Music theory plays a central role in the education of every Eastman student. The study of theory includes a wide range of subjects, from hands-on training in musical skills to advanced research on musical structure and music’s cultural context. The goal of the Eastman theory department is not only to provide students with a solid technical foundation, but also to encourage their ongoing intellectual engagement with music as an art form.
At the graduate level, the School offers the Master of Arts in the Pedagogy of Music Theory, and the Doctor of Philosophy in Theory, (our Master of Arts in Theory is awarded upon completion of initial coursework for the PhD and exams). The curricula for these degrees are designed to promote above all rigorous standards of musicianship and scholarship, including the knowledge to be a productive scholar. Students in the doctoral program complete a core curriculum followed by specialized seminars. This—together with experienced gained from teaching in our undergraduate program—contributes to the outstanding record of placement for Eastman theory PhD alumni.