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Students who aspire to become music teachers or choral directors in grades K-12 choose to study Vocal/General Education in the School of Music. MTSU students start working in schools from their first freshman classes. Top-notch faculty members have real-world experience as music educators in schools; they stay current through state/national organizations, as journal authors, and by conference speaking. Students perform in ensembles such as Concert Chorale, Women's Chorale (2009 Carnegie Hall performance), University Chorus, Opera Workshop, and MTSU University Singers jazz group; in addition, they may join the Murfreesboro Community Men's Chorus, a collaborative effort of the community and university.


What we're doing

Alum presents hip-hop curriculum to national audience

MTSU alum Alexis Derryberry (B.M., M.A.), Siegel Middle School's music teacher, has designed a hip-hop curriculum and will present it to a national audience. She is invited for a workshop presentation at the National Association for Music Education national conference in October 2013. Derryberry teaches general music and choir at Siegel Middle, Murfreesboro. She is state general music chair of the Tennessee Music Educators Association, Tennessee Treble Honor Choir event chair, and Middle Tennessee Vocal Associations president-elect. As a student, she won the Percussive Arts Society college marimba competition.

Voice ed. majors make mark in music associations

MTSU major Sarah Wade is one of three college students invited to participate in a student conducting workshop at the 2013 Tennessee Music Education Association state conference. Music alumnus Grant Farmer, director, and his Wilson Central High School Choir were invited to perform at the state conference as well. Undergraduates Matthew Pyles and Caleb Hawkins both received national scholarships to attend the American Choral Directors Association national conference. Students in MTSU's active National Association for Music Education college chapter tutor other music majors, teach individual lessons at high schools, help with YMCA ArtEmbrace, and volunteer at choral festivals.


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MTSU has close to a 100 percent placement rate for students training to be music educators. Vocal/General Education majors generally go into teaching in public schools, but they may pursue graduate studies in school administration, conducting, or other music-related fields. Some future career possibilities include

  • Church/community chorus director
  • Conductor
  • General music teacher at elementary/middle schools
  • Choral director at middle/high schools
  • Musicologist
  • Music theater director
  • Private vocal teacher
  • School administrator
  • Singer/performer
  • Talent agent
  • University professor
  • Vocalist

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Iowa public schools
  • Jackson (Tenn.) school district
  • Macon County Schools, Tennessee
  • Maury County Schools, Tennessee
  • Memphis City Schools
  • Metro-Nashville Public Schools
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Mississippi public schools
  • Murfreesboro City Schools
  • North Carolina public schools
  • Oklahoma public schools
  • Rutherford County Schools, Tennessee
  • Shelby County Schools, Tennessee
  • Wilson County Schools, Tennessee
  • Williamson County Schools, Tennessee

MTSU's School of Music offers an undergraduate major in Music leading to Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree in the following concentrations:

Undergraduate minors in Music, American Music Studies, and Music Industry are also available.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS tab above.

Teacher Licensure

Students seeking a license to teach music in the public schools must complete (1) a major in Music following the concentration in either Instrumental Music Education or Vocal/General Music Education K–12, (2) minor in Secondary Education, (3) the General Education Program, and (4) additional teacher licensure requirements.

Graduate programs offered by the School of Music include the Master of Music (M.M.) degree with specializations in collaborative piano; conducting; jazz studies; music composition; music composition for contemporary media; music education; musicology; or performance.

There is a graduate minor in Music.

Music

MUS 1010 - Recital Attendance
0 credit hours

Attendance at a minimum number of recitals and concerts given by students, faculty, and guest artists. Six semesters required for undergraduate music majors (see School of Music handbook for details). May be repeated multiple times. Pass/Fail.

MUS 1020 - Music Enrichment Instrumental
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Acceptance into Governor's School for the Arts. A component of the Governor's School for the Arts. Provides an opportunity for qualified high school students to get first-hand musical experience in an intense, academic, collegiate environment.

MUS 1021 - Music Enrichment Vocal
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Acceptance into Governor's School for the Arts. A component of the Governor's School for the Arts. Provides an opportunity for qualified high school students to get first-hand musical experience in an intense, academic, collegiate environment. Combines traditional large ensemble and opera workshop rehearsals and performances and voice master classes.

