Music

Graduate programs

Master of Music

John Prescott, Graduate Director
Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts, Room 309
Phone 417-836-5748

JohnPrescott@missouristate.edu 

Program objective

The Master of Music seeks to promote the continued development of individual talents, interests, and philosophies that can be used creatively to explore, preserve, and extend our cultural heritage.  The degree will prepare students for the many and various challenges of the music profession.

Program description

The Master of Music degree will develop professional competence in the evaluation and dissemination of knowledge in such disciplines as conducting, pedagogy, music performance, theory and composition, and music education.  Each student will complete a core of music courses and will select one of the five specific concentrations.  A final research project will be required of each candidate.  Missouri State University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.   

Entrance requirements

Music Department Standards

The entering graduate student in music must meet all requirements for admission to graduate studies. 

 Conducting Concentration

To be admitted to the conducting program, students must satisfactorily meet the following conditions:

  1. intensive interview with the faculty member from the conducting area with whom they will study;
  2. submission of DVD or videotapes of ensemble conducting performances OR visitation of Missouri State University faculty to concert or classroom situations, OR observation of live performance by Missouri State faculty;
  3. audition in a major performance area. 

Music Education Concentration

To be admitted to the music education program, students must satisfactorily meet the following conditions: 

  1. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited music program with a completed major equivalent to certification by a state agency to teach music (K-12);
  2. Interview with a faculty member in the music education area;
  3. A letter of intent containing teaching and professional goals, future plans, and background information;
  4. Two letters of recommendation from professionals familiar with the candidate's academic abilities and teaching potential.

Music Pedagogy Concentration 

Applicants must be prepared to perform a live audition consisting of at least three pieces of contrasting styles.  Piano auditions must be memorized.

Music Composition Concentration

To be admitted to the composition program, students must satisfactorily meet the following conditions:

  1. applicants interested in composition must submit at least three compositions to the composition faculty for their approval as a prerequisite for admission;
  2. audition in a major performance area.

Performance Concentration

Applicants must be prepared to perform a live audition consisting of at least three pieces of contrasting styles.  Piano auditions must be memorized.  Vocal auditions should include five memorized selections in contrasting styles including pieces in French, German, and Italian.

Degree requirements

  1. Hours.  Candidate will complete a minimum of 32 hours of course work.
  2. Placement Exams.  Master of Music students are required to take placement exams in music history and music theory.  Students who do not pass either or both exams may correct those deficiencies by passing one or more MSU undergraduate courses as determined by the graduate coordinator.  Alternatively, those students can retake either of both exams until they achieve passing scores.  Remedial courses offered by other institutions, online or otherwise, are also acceptable subject to prior approval.
  3. Final Project.  A final project will be required of each candidate.  See individual curriculum outline for specific requirements.  The candidate will work with a major advisor to determine the precise scope of the project.
  4. Comprehensive Examination.  A written comprehensive examination must be passed before a degree will be granted.  The written examination will be taken after the course work has been completed.  The exam will be prepared and evaluated by a committee assigned for individual students. 

Conducting curriculum outline

Required Core

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
MUS 700 Introduction to Graduate Study in Music 3 hrs
  Advanced Courses in Music Theory and Composition or Music History 6 hrs
MUS 790, 798 Final Project: Public performance and research document *4 hrs
  Total 13 hrs

*Two hours of the final project will be devoted to a written research paper discussing and analyzing the pieces to be performed on the final public performance.  The other 2 hours will be the preparation and conducting of the public performance.

Conducting Concentration

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
MUS 670, 671
Conducting Seminar (Instrumental or Choral Conducting Seminar 6 hrs
MUS 781 Score Reading and Analysis 3 hrs
MUS 746, 747, 748 Repertoire Course (Choose Wind, Orchestral, Choral) 3 hrs
MUS 675678762768, 775, 776, 778 Ensembles 2 hrs
  Music Electives (some applied study, seminar conducting, language/diction recommended) 5 hrs
  Total 19 hrs

Music Education curriculum outline

Required Core

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
MUS 700  Introduction to Graduate Study in Music 3 hrs
  Advanced Courses in Music Theory and Composition or Music History 6 hrs
MUS 790, 799 Final Project: Research Document 4 hrs
  Total 13 hrs

Music Education Concentration

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
MUS 725 History and Philosophy of Music Education 3 hrs
MUS 707  Psychology of Music 3 hrs
MUS 708 Contemporary Music Education 3 hrs
  Music Education Electives (some ensemble and applied recommended) 10 hrs
  Total 19 hrs

Pedagogy curriculum outline

Required Core

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
MUS 700 Introduction to Graduate Study in Music 3 hrs
  Advanced Courses in Music Theory and Composition or Music History 6 hrs
MUS 790, 798 Final Project: Public performance and research document 4 hrs
  Total 13 hrs

Pedagogy Concentration

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
MUS 649, 651, 653, 655, 656, 657, 660, 749, 751, 753, 755, 756, 757  Applied Music  4 hrs
MUS 675678, 682762768, 775, 776, 778, 792  Ensembles 2 hrs
MUS 658 Survey of Pedagogical Methods 2 hrs
MUS 738 Survey of Pre-College Repertoire 2 hrs
MUS 739 Pedagogy Practicum I 3 hrs
MUS 740 Pedagogy Practicum II 3 hrs
  Music Electives 3 hrs
  Total 19 hrs

Composition curriculum outline

Required Core

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
MUS 700 Introduction to Graduate Study in Music 3 hrs
  Advanced Courses in Music Theory and Composition or Music History 6 hrs
MUS 790, 798, 799 Final Project: Original Composition 4 hrs
  Total 13 hrs

Composition Concentration

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
MUS 629  Introduction to Commercial Music 3 hrs
MUS 728 Pedagogy of Music Theory 3 hrs
MUS 715 Advanced Composition 9 hrs
  Music Elective 4 hrs 
  Total 19 hrs

Performance curriculum outline

Required Core

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
MUS 700 Intro to Graduate Study in Music 3 hrs
  Advanced courses in Music Theory and Composition or Music History 6 hrs
MUS 790, 798 Final Project: Public performance and research document 4 hrs
  Total 13 hrs

Performance Concentration

Course CodeCourse TitleCredit Hours
MUS 749, 751, 753, 755, 756, 757, 760 Advanced Applied Music  8 hrs
MUS 661, 663, 762768, 772, 773, 774, 775, 776, 778, 792, 793 Ensembles 4 hrs
MUS 630, 658 Pedagogy  2 hrs
  Music Electives 5 hrs
  Total 19 hrs

* Voice majors are expected to be proficient in German, French and Italian diction.