• Voice Performance
    Handel's Messiah includes vocal and instrumental performances
  • Voice Performance
    School of Music faculty excel both in performing and teaching
  • Voice Performance
    Ensembles provide multiple avenues for performance experience
  • Voice Performance
    At MTSU, talent is nurtured and cherished

Voice Performance

MTSU provides diversity in training for students pursuing a Music degree in Voice Performance. Opportunities abound to perform in operas, musicals, and an array of ensembles, as well as at local theaters and the Nashville Opera. Voice faculty members, who perform professionally, guide students in not only learning how to sing, but also how to establish and maintain a career. Guest clinicians are brought in, and faculty members hold weekly master classes so that students can perform with feedback. The School of Music and the theatre program work collaboratively to help students move into the real world of performance.

Grads have opera careers at the Met, abroad

Grads have opera careers at the Met, abroad

Soprano Holli Harrison, a former vocal performance major at MTSU, is on the roster at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She made her debut recently in the role in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia. Harrison was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Bass baritone Seth Mease Carico, voice performance graduate, is presently singing roles with the Deutsche Oper Berlin. He has performed with numerous other companies, including Fort Worth Opera, Lake George Opera, and Theatro Regio Torino. Both previously won the Orpheus National Vocal Competition.

Voice Performance alum in L.A. scene

Voice Performance alum in L.A. scene

MTSU graduate Courtney Blooding has been working for famous producer David Foster, a multiple Grammy winner and Oscar nominee, out of Los Angeles. Blooding ('03) got a degree majoring in Voice Performance as well as Recording Industry Management. She has been involved in production coordination, singing, engineering, project management, and more. "I have had the opportunity to work with Josh Groban, Cher, Paul Anka, Michael Buble, Richard Marx, Diane Warren, Joshua Bell, and Laura Pausini,” Blooding said. She also auditioned for American Idol 7.

Paths taken by Voice Performance graduates from MTSU include making a living as performers, continuing work in advanced music studies or other graduate programs, or pursuing music-related careers. Some undergraduates also have won prestigious competitions and been accepted to outstanding music schools for advanced degrees.  Here are some examples of job possibilities: 

  • Actor
  • Church musician/worship leader
  • Composer/arranger/orchestrator
  • Music critic/journalist
  • Music editor and publisher
  • Music educator
  • Music librarian
  • Music theater director
  • Musicologist
  • Salesperson/marketer
  • Singer/performer
  • Songwriter
  • Studio/private teacher
  • Talent agent
  • University professor
  • Vocalist


Employers of MTSU alumni

Graduates from MTSU's music program in Voice Performance are employed by or have appeared in/with

  • Ashland (Ohio) Symphony
  • Broadway productions
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Centre College
  • Central Michigan University
  • Deutsche Oper Berlin
  • Evansville Philharmonic
  • Fort Worth Opera
  • Kentucky Opera and Cincinnati Opera
  • Kentucky Symphony Orchestra
  • Lake George Opera
  • Lexington Philharmonia
  • Liber: Ensemble for Early Music
  • Los Angeles Philharmonic
  • Metropolitan Opera, New York
  • Music producer David Foster
  • Nashville Opera
  • Ohio Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Opera Cleveland
  • Opera New Jersey
  • Seattle Opera
  • Theater Bremen
  • Theatro Regio Torino

Dr. Raphael Bundage
Director of Choral Activities | Professor
raphael.bundage@mtsu.edu

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Dina Cancryn
Associate Professor
dina.cancryn@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Christine Isley-Farmer
Professor
christine.isley-farmer@mtsu.edu

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Dr. Jamila McWhirter
Coordinator of Undergraduate and Graduate Music Ed
jamila.mcwhirter@mtsu.edu

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H. Stephen Smith
Professor
h.stephen.smith@mtsu.edu

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

  • Instrumental Music Education
  • Instrumental Performance (Brass, Orchestral Strings, Woodwinds, and Percussion; Guitar; Jazz Studies; Organ; or Piano)
  • Music Industry
  • Theory-Composition
  • Vocal/General Music Education
  • Voice Performance

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

Graduate programs offered by the School of Music include the Master of Arts (M.A.) 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.

