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Music, Performance Specialization, M.M.

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The Master of Music degree program with a performance specialization is an advanced course of study for highly qualified instrumentalists and vocalists with emphases on the study and performance of solo repertoire, chamber music, orchestra, wind ensemble, choral and operatic literature. The program includes studies in pertinent repertoire, musicology and music theory. The program prepares students for professional careers in music (performance and studio instruction) or continuing studies at the doctoral level. Graduate teaching assistantship opportunities are available to qualified students.


What We're Doing

Elizabeth Targett

Teacher credits program for helping gain confidence musically

Elizabeth Targett has always had a passion for music and performing. As a child, it was her love of playing the flute that solidified that passion, which has since turned into a career. Now, as a band director at a Nashville middle school, Targett still loves playing the flute and earned her Master’s degree in Flute Performance. “I looked around at universities in the area, and MTSU really spoke to me. I loved the way the program was set up.” Targett added her journey at MTSU also helped build her confidence. “I now have more confidence in myself musically. I now see myself as a scholar and a knowledgeable person that can intelligibly converse on a musical topic as well as other academic disciplines. It has helped me to be a better teacher and performer.” As for the future, Targett plans to pursue her doctorate and continues pursuing performance venues.

Amber Den

International student says choosing MTSU was ‘best choice’ ever made

Growing up in Sydney, Australia, music was always a huge part of Amber Den Exter’s life. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the New Zealand School of Music, Amber decided to follow her dreams of studying in the United States. “Choosing to study at MTSU was the best choice I ever made,” she said. “MTSU has all the attributes of a bigger school, but with the potential for students to receive the individual attention that they need to succeed.” In 2018, Amber received the College of Liberal Arts Graduate Music Student of the Year Award. She now lives in Florida and is working on her doctorate. “My professors at MTSU played an important role in preparing me for my doctoral audition as well as in enabling me to take this next step in my career,” she said.


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  • MTSU College of Graduate Studies

    MTSU College of Graduate Studies

 
 
 

Alumni from the School of Music teach thousands of students every day in private studios and schools from kindergarten through university levels. MTSU graduates perform in orchestras, military ensembles, and opera companies; appear in clubs and recording studios with the famous and yet-to-be-known; compose music for Hollywood films and commercial jingles; lead professional music organizations; work in the music industry; serve as church musicians; and continually enrich the lives of others. Some continue on to enter prestigious doctoral programs. A sample of potential professional pathways for music master's students:

  • Accompanist
  • Actor
  • Arts manager
  • Artistic director
  • Artist relations manager
  • Church musician/worship leader
  • College professor/instructor
  • Instrumental performer
  • Instrument repair specialist
  • Instrument sales business owner
  • Music publisher/editor
  • Music software programmer    
  • Music theater director
  • Musical director
  • Orchestra librarian
  • Product specialist
  • Salesperson/marketer
  • Songwriter
  • Studio musician
  • Private studio owner/instructor
  • Talent agent
  • Vocalist

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Bellevue Middle School
  • Belmont University
  • Cane Ridge High School
  • Case Western Reserve University
  • Chattanooga Symphony
  • Cumberland University
  • The Downtown Band
  • Earl Klugh (Grammy winner)
  • EMBRA Artists, LTD.
  • Fairview Middle School
  • Jeff Coffin (Grammy winner)
  • Jonathan Fletcher Music
  • Lipscomb University
  • MEINL Percussion
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Murfreesboro City Schools
  • Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Nashville State Community College
  • Northeast Mississippi Community College
  • Old Center Elementary School, Nashville
  • Onks Woodwind Specialist
  • Siegel Middle School
  • Trevecca Nazarene University
  • University of Louisiana-Lafayette
  • University of Northern Colorado
  • Vine Street Christian Church, Nashville

Graduate

The School of Music’s Masters of Music Degree is offered with seven graduate specializations:

A minor in Music is offered at the graduate level.

Applicants must

  • hold (or be about to receive) an undergraduate degree in music;
  • have an acceptable grade point average in all college work taken (at least 3.0);
  • depending on specialization, either do an audition or submit an audition audio or video-recording; submit scores and recordings of compositions; submit written samples of scholarship; or submit a 30-minute video-recording demonstrating teaching ability;
  • complete entrance examinations in music history and music theory to plan initial course of study;

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

Undergraduate

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. 

