Academic Programs Catalog

College of Music

Graduate Study

Music Conducting - Master of Music

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Music students must meet the requirements specified below.

Admission

To be admitted to the Master of Music degree program in music conducting on regular status, an applicant must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree in music from a recognized educational institution, or have completed the courses in music that are required for a bachelor's degree in music from Michigan State University or their equivalents.
  2. Presented a live performance audition that was acceptable to the committee of faculty in conducting.

When applying for admission to the Master of Music degree program in music conducting, an applicant must specify one of the following three major areas:  wind conducting, choral conducting, or orchestral conducting.

With the approval of the faculty in an applicant's major area, an applicant may be considered for admission to the program on the basis of a high–quality recording of a recent performance, rather than on the basis of a live performance audition. An applicant must submit a video recording showing a front view of the applicant conducting for a minimum of 10 minutes. An applicant who submits a recording may be admitted only on provisional status pending the presentation of a live conducting audition before a faculty committee in the applicant's major area. The audition must be presented before the end of the first semester of enrollment in the program. The audition must be in the major area of conducting that the applicant specifies.

To schedule an audition, an applicant should contact the College of Music Admissions Office. An applicant who selects the orchestral conducting area must obtain a list of required repertoire from the Director of Orchestras in the College of Music.

Requirements for the Master of Music Degree in Music Conducting

The student must meet the requirements for one of the following three major areas of conducting:  wind conducting, choral conducting, or orchestral conducting.

1. Wind Conducting
The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree. The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:
a. Complete both of the following courses (10 credits):
MUS 858A Seminar in Wind Conducting 6
MUS 897 Concert Conducting 4
The student must conduct a full program in a public band concert, or conduct a series of pieces in two or more public band concerts.
b. Complete 6 credits in music history at the 400-level or above and two courses in music theory (4 to 6 credits) at the 400-level or above (10 to 12 credits).
c. Complete 8 to 10 credits of electives.
d. Participate in music activities during two semesters of enrollment in the program. The activities must be approved by the student's academic advisor and must involve band.
2. Choral Conducting
The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree.  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:
a. Complete all of the following courses (17 credits):
MUS 857 Seminar in Choral Literature 6
MUS 858C Seminar in Choral Conducting 6
MUS 891 Special Topics 1
MUS 897 Concert Conducting 4
For MUS 891 Special Topics, students must enroll in the section on Score Study and Interpretation through String Bowing. Students must conduct a full program in a public choral concert, or conduct a series of pieces in two or more public choral concerts.
b. Complete 6 credits in music history at the 400-level or above and two courses in music theory (4 to 6 credits) at the 400-level or above (10 to 12 credits).
c. Complete 3 to 5 credits of electives.
d. Demonstrate proficiency in French, German, Italian, English, and Latin through an assessment administered as part of the audition process. Lack of proficiency in any language must be addressed by enrolling in MUS 845 Secondary or Specialist Emphasis: Voice, which will focus on repertoire in the deficient language(s) and will include a jury for the voice faculty.
e. Demonstrate proficiency in vocal pedagogy by taking MUS 340 Methods and Literature for Voice. These credits will not count toward those required for the degree. This requirement will be waived if the student’s transcript shows successful completion of a similar course at another institution.
f. Participate in music activities during two semesters of enrollment in the program. The activities must be approved by the student's academic advisor and must involve chorus.
3. Orchestral Conducting
The program is available only under Plan B (without thesis).  A total of 30 credits is required for the degree.  The student's program of study must be approved by the student's academic advisor.  The student must meet the requirements specified below:
a. Complete both of the following courses (10 credits):
MUS 858B Seminar in Orchestral Conducting 6
MUS 897 Concert Conducting 4
The student must conduct a full program in a public orchestral concert, or conduct a series of pieces in two or more public orchestral concerts.
b. Complete 6 credits in music history at the 400-level or above and two courses in music theory (4 to 6 credits) at the 400-level or above (10 to 12 credits).
c. Complete 1 to 4 credits in music performance at the 800–900 level.
d. Complete 4 to 9 credits of electives.
e. Demonstrate proficiency in French, German, Italian, English, and Latin through an assessment administered as part of the audition process. Lack of proficiency in any language must be addressed by enrolling in MUS 845 Secondary or Specialist Emphasis: Voice, which will focus on repertoire in the deficient language(s) and will include a jury for the voice faculty.
f. Participate in music activities during two semesters of enrollment in the program. The activities must be approved by the student's academic advisor and must involve orchestra.

Academic Standards

A grade of 3.0 or higher is required for Music 897.