An academic map is a suggested four-year schedule of courses based on degree requirements in the undergraduate catalog. This sample schedule serves as a general guideline to help build a full schedule each term. Milestones, courses, and special requirements necessary for timely progress to complete a major are designated to keep you on track to graduate in four years. Missing milestones could delay your program. 

This map based on the 2013-2014 undergraduate catalog is not a substitute for academic advisement - contact your advisor if you have any questions about scheduling or about your degree requirements. Also see the current undergraduate catalog (catalog.mtsu.edu) for a complete list of requirements and electives.Note: Requirements are continually under revision, and there is no guarantee they will not be changed or revoked; contact the department and/or program area for current information. 

You may choose to attend a summer term to reduce your load during fall or spring terms but still stay on track to graduate in four years (see below). NOTE: Learning Support courses will alter the sequences on this map.

Music–Vocal Performance Academic Map

School of Music
Middle Tennessee State University | Murfreesboro


Suggested Fall/Spring and Summer/Fall/Spring Four-Year Schedule

Refer to the scholarships website for information regarding use of the Lottery Scholarship for the summer term.

Click here for printer friendly academic map.

FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
MUTH 11104  MUTH 11204 
MUAP 23722  MUHL 16102 
MUS 15301  MUAP 23722
MUS 10100  MUS 15401 
MUEN 3---1  MUS 10100 
MUPD 21802  MUEN 3---1 
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3  MUPD 21902 
Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 1)3  ENGL 1020 (Comm)3 
SUBTOTAL16  SUBTOTAL15 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
MUTH 21103  MUTH 21203 
MUAP 23722  MUAP 23722 
MUS 25301  MUS 25401 
MUS 10100  MUS 10100 
MUEN 3---1  MUEN 3---1 
MUPD 22002  MUPD 22102 
COMM 2200 (Comm)3  MATH (Math)3 
ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3  Foreign language3 
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL15 
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
MUAP 43733  MUAP 43733 
MUTH 41102  MUAP 38001 
MUHL 30103  MUHL 30203 
MUS 31402  MUTH 41302 
MUS 10100  MUS 10100 
MUEN 3---1  MUEN 3---0 
Nat Sci (Rubric 1)4  Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3 
   Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 2)3 
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL15 
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
MUAP 43733  MUAP 43733 
MUPD 43102  MUAP 49002 
MUEN 3---1  MUEN 3---1 
MUHL 47103  MUEN 3---1 
Hum/FA (Rubric 2)3  Nat Sci (Rubric 2)4 
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL14 

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120

FRESHMAN FALL FRESHMAN SPRING
CourseHoursMilestones/Notes CourseHoursMilestones/Notes
MUTH 11104  MUTH 11204 
MUAP 23722  MUHL 16102 
MUS 15301  MUAP 23722
MUS 10100  MUS 15401 
MUEN 3---1  MUS 10100 
MUPD 21802  MUEN 3---1 
ENGL 1010 (Comm)3  MUPD 21902 
SUBTOTAL13  SUBTOTAL12 
SOPHOMORE SUMMER
ENGL 1020 (Comm)3  MATH (Math)3 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
SOPHOMORE FALL SOPHOMORE SPRING
MUTH 21103  MUTH 21203 
MUAP 23722  MUAP 23722 
MUS 25301  MUS 25401 
MUS 10100  MUS 10100 
MUEN 3---1  MUEN 3---1 
MUPD 22002  MUPD 22102 
COMM 2200 (Comm)3  Foreign language3 
SUBTOTAL12  SUBTOTAL12 
JUNIOR SUMMER
HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303  HIST 2010, HIST 2020, or HIST 20303 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
JUNIOR FALL JUNIOR SPRING
MUAP 43733  MUPD 43733 
MUTH 41102  MUAP 38001 
MUHL 30103  MUHL 30203 
MUS 31402  MUTH 41302 
MUS 10100  MUS 10100 
Nat Sci (Rubric 1)4  MUEN 3---0 
MUEN 3---1  ENGL 2020, ENGL 2030, or HUM 2610 (Hum/FA)3 
SUBTOTAL15  SUBTOTAL12 
SENIOR SUMMER
Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 1)3  Hum/FA (Rubric 1)3 
SUBTOTAL3  SUBTOTAL3 
SENIOR FALL SENIOR SPRING
MUAP 43733  MUAP 43733 
MUPD 43102  MUAP 49002 
MUEN 3---1  MUEN 3---1 
MUHL 47103  MUEN 3---1 
Hum/FA (Rubric 2)3  Nat Sci (Rubric 2)4 
    Soc/Beh Sci (Rubric 2)3 
SUBTOTAL12  SUBTOTAL14 

