College of Arts and Letters2016-2017

School of Music

Music, Master of Music

  • Available Emphasis Areas:
  • Choral Conducting - Emphasis
  • Composition - Emphasis
  • Instrumental Conducting - Emphasis
  • Instrumental Performance - Emphasis
  • Musicology/Ethnomusicology - Emphasis
  • Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music - Emphasis
  • Suzuki Pedagogy (Violin) - Emphasis
  • Theory - Emphasis
  • Vocal Performance - Emphasis

With several specific emphasis areas, students earning this Master's degree engage in a program of study that prepares them for an array of paths and career choices in the field of music. Candidates in this program enhance and develop their artistic and intellectual skills, leading them to teaching careers in public schools, arts academies, and community colleges; to performing careers in professional symphonies, wind groups, choruses, and opera companies; and to a continuation of their academic path in leading doctoral programs across the country.

Careers

What Can I Do with a Master of Music in Music?

You can become a highly qualified teacher in a public school setting, compete for a place in the performing world, or continue your education in a doctoral program. Our graduate program will provide you with a distinctive blend of concepts and applications, allowing you to achieve your professional goals and aspirations.

The MM program offers candidates a wide range of academically rigorous and inspiring courses; high-level solo performing and ensemble opportunities; and personal attention from distinguished faculty. Many graduate students enjoy teaching and conducting opportunities that are rarely offered at the Master's level.

Career opportunities that might be pursued:
  • Senior-level public school teaching position
  • Major ensemble conductor
  • Online or Community college faculty position
  • Apprenticeship performance programs

With further education, one of these paths is possible:
  • University teaching
  • Establish and maintain a private music studio


University Requirements

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. (Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.)

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master’s degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.
    The full policy can be viewed here.

     

Overview

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 36
Additional Admission Requirements Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
Emphasis, Minor, Certificate

Emphasis, minor, and/or certificate are required.

Thesis Thesis may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Comprehensive Exam Comprehensive Exam is required.
Foreign Language A foreign language may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Research Individualized research may be required by chosen emphasis or offered as an option.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Core Outcomes
Students receiving a graduate degree in music will demonstrate:
 
1.   Advanced professionalism and independence in the area of specialization:
  • Music performance, which includes instrumental performance, vocal performance, choral conducting, and/or orchestral conducting; or
  • Scholarly research in music utilizing historical and theoretical methods. 
2.   Continued growth in musical understanding through analytic, historic, pedagogical, and performance skills, which include:
  • The ability to identify appropriate literature in support of their individual career path.
  • Understanding stylistic differences among various types of music and applying that understanding in performance.
  • The ability to apply pedagogical concepts within an educational environment. 
3.   Graduate and professional level research skills, which include:
  • The use of advanced historical and critical methodologies across a wide variety of musical styles, genres, and time-periods.
  • Advanced interpretative, analytical, and synthesis skills within the area of music theory.
  • Clear, cogent writing skills.
  • The ability to systematically support an argument in writing.
  • The ability to identify appropriate primary and secondary sources and effectively cite the sources in a research document. 
4.   Acknowledgement, awareness, and exploration of connections across music subdisciplines and human experiences by integrating knowledge learned within the contexts of:
  • History;
  • Theory;
  • Performance; and
  • Culture. 
7.   Integration of knowledge and skills gained in performance and scholarship into a meaningful and intellectual life in a global society by:
  • Identifying human experiences expressed in a variety of musics.
  • Communicating those human experiences through scholarship and performance.

Subplan Learning Ooutcomes  
In addition to Degree Learning Outcomes, students will possess skills and knowledge specific to their chosen sub-plan.
 
Choral Conducting 
Students develop advanced skills in choral conducting that will prepare them for careers as choral conductors in a variety of educational and professional settings or for further training at the doctoral level.
 
