The Department of Music strives to inspire student growth in creative, artistic, and professional terms by providing a climate conducive to the development of the comprehensive musician. This is achieved through a highly personalized and student-centered approach to the development of a unified core of musical experiences. Toward this end, the program is designed:
- To develop performance and/or compositional skills which exhibit artistic integrity and competence;
- To establish and foster music ensembles which demonstrate the highest standards in artistic excellence;
- To foster student inquiry, interaction, and self-discovery;
- To provide a strong foundation for future graduate study in the field of music;
- To train students seeking public school music careers according to approved standards of teacher education;
- To develop student capacity to communicate music and its role in society to others;
- To develop the aesthetic sense of the general student in terms of musical understanding, appreciation, and perception;
- To provide avocational opportunities for interested students through participation in the various music ensembles and other music activities; and
- To enhance the image of the School of the Arts and Humanities, the Department of Music, and the University by serving as a hub of artistic activity for the community.
The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) accredits all degree programs offered with Shepherd University”s Department of Music. NASM, founded in 1924, is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges and universities with approximately 647 accredited institutional members. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Music
The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Music is a liberal arts degree, which focuses on music in the context of a broad program of general studies. The courses within the degree include performance, musicianship, music history, and elective studies in music. However, the orientation is toward a broad coverage of music, and has many electives built into the degree for students seeking a solid foundation in music while studying areas of other interest. Within the B.A. in Music, Shepherd University offers concentrations in: Composition, Music Theater, and Piano Pedagogy.
Students preparing for careers in the communicative arts, music business, arts administration, church music, music therapy, or graduate school admission often choose the B.A. in Music. This four-year program gives majors the freedom to select other courses to complement the music courses that match their career interests.
Bachelor of Music in Performance (B.M.P.)
The Bachelor of Music in Performance (B.M.P.) degree is a professional degree, which focuses on intensive work in music allied with competence in an area of specialization - voice, piano, or instrumental (including all instruments), while being supported by a program in general studies. Majors within this degree learn the various professional responsibilities of the career musician, which include technical competence, a broad knowledge of music and music literature, the ability to integrate musical knowledge and skills, sensitivity to musical styles, and an insight into the role of music in intellectual and cultural life.
Students preparing for careers as professional artist-performers, studio educators, church musicians, or for graduate school admission often choose the B.M. in Music.
Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.)
The Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) with a teaching field in comprehensive music grades PreK-Adult is a four-year program structured to develop competencies in professional education and in specific areas of musicianship, which include: conducting and musical leadership; arranging; keyboard performance; pedagogy in piano, voice, or instrumental; and the application of analytical and historical knowledge to curriculum development, lesson planning, and daily classroom and performance activities. B.M.E. students learn to relate their understanding of music with respect to styles, literature, multiple cultural sources, and historical development, both in general and as related to their area(s) of specialization.
Upon satisfactory completion of curriculum requirements, the student is awarded a Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.) and can apply to the State Department of Education for certification.
The Department of Music is housed in the Frank Creative Arts Center which provides the physical resources to meet ever-changing vocational and educational demands. The facility contains 14 traditional and acoustic environment practice-rooms, classrooms, and studio-offices in addition to unique areas such as a computer lab, electronic piano lab, a recording studio, vocal and instrumental rehearsal areas, a music resource center, and a music recital hall. Other performance spaces include the main theater of the Frank Center and Reynolds Hall on East Campus. Equipment is continually updated.
Special Requirements for Music Majors (entrance audition required)
- GPA Requirement
Music majors must achieve a C in all MUSC courses. Students receiving grades lower than C in any MUSC course must retake the course. Students accepted into the music program are tested to evaluate their relative skill level in music theory. Those students who pass the evaluation will enter the core curriculum Music Theory and Aural Skills sequence (MUSC 103 and MUSC 104).
- Students who fail may retake the evaluation prior to the first day of classes, at the instructor’s discretion, and once attaining a passing grade may enter into the normal course of study or;
- Students who fail the evaluation will be required to register for Foundations of Music Theory (MUSC 101) in addition to Music Theory and Aural Skills (MUSC 103 and MUSC 104). These courses are to be taken concurrently.