MUS 1022 - Music Enrichment Piano
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: Acceptance into Governor's School for the Arts. A component of the Governor's School for the Arts. Provides an opportunity for qualified high school students to get first-hand experience in an intense, academic, collegiate environment. Combines traditional applied studio instruction, supervised practice sessions, chamber ensemble rehearsals and performances, master classes, and solo performances.

MUS 1030 - Introduction to Music
3 credit hours

Meets part of the General Education Humanities and/or Fine Arts requirement. Perceptive listening to music of various styles and cultures including popular and world musics and Western classical concert music. TBR Common Course: MUS 1030

MUS 1500 - Introduction to Piano
1 credit hour

A beginning group piano class for non-music majors. Prior knowledge of the piano not assumed. Skills covered by the class include reading and playing of pieces, basic exercises for the development of technique, a variety of short examples based on five-finger positions, and basic music theory. Students work at a digital Roland keyboard in class; includes weighted keys and individual headphones.

MUS 1510 - Class Voice I
1 credit hour

Basic vocal techniques including posture, breath control, tone quality, and diction. Italian and English diction, Vaccai studies, and moderately easy song repertory.

MUS 1520 - Class Voice II
1 credit hour

Prerequisite: MUS 1510. A continuation of the vocal techniques in Class Voice I with addition of vocal flexibility, uniform tone quality in extending the voice range, interpretation of songs, and stage deportment in public performance. Further study of Vaccai, Italian art songs, and English songs.

MUS 1530 - Class Piano I
1 credit hour

Acquaints beginning piano students with the keyboard. Includes such skills as note reading, basic chords for harmonization of melodies, improvisation, basic exercises for development of coordination and technique, transposition, repertory, and sight reading. TBR Common Course: MUS 1027

NOTE: All undergraduate music majors (except keyboard principals) must take class piano every semester as indicated on the advising check sheets until the required piano proficiency exam is successfully completed. Concurrent enrollment in Class Piano I and Theory and Aural Skills I is required with the following exceptions: (1) The student successfully passed either Class Piano I or Theory and Aural Skills I, but not both, or (2) the student successfully passed one or more levels of Class Piano by examination. Students should see their advisors for details.

Students wishing to continue piano after successfully completing the required class piano sequence may audition for piano applied lessons. Keyboard principals must take MUS 2550 and MUS 2560 in lieu of class piano.

MUS 1540 - Class Piano II
1 credit hour

Prerequisite: MUS 1530. Continuation of skills and concepts taught in MUS 1530. Emphasis on standard piano repertory in addition to sight reading and functional piano skills. TBR Common Course: MUS 1127

NOTE: All undergraduate music majors (except keyboard principals) must take class piano every semester as indicated on the advising check sheets until the required piano proficiency exam is successfully completed. Concurrent enrollment in Class Piano I and Theory and Aural Skills I is required with the following exceptions: (1) The student successfully passed either Class Piano I or Theory and Aural Skills I, but not both, or (2) the student successfully passed one or more levels of Class Piano by examination. Students should see their advisors for details.

Students wishing to continue piano after successfully completing the required class piano sequence may audition for piano applied lessons. Keyboard principals must take MUS 2550 and MUS 2560 in lieu of class piano.

MUS 1550 - Class Guitar I
1 credit hour

Beginning guitar playing, teaching basic techniques through chording and melodic elements.

MUS 1560 - Class Guitar II
1 credit hour

Prerequisite: MUS 1550 . Continuation of skills and concepts sought in Class Guitar I with emphasis on more advanced playing and repertory study.

MUS 2530 - Class Piano III
1 credit hour

Prerequisite: MUS 1540. Continuation of skills and concepts taught in MUS 1540. Emphasis on standard piano repertory in addition to sight reading and functional piano skills.

MUS 2540 - Class Piano IV
1 credit hour

Prerequisite: MUS 2530. Continuation of skills and concepts taught in MUS 2530. Emphasis on standard piano repertory in addition to sight reading and functional piano skills.

MUS 2550 - Keyboard Skills for Pianists I
1 credit hour

Elementary-level sight-playing; three-voice, open-score reading; improvisation; harmonization using primary chords; transposition; and common patterns in two-octave range (scales, arpeggios, progressions).

