Summer at St. Mary's

Jeff

Professor Jeffrey Silberschlag conducting the Chesapeake Orchestra at the River Concert Series.

Study abroad in Italy

Choir and Orchestra in Alba

You can participate in the Alba Music Festival, two weeks of intensive music making in the north of Italy.

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The Music Curriculum

The purpose of the music curriculum is to give you a broad background in all important aspects of music, and it stresses the important connections between academic study and practical artistic applications.  All of these courses are described in full in the catalog.  This section is to help you make some sense of it all.  Thus it is an addition to the information in the catalog, and it is ordered somewhat differently.

When you look over the courses listed below, you will notice that unlike the catalog or schedule, we divide them into:   

Introductory courses
These are intended for non-musicians, particularly those seeking the satisfy the Core Curriculum Arts Requirement.

Applied courses
These are private instruction and ensembles.  They are required of music major students.  These courses (identified as MUSA), if taken for four semesters (any combination of ensembles, or private lessons on a single instrument/voice), also satisfy the Core Arts requirement.  Please contact the Music Department Chair (Deborah Lawrence) with any questions about this.

Music Major Academic courses
These are intended first of all for music majors, but some of them may also satisfy the Core Curriculum Arts Requirement or may be open to non-majors.

St. Mary's Project in Music

Elective courses
You choose among these as a way of tailoring your program to suit your own particular needs and ambitions, and to satisfy the requirement of the major to take ten credits of elective courses.  Some of these may be open to non-majors.

Teaching courses
These are methods classes and the like, mostly intended for students planning to pursue the M. A. T. and teaching certification in music. 


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Introductory Courses

MUSC 112.  Music as Communication (4)

This course is for people who do not already read music, or who desire a general introduction to issues of music and communication. Students who have already had private music lessons, either here or before arriving at St. Mary's College of Maryland, and who are considering music as a major, should take MUSC 203 (Music Theory I) instead.

MUSA 170-176.  Beginning Class Instruction (1E)
These are basic skills courses for beginning students.  We have classes in Guitar (170), Piano (173, 174, 273), and Voice (176).  An extra fee is involved.  These classes may also be of particular interest to those students pursuing teacher certification, or music students seeking an introduction to a new instrument.

MUSC 205.  Music in History (4)
Designed for the general student, this course serves as an introduction to music and composers from the Western tradition (what usually is called “classical” music), with a focus on historical periods.  It should not be taken by students planning to major in music, or probably not by students with substantial background in music.  Those students should take MUSC 210, 211, or 320 (the Music History Survey courses).

MUSC 216.  An Introduction to the World’s Musics (4)
Designed for the general student, this course serves as an introduction to the music and musical practices of various cultures around the world.  This course addresses the challenge of listening to unfamiliar sounds as“music” and explores the relationship between music and society.

MUSC 217.  The Jazz Makers (4)
Designed for the general student, this course traces Jazz from its historical roots, following its development to current day practices.  The focus is on artists and social issues that shape the idiom, using recordings, videos, films, and transcribed solos.

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Applied Courses

Required for the music major:  7 semesters of ensemble, 7 semesters of private instruction are required for the major.
Some of this requirement may be waived for transfer students.

MUSA 180-190;  480-490.  Ensembles (1E)
The various groups one may belong to include Choir (180/480), Chamber Singers (182/482), Wind Ensemble (185/485), Jazz Ensemble (186/486), Chamber Ensembles (187/487), Orchestra (189/489).  First year students and sophomores should sign up at the 100 level.  Juniors and seniors should sign up at the 400 level.  Advanced pianists may also sign up for Piano Accompanist (190/490).  Admission to all of these groups is by audition only.  Some are open to people with little background (Choir, for example);  admission to others is highly competitive (especially Chamber Singers).  Please check in each case with the particular ensemble director/instructor, or with the people in the Music Office.

Note that participation in Chamber Singers requires that you also participate in Choir.  And note also that participation in Chamber Ensembles requires that you also participate in a large ensemble.


MUSA 280-289;  380-389.  Private Instruction (1E)
Qualified students may study privately with a teacher of any of the standard orchestral instruments, voice, piano, or composition.  See the faculty list (click HERE) for teachers––others may be added as needed, so if you do not see your particular instrument, please ask the music department chair.

These courses are not for beginners, generally speaking. Admission is by audition only.  For some popular instruments  (guitar, piano) and for voice, beginners are directed to our class instruction courses, which are designed to get you started.  You’ll find these listed above under “Introductory Courses.”  If you don’t see a class for what you want to study, and are a beginner, please check with the music department chair.  Depending on the instrument and the particular semester, we may be able to provide you with beginning private lessons.  If you don’t have an instrument, we may be able to loan you one.