Teacher licensure

Students seeking a license to teach music in the public schools must complete

  • a major in Music following the concentration in either Instrumental Music Education or Vocal/General Music Education K–12,
  • a minor in Secondary Education,
  • the General Education Program, and
  • additional teacher licensure requirements.

Music, Performance Specialization, M.M.

Joseph Morgan, Program Director
(615) 904-8043
joseph.morgan@mtsu.edu

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 programs.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Master of Music degree program requires

  1. an earned bachelor's degree in music from an accredited university or college;
  2. an acceptable grade point average in all college work taken (at least 3.00).

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. 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.
  2. submit official transcripts of all previous college work.
  3. submit three letters of recommendation.

Additionally, those seeking a specialization in performance 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.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Music degree in Music with a specialization in performance requires completion of a minimum of 32 semester hours.

Candidates must

  1. complete the curriculum with 70 percent of the total degree hours at the 6000 level (see Curriculum section below for specifics);
  2. 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 performance must establish proficiencies in music history and music theory.* Vocalists must also establish proficiency in diction and in two languages from among French, German, and Italian.

*NOTE: Diagnostic examinations in music theory, music history, and diction 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, Performance

The following illustrates the minimum coursework requirements.

Core Courses (9 hours)

 

  • MUS 6620 - Bibliography and Research

    3credit hours

    Survey of bibliography and problems and methods of research. Analysis and evaluation of research in the arts.

  • MUTH 6050 - Analytical Techniques

    3credit hours

    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  3 credit hours  

    MUS 6630 - Music Seminar

    3credit hours

    Prerequisite: MUS 6620. Study and research of a topic in music determined by the instructor.

Specialization Courses (20 hours)

 

  • MUAP 668_  - Private Instruction, 3 credit hours
  • MUAP 669_ - Private Instruction, 3 credit hours
  • MUAP 670_  - Private Instruction, 3 credit hours
  • MUAP 6670 - Graduate Recital  3 credit hours  

    MUAP 6670 - Graduate Recital

    3credit hours

    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.

  • Two ensembles, 1 credit hour each, 2 credit hours
  • Music literature courses 6 credit hours

Elective Courses (3 hours)

 

Proficiency Courses Determined by Placement Examination (0-14 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:

  • MUTH 5010 - Theory Survey  3 credit hours  

    MUTH 5010 - Theory Survey

    3credit hours

    A review of musicianship skills and knowledge of musical theory to the degree necessary for the candidate to pursue work at the graduate level. Does not count toward the M.M. in Music. S/U grading.

  • MUHL 5070 - Music History Survey  1 to 3 credit hours  
    (3 credits)(3 credit hours required)  dotslash:(3 credit hours required) title:(3 credits) 
    (3 credit hours required) 

    MUHL 5070 - Music History Survey

    1 to 3credit hours

    Review of music in history and culture to degree necessary for candidate to pursue work on graduate level. Does not count toward the M.M. in Music. May count toward satisfying proficiencies for the Master of Music. S/U grading.

Additional Study

For vocalists only: In addition, the equivalent of one year of foreign language study in two of Italian, German, and French must be demonstrated. To satisfy this proficiency, up to four of the following courses may be required:

  • ITAL 1010 - Elementary Italian I 3 credit hours
  • ITAL 1020 - Elementary Italian II 3 credit hours
  • GERM 1010 - Elementary German I 3 credit hours
  • GERM 1020 -  Elementary German II 3 credit hours
  • FREN 1010 - Elementary French I 3 credit hours
  • FREN 1020 - Elementary French II 3 credit hours

For vocalists only: Furthermore, based on the student's diagnostic examination in diction, up to four of the following courses may be required:

  • MUPD 2180 - Diction for Singers I 2 credit hours
  • MUPD 2190 - Diction for Singers II 2 credit hours
  • MUPD 2200 - Diction for Singers III 2 credit hours
  • MUPD 2210 - Diction for Singers IV 2 credit hours

General Application Procedures

Submit through the University’s Application tool (button below):

  1. Submit application with the appropriate fee
  2. Submit official transcripts of all previous college work
  3. Submit three letters of recommendation.
    1. Email directly to the program coordinator of interested area
  4. Additional Requirements (video links, papers, compositions, etc)
    1. By the March 1 deadline
  5. Complete a Student Application (if interested) for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship

Additional Requirements: Audition

Brass

Prospective students will submit required audition materials in an Unlisted YouTube Video link. The video should be framed so that we can see your embouchure and your fingering.