MUS 2560 - Keyboard Skills for Pianists II
1 credit hour

Intermediate-level ensemble and solo sight-playing; harmonization using primary and secondary chords; improvisation; transposition; four-voice, open-score reading; and common patterns in four-octave range (scales, arpeggios, progressions).

MUS 2660 - Jazz Guitar Lab
1 credit hour

Prerequisites: MUTH 1110, basic proficiency in reading music, and consent of instructor. Recommended: Class Guitar I or one semester of private instruction. Provides minimum background in performing popular guitar styles in an ensemble or studio situation. Course may be taken more than one semester for credit.

MUS 2670 - Jazz Piano Lab
2 credit hours

Prerequisite: MUS 1540. For beginning jazz keyboard students. Study of the harmonic language of jazz, chord voicing, keyboard techniques, interpretation of melodies, and improvisation.

MUS 3140 - Basic Conducting
2 credit hours

Prerequisites: MUTH 2120. Interpretation of scores, fundamental diagrams with and without baton, terminology, and stage deportment.

MUS 3150 - Advanced Instrumental Conducting
2 credit hours

Prerequisites: MUED 2320 and MUS 3140. Further development of techniques, especially those relevant to choral and instrumental conducting. Laboratory experiences with large musical groups; conducting with records to develop awareness of musical texture, form, and general musicianship in all areas as related to conducting.

MUS 3160 - Advanced Choral Conducting
2 credit hours

Prerequisite: Two semesters of MUED 2310; MUS 3140. Further development of conducting techniques relative to the choral area. Emphasis on choral style and literature, scope and sequence of the historical perspective, and major developments in the choral art.

MUS 3170 - Guitar Skills I
2 credit hours

Prerequisites: MUTH 1110, MUTH 1120, and two semesters of private study. A skills course for improving reading skills and applying music theory concepts to the guitar. Topics will include arranging, harmonization of melody, reading from lead sheet format, improvisation, and standard repertoire suitable for a variety of performance situations.  

MUS 4000 - Special Topics in Music
1 to 3 credit hours

Study of a topic in music. Topic and prerequisites to be announced.

MUS 4100 - Independent Study in Music
1 to 3 credit hours

Intensive study of a chosen subject. An indication of reasonable skill and knowledge of research techniques, writing, and creativity expected. Requires permission of the instructor and director of the music school.

MUS 4270 - Music Internship
3 to 6 credit hours

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Examination and experiences in music industry, music education, or instrumental or choral conducting. Music industry may include songwriting and the creative aspects of music, studio production, music publishing, and music merchandising. Music education may include public and private school settings, state board of education arts consulting, and music textbook consulting. Conducting may include school and church conducting, music publishing, and private or public orchestras and/or choirs. Pass/Fail.

MUS 4360 - The Music Industry Professional
3 credit hours

Creation, examination, and experience in developing and implementing a business plan in the selected areas of the music business. Areas include studio teaching, freelance musicianship, contracting, performing, producing, nonprofit organizations, and similar areas of music specialization.

MUS 4570 - The Body Intelligent: A Study of the Alexander Techniqu
3 credit hours

(Same as DANC 4570/THEA 4570.) For those interested in improving ease and freedom of movement, balance, support, flexibility, and coordination in daily activities.

Music Education

MUED 1310 - Woodwind Techniques I
1 credit hour

For music majors beginning the study of a minor instrument in woodwinds and open to general college students desiring to learn a musical instrument.

MUED 1320 - Percussion Techniques
1 credit hour

Building performance ability on snare drum in all styles of playing. Introduces performance on principal percussion instruments, including ethnic percussion groups.

MUED 1330 - Brass Techniques
1 credit hour

Designed for music majors beginning the study of a minor instrument in brass and open to the general college student desiring to learn a musical instrument.

MUED 1410 - String Techniques
1 credit hour

Instruction in the elements of stringed instrument playing. The student will select one instrument of the string group and continue its study through one semester.

MUED 1500 - Beginning Band Methods
1 credit hour

Prerequisite: MUED 2000. Developing pedagogical tools for teaching beginning woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments with emphasis on beginning instruction in school settings.

