Music, Conducting Specialization, M.M.
Joseph Morgan, Program Director
The School of Music offers a Master of Music degree with specializations in collaborative piano, conducting, jazz studies, music composition, music composition for contemporary media, music education, musicology, and performance.
Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate program.
Admission to the Master of Music degree program requires
- an earned bachelor's degree in music from an accredited university or college;
- an acceptable grade point average in all college work taken (at least 3.00).
All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
- submit application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php). Once this initial application has been accepted, the applicant will receive directions on how to enter the graduate portal to be able to submit other materials.
- submit official transcripts of all previous college work;
- submit three letters of recommendation.
Additionally, those seeking a specialization in conducting must complete an audition. Applicants who do not pass the audition may be allowed, at the discretion of the faculty, to be admitted with probationary status for one semester and must register for MUAP 5020 - Private Instruction. They must re-audition at the end of their first semester of study. Students who do not pass the audition on their second attempt will be excused from the program.
The Master of Music degree in Music with a specialization in conducting requires completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours.
- complete the curriculum with 70 percent of the total degree hours at the 6000 level (see Curriculum section below for specifics);
- successfully complete both written and oral comprehensive examinations no earlier than the student's last semester of study. Comprehensive examinations may be repeated once.
Additionally, those with a specialization in conducting must establish proficiencies in music history, music theory,* and keyboard.
* NOTE: Diagnostic examinations in music theory and music history will be scheduled during the first week of the first semester of study. Students who do not pass the diagnostic examinations should consult with the graduate coordinator to plan how to meet the requirements. Additional courses may be required to satisfy these proficiency requirements.
Curriculum: Music, Conducting
The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.
Core Courses (9 hours)
MUS 6620 - Bibliography and Research
Survey of bibliography and problems and methods of research. Analysis and evaluation of research in the arts.
MUTH 6050 - Analytical Techniques
Prerequisite: MUTH 5010 or permission of instructor. Skills and procedures of musical analysis as they apply to all periods through analysis of representative compositions. Evaluation of work from all standpoints: craftsmanship, expression, and stylistic correctness.
MUS 6630 - Music Seminar
Prerequisite: MUS 6620. Study and research of a topic in music determined by the instructor.
Specialization Courses (18-20 hours)
MUS 6030 - Conducting Problems and Score Interpretation
Analysis and marking of scores. Refinement of conducting techniques. Elimination of undesirable conducting habits. Diction as applied to conducting.
MUS 6060 - Advanced Conducting
Techniques in advanced conducting of orchestral, choral, band, and chamber ensembles. Includes irregular meters, score reading, warm-up procedures, conducting patterns, attacks, and releases.
MUAP 6709 - Private Instruction Conducting
Prerequisite: Completion of undergraduate recital. Consult graduate coordinator as to performance area availability. One-hour private lesson per week in the selected performance field. In-depth study of stylistic, technical, and musical problems in music performance and exploration of advanced repertoire in the applied area. Course may be repeated with no limit, but only three hours of credit may be applied toward the degree within the nine-hour private instruction requirement.
- Two ensembles at the 5000 level, 1 credit hour each, 2 credit hours
MUAP 6670 - Graduate Recital
Prerequisites: Completion of MUAP 6682 for the collaborative piano specializations; MUS 6030, MUS 6060, and MUAP 6709 for the conducting specialization; the appropriate courses from among MUAP 6681-MUAP 6688, MUAP 6691-MUAP 6698, and MUAP 6701-MUAP 6708 for the jazz studies and performance specializations; MUAP 6140, MUAP 6150, and MUAP 6160 for the music composition and music composition for contemporary media specializations; and permission of the appropriate music faculty in all specializations. One-hour private lesson per week in the selected performance field and recital preparation until recital completed. Those specializing in collaborative piano may take course three times.
For Instrumental Conductors
MUED 5240 - Instrumental Rehearsal Problems
Improving teaching in instrumental music classes through a study of rehearsal planning and techniques; the interpretation of music to students; group dynamics.
For Choral Conductors
MUHL 5680 - Choral Literature
Examines choral literature from the Renaissance to the present. Program selection. Analysis of choral pieces.
MUTH 5270 - Choral Arranging
The fundamentals of arranging musical works for vocal ensembles of various sizes, combinations, and skill levels.
Electives (1-3 hours)
Proficiency Courses Determined by Placement Examination (0-6 hours)
Either or both of these courses may be required based on the results of the student's diagnostic examinations in music history and music theory:
Keyboard proficiencies are evaluated by the student's primary conducting professor.