieve your future goals. By participating in the program, you will assess your own strengths and opportunities for growth, choose what skills you want to enhance during your time at Western, and learn how to articulate the skills you gained in your degree to optimize your future career opportunities. To learn more, visit

Program Length

  • 12 Terms

Program Design

  • Full-time study
  • Project-based or thesis-based

Admission Requirements

  • A strong academic record in a Master’s degree in performance, or its equivalent.
  • A successful audition and interview.
  • Evidence of ability in research and writing.

English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language:

Application Deadline

  • January 15 - Acceptance notification in early March
Applications received after the deadline are contingent on space availability and funding.

Fields of Research

  • Conducting
  • Orchestral instruments
  • Piano (collaborative)
  • Piano (solo)
  • Voice