Master of Music Degree

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Choosing between the MM and the MA

Master’s degrees with majors in composition and music education may be undertaken either within the division of graduate professional studies (the MM as described in this section) or within the division of graduate research studies (the Master of Arts). All MM degree programs, including composition and music education, have a strong performance emphasis, and require an audition on an applied instrument or voice. The MA does not require an audition for admission, but may include applied study on the secondary level.

Transfer Applicants

A maximum of six graduate credits taken not more than five years before matriculation to a master’s program at Eastman may be accepted if the subjects are integral to the student’s program of study, and if the student has received a grade of B or above. Academic credit, such as music history or music theory, may be eligible for transfer. Normally, no transfer credit is given for applied music or ensemble taken at another institution.

General Prerequisites for the MM Degree Program

Enrollment in an Eastman graduate program requires successful completion of an undergraduate degree at an accredited institution.  Most successful applicants will have completed the bachelor of music degree, or the close equivalent of its core curriculum.

Core curriculum:

  • 4-5 semesters of music theory (aural and written)
  • 2-3 semesters of music history
  • 2-4 semesters of keyboard skills
  • performance studies

Students’ knowledge and skills will be evaluated through placement tests administered as part of their initial graduate enrollment process.  If the evaluation indicates remedial courses are necessary, students must successfully complete them during the first semester in which they are offered.  Credits for review courses are not counted toward the degree requirements.

Residency Requirement and Duration of Study

The residency requirement for the MM degree program is one year of full-time study, with the exceptions of the major in piano accompanying and chamber music, which has a two-year residency requirement, and the major in conducting, which normally requires two academic years in residence.

Majors

 

Master of Music with a Major in Composition

Additional prerequisites

  • A minimum of 18 semester hours or the equivalent in undergraduate composition courses
  • 12 semester hours of upper-division courses in counterpoint and orchestration
  • Before admission to the graduate division, the applicant should have composed at least one work in one of the larger forms

Curriculum

Composition Studies: Advanced Composition; Composition Symposium; Composition Practice c. 1925-1955; MM Thesis

Applied Music: Private lessons and recital

Academics: Theory and/or related elective music courses

→ More information on Composition curriculum

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Master of Music with a Major in Conducting (Choral)

Additional prerequisites

  • Significant experience as a choral singer and conductor
  • Language proficiency equivalent to one year of college-level instruction in French, German, or Italian (proficiency in two of these languages is strongly recommended)

Curriculum

  • Conducting: Choral Conducting II and Choral Techniques and Methods II; Advanced Instrumental Conducting; Rehearsal Techniques; conducting recital; applied lessons; Chorale
  • Academics: Music Bibliography, Analytical Techniques, plus two courses in Music History, Choral Literature
  • Electives
  • Oral and Comprehensive Examinations

→ More information on Conducting curriculum

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Master of Music in Conducting (Orchestral)

Additional Prerequisites

  • Proficiency in rehearsal procedure, baton technique, and interpretive skill.
  • Strong background in dictation, sight singing, solfege, score identification and analysis, and keyboard skills (tested at the audition).

Curriculum

  • Conducting: Orchestral Conducting; Colloquy in Conducting; two rehearsals with the Conducting Orchestra each month; performance of one main orchestral work, including oral examination dealing with this work
  • Ensemble: At least two semesters of a graduate instrumental ensemble
  • Academics: Music Bibliography, Analytical Techniques, plus two courses in Music History
  • Electives: Recommended electives include applied music study (up to 3 credits), Orchestration, and Advanced or Intermediate Keyboard Skills, as appropriate.
  • Comprehensive Listening Exam

→ More information on Conducting curriculum

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Master of Music in Early Music (Emphasis in Historical Plucked Instruments)

Curriculum

  • Music History and Theory:Music Bibliography; Music in the Renaissance; and Music in the Baroque; Modal Counterpoint or 18th-Century Counterpoint
  • Other Courses: Lute Literature and Pedagogy (lute majors only); Harpsichord Literature and Pedagogy through the 18th Century (harpsichord majors only); Performance Practice (two semesters)
  • Keyboard Skills: Intermediate or Advanced Keyboard Skills (harpsichord majors only); Keyboard Continuo Realization or Independent Study in Continuo for Lutenists
  • Ensembles: Collegium Musicum or Baroque Chamber Music
  • Comprehensive listening exam
  • Oral examination (based on repertoire to be performed on the recital)

→ More information on Early Music curriculum

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Master of Music with a Major in Jazz Studies & Contemporary Media (Performance Skills)

Additional prerequisites

  • Highly developed improvisational skills
  • Extensive small jazz group experience
  • Four years of applied instruction on primary instrument
  • Advanced study in jazz theory and improvisation

Curriculum

  • Performance: applied lessons; Jazz Performance Workshop (a total of four semesters); Jazz Forum; Large Jazz Ensemble; degree recital
  • Coursework: Graduate Jazz Pedagogy; Advanced Performance Projects-Contemporary Media; Advanced History and Analysis of Jazz Styles
  • Electives

→ More information on Jazz Studies curriculum

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Master of Music with a Major in Jazz Studies & Contemporary Media (Writing Skills)