First year students and sophomores should sign up for the 200 level.  Juniors and seniors should sign up for the 300 level. Please note that these courses have an extra fee involved.  See the College Catalog for details about fees.

NOTE:  All students studying privately will AUTOMATICALLY be registered in:

MUSA 200.  Concert Attendance (0E)
Students who study privately are also required to attend concerts.  Music majors will be required to attend at least 8 concerts per semester. Non-majors will be required to attend at least 4 concerts per semester.  The concerts take place on campus and are free.  See the College Catalog description of this course and consult with the people in the Music Office for details.

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Music Major Academic courses

Theory (16 semester hours required for the major)

MUSC 201, 202.  Sightsinging and Dictation I, II (1F, 1S)

MUSC 203, 204.  Music Theory I, II (3F, 3S)

These are the first of a two-year requirement in music theory for music majors.  The courses are co-requisite, meaning you must take them as pairs of courses (201+203 in the fall, 202+204 in the spring).  The subject of the theory courses is diatonic music (Western common practice harmony, as developed in the 17th and 18th centuries).  The courses are open to non-majors––in fact, usually about half of the students in these courses are not music majors.  This is one of the best places to begin to explore whether or not you wish to become a music major.

MUSC 309, 311.  Sightsinging and Dictation III, IV (1F, 1S)

MUSC 303, 304.  Music Theory III, IV (3F, 3AS)

MUSC 332.  Form and Analysis (4AS) 

These are the second-year continuation of the requirement in music theory for music majors.  The courses, again, are co-requisite.  The subject of MUSC 303 is chromatic harmony (as developed in the 19th century).  The subject of MUSC 304 is post-tonal harmony (as developed in the early 20th century, and as it continues to develop).  In MUSC 332, the student is introduced to more advanced discussions of musical form and to the writing of formal musical analysis.

MUSC 303 (TheoryIII) is required before taking either Theory IV or Form and Analysis. Theory IV and Form and Analysis are offered in alternating spring semesters, and either can be taken to complete the minimum requirement for the music major.  For students planning to continue in music, as teachers, or in a graduate program, both courses are strongly recommended.

History (12 semester hours required for the major)

MUSC 210, 211, 320.  Music History Survey I, II, III (4S, 4F, 4S)
These three courses present the development of music in the Western world from classical antiquity through the 17th century (I), the 18th and early 19th centuries (II), and the mid-19th through 20th centuries(III).  Reading music is required for these courses. Completion of MUSC203 (Music Theory I) is required for MUSC 210, completion of MUSC 204(Music Theory II) is required for MUSC 211, and completion of MUSC 303(Music Theory III) is required for MUSC 320.

Ethnomusicology (4 semester hours required for the major)

MUSC 216.  An Introduction to the World’s Musics (4)
Designed for the general student, this course serves as an introduction to the music and musical practices of various cultures around the world.  This course addresses the challenge of listening to unfamiliar sounds as“music” and explores the relationship between music and society.

MUSC 323.  Topics in Ethnomusicology (4)
This is a seminar that addresses musical topics from an ethnomusicological viewpoint (e.g., focus on the relationship of music and culture).  The topic varies from year to year, and the course may be repeated for credit if the topic is different.  There is no prerequisite for the class, and it is open to non-majors and to 1st and 2nd year students; however, the student should expect the kind of work associated with an upper level seminar.

MUSC 321.  Topics in Music History (4F)
This course will be discussed below in the elective section.  It is included here because from time to time its subject is ethnomusicological in nature––particularly subjects having to do with American music beyond the “classical” realm.  When such subjects are offered, it may be taken to satisfy the ethnomusicolgy requirement of the major.

Other courses may be used to fulfill this requirement.  Please consult with the music department faculty for further information.

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St. Mary’s Project

MUSC 493.  St. Mary’s Project Seminar in Music (4F)
MUSC 494.  St. Mary’s Project in Music (4S)
In the year that you graduate with a major in music, you will pursue the St. Mary’s Project.  In the fall, MUSC 493 is a seminar.  Under the topic “Performance and Scholarship,” you prepare for a graduation project, usually with a recital as the centerpiece.  As part of the class, you will begin work on recital notes, which represent the written portion of the St. Mary's Project for the students who use the recital as the public portion of their project. 

If you pursue a non-performance SMP in Music, you will still need to demonstrate performance proficiency in vocal or instrumental music (see the music major requirement for performance proficiency).  You may or may not participate in the SMP Seminar.  This is determined in discussion with your SMP mentor or the department chair of music.