Piano accompaniment is NOT required.

Please record the following:

  1. Several selections of your choice from standard solo, etude and excerpt repertoire. Total duration approximately 15-20 minutes.
  2. Chromatic scale that showcases your entire range.

In addition, please submit the following to the instructor of your instrument:

  • A list of solo repertoire previously studied. Indicate if a piece was performed in public.
  • A list of orchestral and/or band excerpts you have studied.
  • A statement of intent outlining your goals in the field of music.
  • A resume indicating previous performance, teaching and educational background.

Interview: The instructor of your instrument will contact you to set up a time to “meet” via Zoom.

For questions or more information, contact us!

Trumpet Dr. Michael Arndt Michael.Arndt@mtsu.edu
Horn Prof. Angela DeBoer Angela.DeBoer@mtsu.edu
Trombone Dr. David Loucky David.Loucky@mtsu.edu
Euphonium Dr. David Loucky David.Loucky@mtsu.edu
Tuba Dr. Chris Combest tuba@mtsu.edu

Percussion

Prospective percussion students will be required to bring 3 letters of recommendation to their audition.

Prospective percussion students will be expected to audition in the following areas:

  • Snare Drum – Concert and Rudimental Style
  • Marimba – Four Mallets
  • Xylophone – Two Mallets
  • Timpani

The following literature is representative of the level of difficulty expected for the audition: (Comparable works may be substituted.)

Orchestral Snare Drum

You may choose an etude from one of the following:

  • Etude from “Portraits in Rhythm” by Anthony Cirone
  • Etude from “The Solo Snare Drummer” by Vic Firth
  • Etude from 12 Studies for Snare Drum” by J. Delecluse Rudimental 

Snare Drum

You may choose an etude from one of the following:

Solos by...

  • Charles Wilcoxin
  • John Pratt
  • Marty Hurley
  • John Wooton
  • Eddie Frytag

Keyboard Percussion

  • Scales and arpeggios – two octaves
  • Solo – Prepared Piece or Etude

Suggested repertoire for two mallets

  • Masterpieces for Marimba by McMillan
  • Etudes from “Modern School for Marimba, and Xylophone” by M. Goldenberg
  • Furioso and Valse by E. Hatch
  • Any George H. Green xylophone rag

Suggested repertoire for four mallets

  • Yellow After the Rain by M. Peters
  • Tune for Mary O by Rich O’Meara
  • Etudes by Paul Smadbeck • Etudes by C. O. Musser
  • Spanish Dance by Kaisteinngards

Timpani

A prepared solo or etude Suggested Repertoire:

  • Sonata for Timpani by John Beck
  • Rondo for Timpani by D.L. Kaska
  • Alpine Slide by John Beck
  • Solo from “Eight Pieces for Timpani” by E. Carte

Note: If you would like to clear a solo or have specific questions regarding your audition, you may reach Mr. Lalo Davila at 615- 898-2803. E-mail: gdavila@mtsu.edu

Piano

All 2020-2021 auditions will be remote. Applicants must submit all requirements via unlisted YouTube link(s). 

Repertoire

  • A minimum of three contrasting solo works from different historical periods. Selections should demonstrate both the technical and lyrical abilities of the applicant. Memory is required.
    • Popular music, musical theatre, jazz, and the applicant’s own compositions are not permitted for the audition. 

Please contact Dr. Arunesh Nadgir at Arunesh.Nadgir@mtsu if you have any questions regarding the audition process.

Strings

Please submit links for unlisted YouTube videos of the following: 

Violin, Viola, and Cello

  1. A concerto movement
  2. A movement of solo Bach
  3. A third contrasting selection.  This can be another movement of Bach or of the same concerto, a movement of a sonata, an etude or caprice, or another work of the candidate’s choice.

For specific questions about the audition requirements or the audition process, please contact: 

Bass

  1. A concerto movement
  2. A second contrasting selection
  3. Scales: A major and melodic minor, and B major and melodic minor (2 octaves)  

For specific questions about the audition requirements or the audition process, please contact: 

Harp

  1. Three solo works representing different historical periods and styles, including at least one movement from a concerto (Handel, Mozart, Ravel, Debussy, etc.). Memorization of at least two of these works is required.
  2. Two orchestral excerpts or cadenzas. Appropriate repertoire includes, but is not limited to:
    1. Bartok, Concerto for Orchestra, 4th movement (119-127 and 345-356)
    2. Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique, 2nd movement (opening-22)
    3. Britten, Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Variation I and Fugue (I to J)
    4. Ravel, Tzigane cadenza (4 to two before 5)
    5. Rimsky-Korsakov, Capriccio Espagnol cadenza 
    6. Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, or Sleeping Beauty cadenza
    7. Verdi, La Forza del Destino (G-H and N-O)
  3. All applicants must provide a complete list of previously studied repertoire.  