1.   Conduct with clarity, coordination, and expression. 
2.   Apply appropriate analytic, historic, and performance techniques to thorough score preparation. 
3.   Understand conducting gesture and its relationship to vocal efficiency in order to elicit appropriate phrasing and style from choral ensembles. 
4.   Cultivate a broad knowledge of choral composers and repertoire from the twelfth to the twenty-first century. 
5.   Develop rehearsal techniques that will promote efficiency in learning repertoire in the choral music classroom. 
6.   Synthesize musical, theoretical, and historical knowledge in preparation for auditions into competitive doctoral programs.
 
Composition 
Students develop composition skills preparing them for careers as composers or for further study at the doctoral level.

1.    Refine music research and writing skills, including the ability to locate, assess, and synthesize a wide range of research materials related to music; create a bibliography; and write effective expository prose on music and related topics. 
2.   Acquire advanced skills for analyzing traditional tonal music, including the ability to create Schenkerian graphs of musical excerpts and pieces. 
3.   Learn advanced methodologies for analyzing post-tonal music, including pitch-class set theory and twelve-tone theory. 
4.   Acquire detailed knowledge of post-World War II music. 
5.   Increase compositional skills, leading to the production of a large-scale musical work as well as a full-length master’s recital featuring the live performances of several original compositions. 
6.   Acquire knowledge of music theory pedagogy, including diverse techniques and strategies for teaching musical fundamentals, tonal harmony, and ear training at the high school and college levels.
 
Instrumental Conducting 
Students develop advanced skills in instrumental conducting that will prepare them for careers as instrumental conductors in a variety of educational and professional settings or for further training at the doctoral level.
 
1.   Acquire knowledge of the history and heritage of orchestral and/or wind conducting. 
2.   Examine the operations and vision of a comprehensive instrumental music program at the high school, middle school, and collegiate levels in order to appropriately fill the role of instrumental conductor at one or more of these levels, according to the student’s career plan. 
3.   Identify appropriate repertoire for public performance and skill development for use with ensembles with varying technical, rhythmic, harmonic skills levels. 
4.   Develop an ensemble philosophy consisting of balanced, varied, and functional programming appropriate to ensembles and audiences of diverse backgrounds and musical experiences. 
5.   Practice the fundamentals and advanced technical, musical, and artistic skills necessary to conduct large instrumental ensembles. 
6.   Interpret, distinguish, and employ historical performance practices within orchestral and wind ensemble repertoires.
 
Instrumental Performance 
Students develop skills in instrumental performance that prepare them for a career as a performer in a variety of contexts or for further study at the doctoral level.
 
1.   Develop the advanced technical, musical, and artistic skills necessary for professional success on the primary instrument in solo and ensemble contexts. 
2.   Apply knowledge of historical performance practices within specific instrumental repertoire. 
3.   Apply professional standards in oral and written communication such as utilizing proper etiquette for phone interviews or video consultation and composing well-designed letters of inquiry regarding job opportunities. 
4.   Listen to and respond thoughtfully and thoroughly to work by other MM instrumental performance students in order to hone the critical, intellectual and analytical skills, and practice providing and receiving critique. Use critiques and insights from others to hone one’s performance craft. 
5.   Investigate the world of the performance industry in order to discover suitable venues to perform. 
6.   Actively participate and network in a community of musicians and cultivate a professional identity through performing one’s work frequently in recitals and master classes.
 
Musicology 
Students develop skills in the area of musicology and/or ethnomusicology that prepare them for further study at the doctoral level.
 
