THE UST Conservatory of Music will offer new doctorate programs in choral conducting, guitar, piano and voice tracks in the coming academic year.

Asst. Prof. Peter John Marie Porticos, the college secretary, said the Conservatory wanted to increase the number of doctorate students amid the University’s shift to remote learning through its “enriched virtual mode” strategy.

“All programs in UST are striving to be world-class programs, and part of being a world-class program is to have a doctorate program…In five to 10 years, the minimum requirement for employment in a university will be a doctorate degree, and in 10 to 20 years, the doctorate degree will also be ordinary,” he told the Varsitarian.

The Conservatory dean, Assoc. Prof. Antonio Africa, has been planning to offer doctorate programs since January 2017, Porticos said. The doctorate program in music was opened in Academic Year 2019-2020.

The transition to online classes affected the number of applications, Porticos said. In Academic Year 2020-2021, only two students were enrolled in the doctorate program in music performance.

The program has 66 units, and students are expected to complete their program in three and a half to four years. Included are terminal requirements—three memorized solo recitals and a performance dissertation.

Porticos said that the Conservatory faculty was used to the “new normal” in teaching music programs amid the pandemic.

“[M]usic entails one-on-one lessons. So piano lessons or voice lessons and all of these things, they are all done online. And we are used to it already at the undergraduate level and also at the graduate level. Even our graduation recitals are done online,” he said.

“Of course, we have physical facilities in the Conservatory, [and] we have practice and lesson studios which would be reactivated during face-to-face sessions when they are allowed again. So face-to-face, virtual. We are ready for that,” he added.

Porticos also hinted at the possibility of the Conservatory opening a doctorate program in music education


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