If you have any questions about the audition process or the suitability of your repertoire, please email Dr. Sarah Crocker at Sarah.Crocker@mtsu.edu. 

Guitar

Three contrasting pieces (suggested repertoire): 

  • Two movements of a Bach Suite, or 2 Renaissance fantasias (i.e.Dowland, da Milano)
  • A set of variations, sonata, or advanced etudes by Sor, Giuliani, or other classical composer
  • A work of Barrios,Turina,TorrobaTanzman, Ponce, Rodrigo, Tedesco, or other 20th century composer. 

For any specific questions regarding use of a solo or the audition itself, you may contact Dr. Yelverton at 615/898-5623. E-Mail: William.Yelverton@mtsu.edu 

Voice

Four selections, from memory, taken from the English, Italian, German, and French song repertoire. At least one of these selections should be taken from opera/oratorio.

For more information, please contact Professor Dina Cancryn at (615)898-2456 or dina.cancryn@mtsu.edu.

Woodwinds

Flute

Prospective students will submit required audition materials in an Unlisted YouTube Video. Accompaniment is not required. 

Requirements:

  • Two works from the solo repertoire that are contrasting in styles and represent technical and musical abilities. (Approximately 10-15 minutes in length).
  • Two orchestral excerpts 

For more information, contact Dr. Little at Deanna.Little@mtsu.edu

Oboe

Prospective students will submit required audition materials in an Unlisted YouTube Video. Accompaniment is not required.

Requirements:

  • Two contrasting solo movements or etudes (lyrical/technical) that demonstrate your musical and technical abilities. 

Suggested Solo Repertoire:

  • Albinoni, Tomaso: Concerto in D minor, Op. 9 no. 2
  • Britten, Benjamin: Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, Op. 49
  • Mozart, W.A.: Oboe Quartet in F major, K. 370(368b)
  • Saint-Saëns, Camille: Oboe Sonata, Op. 166
  • Schumann, Robert: Three Romances, Op. 94
  • Still, William Grant: Incantation and Dance for Oboe and Piano
  • Telemann, G.P.: Sonata in A minor

Suggested Solo Etudes:

  • Barret, Apollon: 40 Progressive Melodies
  • Ferling, W.F.: 48 Studies for Oboe, Op. 31 

For more information, contact Dr. Cyzak at David.Cyzak@mtsu.edu

Clarinet

Prospective students will submit required audition materials in an Unlisted YouTube Video. Accompaniment is not required.

Requirements:

  • Two works from the solo repertoire that are contrasting in styles and represent technical and musical abilities. (Approximately 10-15 minutes in length).
  • Two orchestral excerpts

For more information, contact Dr. Waldecker at Todd.Waldecker@mtsu.edu

Bassoon

Prospective students will submit required audition materials in an Unlisted YouTube Video. Accompaniment is not required.

Requirements:

  • Two works from the solo repertoire that are contrasting in styles and represent technical and musical abilities. (Approximately 10-15 minutes in length).
  • Two orchestral excerpts

For more information, contact Dr. Muñoz at Leigh.Munoz@mtsu.edu

Saxophone

Prospective students will submit required audition materials in an Unlisted YouTube Video. Accompaniment is not required. 

Requirements:

  • Two works from the solo repertoire that are contrasting in styles and represent technical and musical abilities. (Approximately 10-15 minutes in length).

For more information, contact Prof. Aliquo at Don.Aliquo@mtsu.edu

 

Proficiency Courses Determined by Placement Examination

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:

  • MUTH 5010 - Theory Survey  3 credit hours 
  • MUHL 5070 - Music History Survey  1 to 3 credit hours 

Contact Information

Coordinator of the School of Music Graduate Program
Professor Joseph E. Morgan
Joseph.Morgan@MTSU.edu

Who is My Advisor?

Coordinator of the School of Music Graduate Program
Professor Joseph E. Morgan
Joseph.Morgan@MTSU.edu

Mailing Address

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


College of Graduate Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
MTSU Box 42
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

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