- Private Applied Lesson Requirement
Music majors are required to enroll for private applied lessons on their major instrument with an appropriate resident Shepherd University faculty member every semester prior to their graduation, even if the student has reached his/her required performance level and has achieved the required private applied credit hours. Composition majors must take a full hour of lessons on their primary instrument until they have reached a level of 6 on that instrument. At that point they may take lessons on their minor instrument or other instruments as desired. Composition majors may take more than one applied in a semester if desired and approved by the director of the music theory/composition area. Composition majors begin applied composition lessons after they have passed MUSC 105 (Music Theory II), and after that must take composition or orchestration lessons every semester they attend the University.
- Ensemble Participation
- Music majors are required to participate in the appropriate ensembles every semester of their University careers, with or without credit, save for the semester during which they are doing directed teaching. The term “appropriate ensemble” is determined by the head of each area and the department chair. Stage productions (opera and musical theater) are considered ensembles; all majors concentration in voice performance or musical theater are expected to audition for and participate in each stage production. Instrumental emphasis majors will take band each semester; vocal emphasis majors will take choir each semester. Keyboard and guitar emphasis majors may choose which of the two is most suitable to their goals. Piano emphasis majors may substitute keyboard ensemble as their appropriate ensemble after their fourth semester. The primary ensemble for composition majors is determined by their primary instrument; however, exceptions may be granted by permission of the department. A petition for such an exception must be submitted in writing to the department chair prior to registration for the affected semester.
- Students are encouraged to participate in other instrumental and vocal ensembles in addition to the basic band or choir involvement. Under certain rare circumstances, such an ensemble may count singly as satisfying the ensemble participation requirement for a given semester. This is contingent upon the approval of the appropriate ensemble director, the student’s advisor, and the department chair.
- Participation in any ensemble is interpreted to mean attendance at all rehearsals and participation in all programs and concerts presented by that ensemble. Individual exceptions to this rule are left to the discretion of the ensemble director as determined during the registration procedures.
- Ensemble directors will determine whether or not the ensemble requirement has been met. The director will notify the student’s advisor, the student, and the department chair.
- Students may petition the department to be excused from that semester’s portion of the ensemb le participation requirement.
- Bachelor of arts in music students should refer to the specific requirements relative to ensembleparticipation as listed under the concentration area elsewhere in the Catalog.
- Ensemble directors may dismiss a student from an ensemble at any point in the semester if the student does not adhere to the guidelines stated in the course syllabus.
- Concert Attendance Requirement
All Shepherd University students majoring in music are required to attend a minimum of 100 concerts/recitals prior to graduation. See the Department of Music Student Handbook, available in the Music Resource Center, for details.
- Music Department 1:10 Recital Requirement
Music majors may not register for any class that meets during the Wednesday 1:10 time slot. Students must attend the weekly 1:10 Departmental Recital each Wednesday in Frank Center M08. All students, except first-semester freshmen, must perform on the 1:10 recital each semester. See the Department of Music Student Handbook, available in the Music Resource Center, for details.
- Piano Proficiency
All music majors must complete the piano proficiency exam before graduation from a degree program. In addition, music education majors must pass the piano proficiency exam in order to pass Juncture 2 in the senior year.
- To acquire the specific skills needed for the piano proficiency exam, it is suggested that the student enroll in the class piano sequence (MUSC 138, 140, 141). Students who have some keyboard experience may place out of MUSC 138 and move into MUSC 140 Class Piano I. In addition to class piano, students may enroll in private applied lessons in order to prepare for the exam. For all sections of class piano, students must receive a grade of C or above in order to be qualified to take the exam.
- Exams will be scheduled at the end of each semester during finals week. Students will sign up for individual exam sessions with the coordinator of keyboard studies. Students must pass ALL components of the exam. If a student does not pass one of the components, he/she may retake that portion of the exam at a later time.
- Exam contents and study exams may be obtained from the keyboard studies coordinator.
- Students will audition at the beginning of their freshman year for placement in the appropriate class piano level. Students who can demonstrate proficiency in the exam requirements will be exempt from class piano study and the keyboard proficiency examination. Students who cannot demonstrate this proficiency should enroll in class piano courses until their proficiency requirement is satisfied.
- Performance Levels
All music majors must achieve the appropriate performance level to meet graduation requirements. Levels are achieved through the music jury process which is held one week before final exams each semester. The appropriate levels are: performance emphasis, VIII; piano pedagogy, VII; composition, music education, and music theater performance, VI. Students must be within one full level of the graduation requirement for their degree concentration before presenting a senior recital/activity and within two full levels of the graduation requirement before presenting a junior recital.