1.   Demonstrate advanced historical knowledge of music from the Western tradition as well as music from around the world. 
2.   Demonstrate advanced analytical skills in interpreting music within historical and cultural contexts. 
3.   Participate in the intellectual discourse on music, drawing from their historical, practical, and theoretical knowledge. 
4.   Develop appropriate research questions and arguments and integrate musicological/ethnomusicological methods for the purposes of answering the developed questions and supporting the developed arguments. 
5.   Demonstrate understanding and breadth of critical approaches to music in preparation for researching and writing a master’s level thesis. 
6.   Produce a master’s thesis displaying research of a caliber that could be presented at a regional music conference. This thesis will:
  • Present an original, sustained, and coherent argument.
  • Involve detailed musical analysis of the work of a particular composer or a specific repertoire of musical works.
  • Summarize, respond to, and/or build upon the prior secondary analytical literature on that composer or repertoire.
  • Employ a methodology that is more detailed, specific, and/or advanced than the approaches taught at the level of the basic undergraduate music history course sequence. 
Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music 
Students develop collaborative piano skills that prepare them for professional careers as collaborative pianists or for further study at the doctoral level.
 
1.   Demonstrate performance proficiency in all areas of collaborative piano work, including: vocal, instrumental, chamber music, opera, choral, and large ensemble. 
2.   Apply knowledge of historical performance practices within vocal, chamber music, and piano repertoires. 
3.   Develop the advanced technical, musical, and artistic skills necessary for professional success as a pianist in ensemble contexts. 
4.   Display communication and rehearsal techniques in collaborative settings in order effectively and efficiently bring ensembles to a professional level of cohesion and artistry. 
5.   Apply professional standards in oral and written communication such as utilizing proper etiquette for phone interviews or video consultation and composing well-designed letters of inquiry regarding job opportunities. 
6.   Investigate the world of the performance industry in order to discover suitable venues to perform. 
7.   Actively participate and network in a community of musicians and cultivate a professional identity through performing with others frequently in recitals and master classes.
 
Suzuki Pedagogy (Violin) 
Students develop skills in the Suzuki Pedagogy method that will prepare them for careers as Suzuki violin teachers or for further study of the Suzuki method.
 
1.   Articulate and utilize Suzuki philosophy and concepts while teaching individual students and groups of students. 
2.   Demonstrate teaching skills and mastery of repertoire appropriate to beginning, intermediate, and advanced students. 
3.   Perform the Suzuki repertoire at a professional level. 
4.   Demonstrate knowledge of child development, parent education, and parent engagement in the learning process. 
5.   Identify appropriate repertoire for public performance and skill development for use with students with varying skills levels.
 
Theory 
Students develop skills in music theory that prepare them for further study of music theory at the doctoral level.
 
1.   Develop music research and writing skills (including the ability to locate, assess, and synthesize a wide range of research materials related to music), compile a comprehensive bibliography of existing research in the field, and write effective expository prose on music and related topics. 
2.   Acquire advanced skills for analyzing traditional tonal music, including the ability to create Schenkerian graphs of musical excerpts and pieces. 
3.   Learn advanced methodologies for analyzing post-tonal music, including pitch-class set theory and twelve-tone theory. 
4.   Increase analytical writing skills, including the ability to formulate an original interpretation of a musical work, elucidate this interpretation in prose, supported by detailed musical observations, and in relation to existing secondary literature. 
5.   Produce a master’s thesis displaying research of a caliber that could be presented at a regional music theory conference. This thesis will:
  • Present an original, sustained, and coherent argument.
  • Involve detailed musical analysis of the work of a particular composer or a specific repertoire of musical works.
  • Summarize, respond to, and/or build upon the prior secondary analytical literature on that composer or repertoire.
  • Employ a methodology that is more detailed, specific, and/or advanced than the approaches taught at the level of the basic undergraduate music theory course sequence.
  • Be orally defended by the student in front of a defense committee. 
6.   Acquire knowledge of music theory pedagogy, including diverse techniques and strategies for teaching musical fundamentals, tonal harmony, and ear-training at the high school and college levels.
 
Vocal Performance 
Students develop skills in vocal performance that prepare them for professional singing careers or for further vocal study at the doctoral level.
 