Additional prerequisites

  • Highly developed improvisational skills
  • Extensive small jazz group experience
  • Four years of applied instruction on primary instrument
  • Advanced study in jazz theory and improvisation
  • One year of jazz composition/arranging
  • One year of non-jazz composition is recommended

Curriculum

  • Performance: Jazz Performance Workshop; Advanced Performance Projects-Contemporary Media; Jazz Forum; Large Jazz Ensemble; Degree Recital
  • Coursework: Advanced Projects in Arranging and Composition; Jazz Composition and Arranging III; Graduate Jazz Pedagogy; Advanced History and Analysis of Jazz Styles
  • Electives

→ More information on Jazz Studies curriculum

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Master of Music with a Major in Music Education (Professional Studies)

Additional prerequisites

  • A high standard of musicianship consistent with an Eastman bachelor’s degree
  • Breadth of musical and academic preparation
  • Teaching experience is strongly recommended
  • This degree may be pursued through full-time study or through summers-only study (during four consecutive summers).

Curriculum

The curriculum for the MM degree in Music Education (Professional Studies) includes courses in research methods, measurement and evaluation, curriculum, and the history and philosophy of music education. Students will also take instrumental and choral methods and techniques courses, applied music lessons, and elective courses in theory, composition or orchestration. They will complete a culminating comprehensive examination.

→ More information on Music Education curriculum

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Master of Music in with a Major in Music Education (leading to New York State Initial plus Professional Certification in Music)

Additional prerequisites

  • A high standard of musical skill, consistent with an Eastman bachelor’s degree
  • Breadth of musical and general educational preparation
  • This degree may be pursued through full-time study only.

Curriculum

The curriculum for the MM degree in Music Education leading to Initial plus Professional Certification includes courses in research methods, measurement and evaluation, curriculum, and the history and philosophy of music education. Students will also select additional courses for a pedagogical core emphasis in General Music, Instrumental Music or Vocal Music, take elective courses in theory, composition or orchestration, take applied music lessons, and complete a culminating comprehensive examination.

→ More information on Music Education curriculum

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Master of Music with a Major in Opera (Stage Directing)

Additional prerequisites

  • An undergraduate degree in a relevant applied music or theater discipline.
  • Admission to this program is through audition by the relevant applied music faculty and the opera faculty. Only candidates with significant performing, directing, and/or theater experience will be considered. They must demonstrate talent that makes a professional career as a stage director upon completion of the degree likely. Typically, only one student is admitted during an academic year.

Curriculum

  • Opera Production: Seminar in Opera Stage Directing; Opera Production: Stage Management; Opera Directing Project (independent study); direct scenes from Opera Workshop; assist with Opera Main Stage productions
  • Opera Performance: Advanced Opera Seminar; Opera Workshop
  • Music History and Theory: Music Bibliography, Analytical Techniques and at least one other theory course
  • Electives: May include Opera Repertoire, Opera Workshop, Advanced Opera seminar, Voice Pedagogy, Arts Leadership, Lyric Diction courses, or Music History or Theory courses. Up to four credits of applied music may also be taken. Theatre, dance and art courses may be taken at the University of Rochester.

→ More information on Opera curriculum

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Master of Music with a Major in Performance and Literature

Curriculum

  • Applied Music Lessons
  • Oral Examination
  • Comprehensive Listening Exam
  • Degree Recital
  • Music History and Theory: Music Bibliography; A minimum of two music-history period courses is required; Analytical Techniques

Additional requirements by department

  • Guitar: Seminar in Guitar Studies
  • Harp: Harp Pedagogy
  • Harpsichord: Harpsichord Performance and Literature through the Eighteenth Century; Continuo
  • Organ: Organ Repertory I-IV
  • Piano: Studio Accompanying. A major in piano performance and literature is required to be the exclusive pianist for one singer and one instrumentalist during each semester of residence, up to and including four semesters.
  • Strings, Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion: Graduate instrumental ensemble; two semesters of large ensemble.
  • Voice: Voice Repertory; one semester of chorus
  • Woodwind specialist: A minimum of two semesters of study of the major instrument, the secondary major instrument, and each of three secondary minor instruments. Two semesters of ensemble; a full recital on the major and secondary instruments; and a performance or less formal recital of a sonata or equivalent work on each of the secondary minor instruments

→ More information on Performance curriculum

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Master of Music with a Major in Piano Accompanying & Chamber Music

Prerequisites

  • Language proficiency equivalent to one year of college-level instruction in French, German, or Italian

Curriculum

  • Performance: Four semesters of private accompanying study; Instrumental Sonata and Duo
    Repertoire; Voice Repertoire for Pianists; Piano Chamber Music Repertoire or Opera Coaching
  • Keyboard Skills, based on placement
  • Music History and Theory: Music Bibliography; Analytical Techniques; at least one music history period course
  • Languages: Within the first year at Eastman, students majoring in piano accompanying and chamber music are required to pass a language comprehension examination in French, German, or Italian. In addition, they must either successfully complete the vocal diction courses in German, English, French, and Italian with a grade of B or higher, or demonstrate diction proficiency in all four languages by examination.
  • Jury (in December of the first year of residency)
  • Comprehensive Listening Exam
  • Oral Examination
  • Two Recitals (one with a vocalist or vocalists and one with an instrumentalist or instrumentalists)

→ More information on Piano Accompanying & Chamber Music curriculum

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