Graduate Studies in Music
Cynthia R. Curtis, Dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts
Robert B. Gregg, Director, Graduate Studies in Music
Jeffery Ames, Anthony Belfiglio, Madeline Bridges, Wayne Causey*, Jennifer Coleman, Cynthia Curtis, Bruce Dudley, Sandra Dudley, Kris Elsberry, Deen Entsminger, Jocelyn Fisher*, Robert Gregg, Richard Hoffman, Jeff Kirk, Kristian Klefstad, Terry Klefstad, Barry Kraus, Peter Lamothe, Daniel Landes, Robert Marler, Keith Mason, Keith Moore, Keith Nicholas*, Christopher Norton, Kathryn Paradise, William Pursell, Richard Shadinger, Elisabeth Small, Robert Thompson*, Carolyn Treybig*, Joel Treybig, Roy Vogt*, Mark Volker, Jane Warren, Kristi Whitten, Ted Wylie
To be a nationally recognized, comprehensive graduate program where talented students and expert teachers practice scholarship, performance, and creativity in the study of music.
To provide a challenging environment where graduate students are encouraged to develop creativity, research, and excellence in the areas of music composition, church music, music education, performance, and pedagogy.
The goals for graduate study in music are:
1) To enhance and extend the educational knowledge of students preparing for careers in music.
2) To offer various curricula in graduate study for the student desiring to pursue advanced study in music.
3) To enrich the cultural and musical environment of the university community.
The Belmont University School of Music is a fully accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
The Master of Music Degree
The Master of Music Degree is a professional music degree designed for students seeking advanced study in music in the areas of Church Music, Commercial Music, Composition, Music Education, Pedagogy (keyboard, instrumental, vocal), or Performance (keyboard, instrumental, vocal). Students applying to this program typically will have completed undergraduate degrees in music. The professional goals of students in this program include doctoral study in music, careers in performance, elementary and secondary school music teaching, private or college teaching and church music positions.
Master of Music Curricula
The Belmont University Master of Music Degree includes six majors: Church Music, Commercial Music, Composition, Music Education, Pedagogy, and Performance. Each of the strong musical and academic curricula consists of 34 total hours. Graduate students in each major are required to successfully complete comprehensive written and oral examinations as well as a culminating project. Culminating Project track options vary according to the major and include: (a) lecture recital track (includes a research project), (b) full recital track (includes a recital paper), (c) thesis/project track. Requirements of each track are described in the Guidelines to the Master of Music Degree available on the Belmont University web site.
Master of Music - Major in Church Music
Students pursuing advanced academic study in Church Music are preparing to be ministers of music, choirmasters, organists, children's choir leaders or a combination of these roles. Students in this program may focus on performance, research, or conducting.
Coursework is required in worship, church music education, hymnology, and choral literature. Supervised work in a church setting is a practical component of this curriculum. Supporting courses in music include research, theory, history, and applied studies.
Church Music majors are required to successfully complete comprehensive written and oral examinations. The culminating project is the lecture recital track.
Master of Music - Major in Commercial Music
This major is designed for students wishing to further develop their knowledge and skills related to the performance and composition/arranging of commercial music. The major offers two emphasis areas: performance and media composition and arranging. Graduates of the Master of Music with a Major in Commercial Music should enhance their opportunities to become professional commercial performers, composers/arrangers, producers, and musicians in a variety of creative mediums in the commercial music industry. Courses in audio engineering, entrepreneurial challenges, and apprenticeship are included in the major. This degree/major will also make possible the pursuit of doctoral programs within certain discipline areas.
Master of Music - Major in Composition
The Master of Music in Composition is designed for students wishing to further develop their skills and knowledge in the area of music composition. Graduates with a major in Composition pursue careers as professional free-lance composers/arrangers, serve as adjunct instructors in regional and community colleges, and/or continue study in a doctoral program leading to a university teaching position.
Coursework is required in applied composition, composition seminar, compositional analysis, and theory pedagogy. Supporting courses in music include research, history, ensemble participation, and theory.
Composition majors are required to successfully complete comprehensive written and oral examinations. The culminating project for the MM in composition includes a 50-minute chamber recital of original compositions as well as a recital paper.
Master of Music - Major in Music Education
The Master of Music in Music Education is designed to train today's music teacher as both musician and educator. Graduate students majoring in Music Education choose from three specializations: elementary/middle school, secondary choral, or secondary instrumental.
In addition to courses in the area of specialization, coursework also is required in music education foundations and contemporary educational issues. Supporting courses in music include research, theory, history, ensemble participation, and applied studies.
Music Education majors are required to successfully complete written and oral comprehensive examinations. The culminating project is a choice of either the lecture recital or thesis/project track.