- Sophomore Music Competency Exam
All sophomore music majors must demonstrate an acceptable level of knowledge in aural skills, written theory, basic music vocabulary, and music history and literature. This level will be determined through a competency exam. The exam will be administered each spring semester. Students must receive a passing score (which may vary depending on the test) on the exam to graduate. Transfer students must take the exam the first spring semester they are enrolled in the department or during the semester they are enrolled in MUSC 205, as determined by the music history and music theory coordinators.
- Senior Music Activity
All music majors must complete a senior music activity appropriate to their major and area of concentration. Students must be within one full level of the graduation requirement for their degree concentration before presenting their senior music activity.
- For music education majors and students concentrating in piano pedagogy in the bachelor of arts program, the senior music activity will be completed in one of the following three formats:
- Recital (minimum total time: one hour)
The recital will involve a minimum of 45 minutes of actual music on one or more instruments.
- Lecture-Recital (minimum total time: one hour)
The lecture-recital will involve a minimum of 25 minutes of actual music, plus comments appropriate to the works presented.
- Project-Presentation (minimum total time: one hour)
The project-presentation will involve a creative endeavor that may take the form of original composition, arranging, conducting, innovative pedagogy, or focused research. The results of the project will be publicly presented in an appropriate format, most likely a lecture presentation. Thesis-like papers alone will not fulfill the requirement.
- All students concentrating in performance in the bachelor of arts program are required to present a senior recital. Successful completion of the junior recital is a prerequisite.
- All students concentrating in composition in the bachelor of arts program are required to present a performance of their own music containing no less than 45 minutes of actual music.
- Procedures for the senior music activity are listed in the Department of Music Student Handbook available in the Music Resource Center.
- Exit Exam
As a culmination of the senior seminar, students will take an appropriate examination to demonstrate their musical knowledge and skills. Score standards adopted by the music faculty will determine pass/fail outcomes of the test and the course.
- Music is a selective major and all majors must audition to be admitted into the Department of Music. In addition, all music majors must remain in good standing to continue within the music major. Generally, a student in good standing attends lessons, classes, and ensemble rehearsals; progresses through the course work (both major courses and general studies) in a timely manner; progresses through jury levels in a timely manner; passes barrier exams such as the sophomore competency exam in a timely manner; provides a positive influence on his or her peers; and acts in a manner befitting a future professional in the field of music. Failure to adhere to these standards, and others listed in the Music Student Handbook, may result in suspension or dismissal from the department.
Professional Associations for Music Students
MENC Student Chapter
Music students can affiliate with professional music educators and with music students from other colleges and universities in the United States through membership in a student chapter of the Music Educators National Conference (MENC). This organization affords excellent opportunities for professional orientation and development during the University years.
IAJE Student Chapter
Students from all disciplines with an interest in jazz may join the International Association of Jazz Educators. Membership provides the student with the opportunity to affiliate with others with like interests in this art form through participation in area and national conventions, concerts, and campus activities.
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia
The International Professional Music Fraternity for Men, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia has established a chapter at Shepherd University. Students from all academic disciplines may be selected for membership in this prestigious organization which is dedicated to the art of music and its crosscultural dissemination.
Sigma Alpha Iota
Sigma Alpha Iota International Academic Fraternity for Women in the Field of Music chapter at Shepherd is dedicated to the art of music and its development. The women of Sigma Alpha Iota have the opportunity to share their interests with other members in a worldwide network. Students from all academic disciplines may be selected for membership in this prestigious organization.
American Choral Directors Association
ACDA is the largest organization in the United States devoted to the art of choral music. Membership dues include a yearly subscription to the Choral Journal, an invaluable resource for the latest in repertoire and standards, pedagogy, and the many facets of choral music.
Music for the General Student
The general student is encouraged to participate in music ensembles, music courses, and other activities of the Music Department.
- Private Applied Music. Lessons are available to students who perform in an ensemble or have declared a music minor. With consent of the professor, lessons may be taken for half or full hours of credit per semester. One half-credit hour is based on a weekly 25-minute lesson plus a minimum of six hours of practice per week. One full credit hour is based on a weekly 50-minute lesson plus a minimum of twelve hours of practice per week. The same course number can be applied any number of times for credit. Music fee required.
- Music Ensembles. Band, Choir, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Choir, Chamber Singers, Masterworks Chorale, and other music ensembles are open to the general student, as based on the entrance guidelines formulated by the particular faculty member involved. The department seeks involvement of the general student body in these activities.
- Music Courses. The general student is encouraged to select music courses for elective credit. Prerequisites and other information are included with the specific course descriptions contained elsewhere in this Catalog.