Jun 18, 2024  
2021-2022 Academic Catalog 
2021-2022 Academic Catalog [Published Catalog]

Performance (B.M.A.)

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Students who major in music may pursue either a Bachelor of Musical Arts (B.M.A.) degree in Performance or a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in music technology. The Bachelor of Musical Arts in Performance is a professional degree built on a liberal arts core which prepares students for a career in teaching or performance in voice or an instrument, or for graduate study in performance.

The mission of the Music Program is to teach the theory, literature, and performance of music, and the theory and practice of music technology, to the highest attainable standard in the context of a liberal arts environment, with an orientation towards performance and study in both Western and Arab music. The dual focus on Western and Arab music makes this program truly unique. Music performance and music technology majors graduate with experience in and understanding of both important and rich musical traditions.

The program lays a special emphasis on important aspects of what musicians do which are of particular value to students, whether they aspire to a career in music, or only seek to broaden their understanding of the world by enrolling in one or two courses. First, all students who take private instruction in voice or an instrument will learn to sight-read musical notation fluently, and to comprehend what they hear. Second, students have the opportunity to view music culture and history through the liberal arts lens. They are encouraged to make connections between art and culture across a wide array of eras and places. Third, in the classroom and studio, lessons, rehearsals, and performances, all students in the program are taught to adhere to a professional standard: to be punctual and prepared, and to treat their colleagues, and the material to be studied or performed, with the respect that is their due.

Bachelor of Musical Arts (B.M.A.)

Requirements for the Concentration in Performance

In order to complete the Bachelor of Musical Arts with a concentration in performance, a student will:

  • Learn to read music fluently, and demonstrate advanced listening and sight-reading skills.
  • Demonstrate the ability to play the piano at an intermediate level or better.
  • Develop a significant understanding of Western and Arab music theory.
  • Study representative great works of Western and Arab music literature, the composers who produced them and their cultural contexts.
  • Demonstrate the ability to sing or play an instrument at or near a professional level; as a final project the student will present a solo recital.
  • Sing in choir, and/or play in an instrumental ensemble.

In order to be accepted into the major, all students will be required to audition before the faculty in their primary instrument or voice, normally within the freshman and sophmore years. Students who enter the concentration in performance must choose a primary instrument or voice, in which they must complete at least eight semesters of private lessons, plus  MUSC 492/4980 - Capstone Final Recital (3 cr.) . Students with significant prior experience may, with permission of the Music Program Director, substitute up to two private lesson courses in a non-primary instrument or voice.

All students entering the Bachelor of Musical Arts program must either pass the How to Read Music placement exam or take MUSC 180/1805 - How to Read Music (3 cr.) , concurrently with one course among MUSC 280/1800 - Individual Lessons in Voice or an Instrument (1 cr.) , the first semester of Private Lessons in either voice or an instrument. Students who choose a primary instrument other than piano will also be required to pass a piano proficiency exam (ideally by the end of the sophomore year) in order to graduate; those who fail this exam are required to take three semesters of MUSC 284/2850 - Private Instruction for Piano Proficiency (1 cr.) .

A total of 120 credits are required for the Bachelor of Musical Arts degree. Students who wish to add a second major in another subject can do so by completing 140-145 credits.

Core Curriculum (40 credits)

Concentration Requirements (51 - 63 credits)

Performance (22 - 31 cr.)

Eight ensemble courses, chosen from among the following:

Ensembles are 1-credit courses in which students learn the nuances of performing in the ensemble’s stated genre. Ensembles perform at the end of each semester.

How to Read Music and Piano Proficiency

Students entering the B.M.A. must either pass the How to Read Music placement exam or achieve a passing grade in


All students with a primary instrument other than piano must take the piano proficiency exam. Those who do not achieve a passing grade are required to take


Specialization Requirements (0 - 3 credits)

Electives (9 - 29 credits)

Students who choose to add a second major will in most cases need to complete an additional fifteen to twenty credits.

Students with interest in opera are encouraged to add a minor in Theater.

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