Master of Music - Major in Pedagogy
Students entering the Pedagogy Major seek specialization in the teaching of their particular performance area. A secondary but important emphasis is placed on performance.
Pedagogy majors are interested in establishing private teaching studio businesses and/or teaching in community colleges. Some will continue graduate study in doctoral programs leading to college and university teaching positions.
Pedagogy courses include two semesters of pedagogy and one semester of supervised teaching. Applied study and repertoire are also part of the major. Supporting music courses include research, theory, and history.
Pedagogy majors are required to successfully complete comprehensive written and oral examinations. The culminating project is a choice of either the lecture recital or the thesis/project track .
Master of Music - Major in Performance
Students who have achieved a high level of skill in their performance area during undergraduate careers and wish to further develop their performance abilities seek this degree. Performance majors specialize in their applied performance area with a secondary component in the teaching of that area.
In this degree, students prepare to become professional performing musicians. It is assumed that most graduates of the Performance Major will either become professional performers or continue study in Doctor of Musical Arts programs leading to university teaching positions.
Performance majors are required to successfully complete comprehensive written and oral examinations and follow the full recital track for the culminating project.
A. Requirements for Admission to the Master of Music Program
- To be considered for admission, all Belmont University applicants must submit the following:
- A completed Belmont University Graduate Studies Application for Admission.
- Two completed recommendation forms from individuals who know applicant's musical and scholastic abilities.
- The $50 non-refundable application fee.
- Official transcripts of all previous college and masters level work
- Additionally, students seeking admission to the School of Music must also submit:
- A completed Graduate Studies in Music Application Supplement.
- A copy of a printed program from a junior and/or senior undergraduate recital.
- A complete undergraduate repertory list in the principal performing area.
- Scores from either the GRE or MAT taken within the last five years. Anticipated scores for an entering student are 1000 on the GRE and 400 on the MAT.
- School of Music Applicants must:
- Have earned at least a 2.75 cumulative undergraduate point average on a 4.0 scale or a 3.0 average in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work to be fully admitted. A student may receive probationary acceptance with a 2.5 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale or a 2.75 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work.
- Complete an audition and an interview with the Director of Graduate Studies in Music. (See Guidelines for the Master of Music Degree on the Belmont University web site for information regarding audition requirements.)
- Successfully complete the School of Music entrance examination (which covers Music History and Music Theory) prior to beginning coursework. Review courses are required for students who do not successfully complete these entrance examinations. Review courses may count as elective hours in most degree programs.
B. Post-Baccalaureate Study and Requirements for Admission
Non-degree seeking students who have already earned an undergraduate degree may, with permission of the Director of Graduate Studies in Music, take a limited number of music hours as a post-baccalaureate graduate student in music .
- All applicants seeking admission to Belmont University as a non-degree seeking post-baccalaureate student must submit the following:
- The Belmont University Non-Degree Graduate Application.
- The $50 non-refundable application fee.
- Official transcripts of all previous college and masters level work.
- Additionally, students seeking admission to the School of Music as a non-degree seeking post-baccalaureate student must complete an interview with the Director of Graduate Studies in Music
- Should students wish, at a later time, to apply as degree-seeking Master of Music graduate students, they must complete the entire M.M. application process as described in letter A.
Undergraduate Equivalency. Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in music but who wish to pursue an M.M. degree should apply for post-baccalaureate graduate study. They should also contact the School of Music Graduate Office for information regarding undergraduate equivalency requirements which must be completed prior to applying for admission to the M.M. program.
Licensure. Post-baccalaureate students wishing to receive licensure to teach K-12 music should contact the Director of Graduate Studies in Music to determine a program of studies appropriate to the applicant's particular background.
C. Limitation on Completion of Requirements
A graduate student in the Master of Music program must complete all degree requirements within a six (6) year period.
D. Full-Time Status and Maximum Course Load
A six-hour credit load constitutes full-time status for a Master of Music student. A 12-hour credit load constitutes the maximum load for a Master of Music student.
E. Undergraduate Seniors Taking Graduate Course Work
A Belmont University School of Music senior who is within 30 hours of completing requirements for a bachelor's degree and has at least a 3.0 grade-point average may take up to 3 hours per semester of graduate credit toward the Master of Music degree. The senior must have the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies in Music and the student's undergraduate advisor.
Additionally, the student must submit:
- The completed application for Senior Enrollment in Graduate Courses (available from the School of Music Office)
- The Belmont University Non-Degree Graduate Application
F. Financial Aid
A limited amount of scholarship aid is available for Master of Music students. The Master of Music application form serves as an application for scholarship aid. A limited number of graduate and graduate teaching assistantships are available. Contact the Graduate Secretary for a description of assistantships and application materials.
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