MUED 2000 - Philosophy and Introduction to Music Education
2 credit hours

First course in the music education curriculum for students working toward vocal-general or instrumental K-12 teacher licensure. Organization and curriculum of American music education as well as the place of music education in the total program of the school explored.

MUED 2210 - Instrumental Techniques for Music Classroom
2 credit hours

Prerequisite: MUED 2000. Learning to play the recorder, guitar, autoharp, and basic mallet and other percussion instruments with teaching application to school music.

MUED 2310 - Choral Music Lab
1 credit hour

Two semesters of Choral Music Lab required of all Vocal/General Education majors. Study and rehearsal of public school materials and repertoire not covered in other music classes. Provides opportunities to explore various methodologies and apply pedagogical skills in a clinical environment. Also provides upper-division music education students opportunities to conduct and teach in an experimental/laboratory setting.

MUED 2320 - Instrumental Music Lab
1 credit hour

Two semesters of Instrumental Lab required of all Instrumental Music Education majors. Study and rehearsal of public school materials and repertoire not covered in other music classes. Provides opportunities to explore various methodologies and apply pedagogical skills in a clinical environment. Also provides upper-division music education students opportunities to conduct and teach in an experimental/laboratory setting.

MUED 3190 - General Music in the Middle and Senior High School
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: MUED 2000. Required for students working toward vocal-general or instrumental K-12 teacher licensure. Introduces vocal/general music education majors to methods and materials available for teaching general music to students in grades 6-12.

MUED 3200 - Music in the Elementary Grades for Music Majors
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: MUED 2000. Focuses on the need for music in the classroom, provides experiences in current methods of music education, and seeks to establish a logical framework of the structure and nature of music as a discipline and an art.

MUED 3210 - Music in the Elementary Grades for Non-Music Majors
3 credit hours

Materials and methods appropriate for elementary grade general music, including a comparison of available music series and recordings; care of the child voice; beginning experience in pitched and non-pitched percussion; and simple wind instruments. Pedagogical trends and methods; analysis for understanding and appreciation.

MUED 3220 - Choral Music in the Middle and Senior High School
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: MUED 3200 and MUS 3140. Rehearsal techniques, choral materials, organization of ensembles, classification of voices including changing voice, general music methods, and materials.

MUED 3230 - Instrumental Materials
3 credit hours

Prerequisites: MUED 2000 and MUS 3140 and successful admission into upper division. Examines materials suitable for public school instrumental music programs. Practice in classifying, grading, and programming. Development of music education philosophy for the control of those procedures.

MUED 3250 - Band Organization and Marching Band Techniques
2 credit hours

Prerequisite: MUED 2000 and successful admission into upper division. Basic drill, principles of showmanship, and show planning for the band.

MUED 3260 - Orchestra Organization and Techniques
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: MUED 2000 or permission of instructor. Development of rehearsal management, score preparation, educational string arranging, and performance skills. Examines materials and resources suitable for public and private school strings and orchestra programs. Development of concert production skills and logistical/organizational skills necessary for contests, festivals, and tours.

MUED 3310 - Woodwind Techniques II
1 credit hour

Prerequisite: MUED 1310. Instruction in the principles and problems of teaching woodwind instruments. Emphasis on problems found in performance by school students.

MUED 4210 - General Music Program K-6
2 credit hours

Prerequisite: MUEN 3200. The role of music and music teaching in elementary education; its objectives, methods, materials, and procedures; innovative trends and exemplary practices; evaluative techniques.

MUED 4670 - Music for the Young Child
3 credit hours

Music fundamentals, materials, and methods appropriate for preschool through grade three; pantomime, role playing, improvisation, rhythm, movement, listening, and singing.

MUED 4680 - Music Education Seminar
0 credit hours

Corequisite: YOED 4020. Synthesis of contemporary music education methods and observing/teaching experiences during the Residency I internship. Pass/Fail.

Contact Information

Dr. Jennifer Vannatta-Hall
Jennifer.Vannatta-Hall@mtsu.edu
615-898-2487

Who is My Advisor?

Brad Baumgardner
Brad.Baumgardner@mtsu.edu
615-494-7649 | JH 113

Related Links

Mailing Address

School of Music
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 47
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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