TOTAL HOURS IN PROGRAM: 120

Graduation information may be accessed here.

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.

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.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.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: Two semesters of MUED 2320; 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, harmonzation 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 Pedagogy

MUPD 2180 - Diction for Singers I (English and Latin)
2 credit hours
Lecture demonstration course for familiarization of the International Phonetic Alphabet and correct pronunciation of texts in English and Latin.

MUPD 2190 - Diction for Singers II (Italian)
2 credit hours
Prerequisite: MUPD 2180. Lecture demonstration course for familiarization of the International Phonetic Alphabet and correct pronunciation of texts in Italian.

MUPD 2200 - Diction for Singers III (German)
2 credit hours
Prerequisite: MUPD 2180. Lecture demonstration course for the familiarization of the International Phonetic Alphabet and correct pronunciation of texts in German.

MUPD 2210 - Diction for Singers IV (French)
2 credit hours
Prerequisite: MUPD 2180. Lecture demonstration course for familiarization of the International Phonetic Alphabet and correct pronunciation of texts in French.

MUPD 3050 - Jazz Pedagogy
2 credit hours
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Techniques and methods of teaching jazz studies including the training of jazz ensembles and combos.

MUPD 4110 - Advanced Brass Pedagogy
2 credit hours
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Advanced study of conceptual, physiological, acoustical, and pedagogical methods and materials used in the teaching of beginning, intermediate, and advanced brass students.

MUPD 4120 - Advanced Percussion Pedagogy
2 credit hours
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Advanced study of conceptual, physiological, acoustical, and pedagogical methods and materials used in the teaching of beginning, intermediate, and advanced percussion students.

MUPD 4130 - Advanced String Pedagogy
2 credit hours
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Advanced study of conceptual, physiological, acoustical, and pedagogical methods and materials used in the teaching of beginning, intermediate, and advanced string students.

MUPD 4140 - Advanced Woodwind Pedagogy
2 credit hours
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Advanced study of conceptual, physiological, acoustical, and pedagogical methods and materials used in the teaching of beginning, intermediate, and advanced woodwind students.

MUPD 4310 - Vocal Pedagogy
2 credit hours
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Techniques for teaching the fundamentals of singing. Vocalises and repertoire. Physical aspects of singing.

MUPD 4320 - Piano Pedagogy
2 credit hours
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. The various technical and philosophical approaches in teaching piano. Examination of teaching repertory through intermediate level. Supervised teaching through intermediate level.

MUPD 4330 - Organ Pedagogy
2 credit hours
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Instruction in the principles of teaching organ--(1) manual and pedal techniques, (2) organ methods, and (3) organ repertoire of varying degrees of difficulty and of all period styles from pre-Bach through twentieth century.

MUPD 4350 - Guitar Pedagogy
2 credit hours
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Study of the theoretical and practical basis of teaching guitar.