College of Arts and Letters2021-2022

School of Music

Music, Bachelor of Arts

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

The purpose of the Bachelor of Arts degree program is to provide students with a background in music and musicianship that prepares them for a wide range of further educational and vocational activities that include music as a component.  Students are also prepared for further study at the graduate and/or professional level.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students receiving an undergraduate degree in music will demonstrate:                                                                                                                                                                

  1. Continuing Musical Growth and Independence in the following ways:
  • Applying performance skills on his/her principal instrument or voice
  • Demonstrate technical aptitude on his/her principal instrument or voice
  • Perform individually and in ensembles of different types
  • Investigating specific repertoire
  • Exercise and defend aesthetic judgment by recognizing and interpreting appropriate literature.          
  1. Application of Musicianship Skills in performance, teaching and/or critical analysis of music including:
  • Aural Perception
  • Sight-singing
  • Dictation
  • Keyboard Competency appropriate to the students’ degree program and satisfactory progress in Music Theory
  • Composition or Improvisation.
  1. Analysis of and the ability to apply understanding to enhance students’ performance, teaching, and/or critical analysis of Tonal and Post-Tonal Musical Works and Topics through discussion of the following elements of music:
  • Melody
  • Harmony
  • Counterpoint
  • Rhythm and Meter
  • Form
  • Timbre
  1. Knowledge of the Historical and Cultural Contexts of Western and non-Western Music including:
  • Characteristics of musical styles,
  • Compositional techniques
  • Performance practices
  • Societal and cultural influences on the creation, performance, and dissemination of music.
  1. Knowledge and Application of Research Materials, Critical Thinking Skills, and Writing Skills
  • Basic knowledge and appropriate application of primary and secondary research materials pertaining to music,
  • Effectively communicate in writing on topics in the field of music through the purposeful use of evidence, insightful reasoning (critical thinking), and supporting details.
  1. Synthesis of Learning Experiences
  • Synthesize understanding of musical forms, processes, and structures in compositional, performance, analytical, scholarly and pedagogical applications appropriate to the degree program.
  • Employ multiple areas of learning within music and, ideally, disciplines outside music through a capstone project or culminating experience.
  • Students develop a background in music and musicianship that prepares them for a wide range of further educational and vocational activities that include music as a component.
  1. Integration of content knowledge and skills into analytical frameworks, including an explication of how the following elements complement and enhance areas of music:
  • Understanding and appreciation of the human experience as it can be explained and expressed in the analysis and performance of music. (Aesthetic & Humanistic Inquiry)
  • Examining musical practices and aesthetics in cross-cultural perspectives. (Cultural Understanding)
  • Develop an awareness of music’s long technological history and how its tools (including digital and non-digital) have evolved to represent and shape the cultural and aesthetic values of particular time periods. Exploration furthermore of the rootedness of music, as sound, in the physics of the natural world. (Science & Applied Science)
  • Awareness of how music both expresses and shapes societies, political systems, and cultures. (Social & Political Worlds)
  1. Advanced research and writing skills within music and allied disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, including the ability to:
  • Select and define a problem, challenge, or research question.
  • Conduct a literature review using primary and secondary sources relevant to the research question.
  • Critically analyze the insights gained through the literature review and synthesize the findings into a research paper.
  1. The ability to think, speak, and write clearly and effectively and to communicate with precision, cogency, and rhetorical force in music theory, historical musicology, and ethnomusicology
  • Produce writing, research, and presentations according to discipline-specific needs
  • Master the language and terms of the discipline and be able to apply them accurately
  • Apply discipline-specific formats, vocabulary, documentation, and evidence
  • Understand the interactions between reading, critical thinking, writing and public presentations
  • Review work-in-progress, understanding the need for continuous revisions that focus on polishing grammar, syntax, punctuation
  • Communicate effectively to general and specialized audiences through well-structured oral presentations that contain a clear central message and make appropriate reference to information or analysis that significantly supports the presentation
  • Employ digital tools for revising, editing, designing, sharing drafted works, and in disseminating final products
  • Incorporate appropriate citations in one’s work.
  • Use, invent, and correctly read graphic symbols, including traditional and contemporary musical scores and notations.
  • Organize a progression of ideas or points into an effective rhetorical sequence.
  1. The capacity to explain and defend views effectively and rationally.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of logic, logical fallacy, and syllogism.
  • Engage with and “do” musical criticism, both in the apprehension of musical structure and its relationship to musical interpretation and performance.
  • Survey, compare, and criticize musical theories, schools of thought, points of view, and performance interpretations
  • Categorize various theories and performance practices as they relate to, derive from, or contest others.
  • Evaluate musical performances, interpretations, and theories as implausible versus plausible, contestable versus incontestable, inappropriate versus appropriate, farfetched versus fetched, silly versus serious, and gradations in between.
  • Propose an original philosophical or musical interpretation or adopt an existing idea as one’s own.
  • Evaluate and verbally articulate the pros and cons of various points of view and musical interpretations.

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