1.   Apply knowledge of vocal literature within its historical context through successful collaboration in rehearsals and performances. 
2.   Demonstrate proper vocal technical, musicianship, artistry, and interpretation in advanced-level solo-vocal performances. 
3.   Develop a broad range of skills, from refined stage deportment in performance to exemplary understanding of stylistic contrast, in preparation for auditions into performance organizations and/or competitive doctoral programs. 
4.   Listen to and respond thoughtfully and thoroughly to work by other MM vocal performance students in order to hone the critical, intellectual and analytical skills, and practice providing and receiving critique. Use critiques and insights from others to hone one’s performance craft. 
5.   Apply professional standards in oral and written communication such as utilizing proper etiquette for phone interviews or video consultation and composing well-designed letters of inquiry regarding job opportunities. 
6.   Investigate the world of the performance industry in order to discover suitable venues to perform. 
7.   Actively participate and network in a community of musicians and cultivate a professional identity through performing one’s work frequently in recitals and master classes.

Details

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.
    • NAU Graduate Online application is required for all programs. Details on admission requirements are included in the online application.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A"), or the equivalent. 
    • Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.
    • Transcripts
    • For details on graduate admission policies, please visit the Graduate Admissions Policy
    • International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy 


    Individual program admission requirements include:

    • 2 letters of recommendation
    • Writing Sample
      • Musicology
      • Theory
    • Portfolio
      • Composition
    • Video or Audio File
      • Prospective students pursuing a performance sub-plan must submit a 15-20 minute audio/visual recording that demonstrates their skills to the major faculty member in their area before scheduling a live audition (unless prior permission has been attained from the major professor).  Please see the School of Music Graduate Program for specific sub-plan information.
    • Personal statement or essay 
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 36 units, which includes an Emphasis:

    Core Requirements (15 units)

    *Please note that some sub-plans require more than three units of capstone coursework.
    **Choral Conducting, Instrumental Conducting, and Suzuki Pedagogy (Violin) will register for MUS 681 (3 units)
    **Instrumental Performance; Vocal Performance; and Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music will register for MUS 680 (1 unit) and additional electives and/or conducted ensembles (2 units)
    ** Composition, Musicology/Ethnomusicology, and Theory will register for MUS 699 (3 units)

    In addition, you must:
    • Upon entry, complete a self-paced, competency-based online music history tutorial and theory placement exam (unless waived by Associate Director of Graduate Studies).
    • Pass a final comprehensive oral exam.
    Emphasis Requirements (Select One):
    • Choral Conducting Emphasis (21 units)In addition, you must:
      • Sing in one major choral ensemble each semester.
      • Sing in all choral conducting lecture recitals.
      • Satisfy a diction requirement comparable to a two-semester undergraduate sequence.
      • Pass piano and ear training proficiencies administered by the conducting faculty.
    • Composition Emphasis (21 units)In addition, you must:
      • Complete a successful thesis defense.
    • Instrumental Conducting Emphasis (21 units)
    • Instrumental Performance Emphasis (21 units)In addition, you must:
      • Play in one large conducted instrumental ensemble each semester.
    • Musicology/Ethnomusicology Emphasis (21 units)In addition, you must:
      • Satisfy a foreign-language requirement (waived by examination) comparable to a two-year sequence at the undergraduate level.
      • Complete a successful Thesis Defense.
    • Suzuki Pedagogy (Violin) Emphasis (21 units)
    • Theory Emphasis (21 units)In addition, you must:
      • Complete a successful thesis defense.
    • Vocal Performance Emphasis (21 units)
      • MUP 611 (12 units)
      • MUS 520 (3 units)
      • MUS 521 (2 units)
      • MUP 660 (2 units) Vocalists will enroll for "Opera Theater Workshop"
      • MUP 660 (2 units) Vocalists will enroll for "Conducted Choir"
    • In addition, you must:

      • Satisfy a diction requirement comparable to a two-semester undergraduate sequence. 

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also take. For prerequisite information click on the course or see your advisor.

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