If you pursue a non-music project, you must have approval from the music department, and must, in any case, demonstrate performance proficiency in vocal or instrumental music (see the music major requirement for performance proficiency). In general practice, most music majors complete a St. Mary’s Project in music.

Please read the catalog descriptions for MUSC 493 and MUSC 494, and consult the procedural guidelines found in this section of the Music Department Webpage.  Please also consult with a member of the music department faculty if you have any questions about any of this.

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Elective Courses (10 semester hours required for the major)

NB:  The catalog states: "Ten semester-hours of music courses chosen by the student in consultation with the faculty adviser. Courses in fields other than music can satisfy this requirement with the approval of both the faculty adviser and the department chair in music. Electives can be used to pursue areas of special music ability or interest, or to explore the relations between music and other areas."  So, as you can see, there is flexibility in choices of electives.  The courses listed below were created by the music department specifically to be electives for music majors.

MUSC 310.  Electronic Music (4AS)

This course explores the possibilities of applying digital technology (computers, synthesizers, samplers, etc.) to music.  It is open to students who have completed Music Theory I (MUSC 203)––or have the permission of the instructor.  Permission is often granted for students who have some music background.  The course may also be of particular interest to students pursuing teacher certification.  Our graduates who are teachers tell us that this is a particularly useful course.

MUSC 321. Topics in Music History and MUSC 323. Topics in Ethnomusicology (4)
Specialized studies in Music History, Musicology and Ethnomusicology.  The topics vary from year to year.  Recent topics have been “Literature and Opera,” "Music of the Silk Road," and “Opera as Drama.” These courses may be repeated for credit when the topic is different. Prerequisites will vary with the topic, but generally these are taught without prerequisites.  Sophomore status and, on occasion, ability to read music, are recommended.  These courses are strongly recommended (along with the required Music History Survey I-III) to students planning to pursue graduate music study.  Topics in Ethnomusicology (along with "An Introduction to the World's Musics") will satisfy the ethnomusicology requirement of the music major.

MUSC 340.  Orchestration and Arranging (4AF)
The study of problems encountered when writing for orchestral instruments, alone or in combination.  A main feature of this course is that it develops your score reading ability.  This course is open to students who have completed Music Theory III (MUSC 303)––or have the permission of the instructor.  Students are routinely granted permission to take this course if they are taking Music Theory III at the same time.  The course is also strongly recommended to students planning to pursue graduate music study.

MUSC 342.  Counterpoint (4)
An introduction to the topic of how to combine independent melodic voices, focusing on techniques developed in the 16th and 18th centuries.  This is open to students who have completed Music Theory III (MUSC 303)––or have the permission of the instructor.  The course is strongly recommended to students planning to pursue graduate music study.

MUSC 360.  Conducting (4S)
Study of beat patterns, baton techniques, and rehearsal techniques, using critical score analysis.  This course is strongly recommended to students planning to pursue graduate music study or teacher certification.

MUSC 398, 498.  Off-campus Internship (8-16E)
A variety of off-campus experiential learning opportunities can be arranged through the director of internships and study abroad.  You must be admitted to the Internship Program, and have the approval of the department chair.  See the Director of the Office of Internships and the department chair for further information.

Independent Study Courses

MUSC 195, 295, 395, 495.  Guided Reading in Music (1-2E)

MUSC 197, 297, 397, 497.  Directed Research in Music (1-4E)

MUSC 199, 299, 399, 499.  Independent Study (1-4E)

From time to time, a student may choose to pursue a course of reading in a particular topic, undertake an independent research project, or pursue study of a subject not included in our catalog.  On acceptance of the proposal for such work by a music faculty member, the student prepares a learning contract.  This must take place prior to registration.  More information can be found in the College Catalog, in the “Independent Study” part of the “Academic Policies” section.

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Teaching Courses

MUSA 206-209.  Class Methods (1E)
These are four methods classes for students seeking music teaching certification.  They are offered in rotation, one each semester.  They are Class Wind Methods (206), Class Brass Methods (207), Class String Methods (208), and Class Percussion Methods (209).  NOTE:  only one of each of these will be offered each semester.

MUSA 170.  Class Instruction in Guitar (1E)
This may be taken instead of Class String Methods (MUSA 208) as part of the music certification process.

NOTE:  The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) is the way that SMCM offers teaching certification.  The other courses required for admission to the MAT program (beyond those also required in the Music Major) are taught in the Psychology Department and the Educational Studies Department.  There are more than a few courses on that list, and you MUST consult with a member of the Educational Studies Department if you are interested in the MAT, which would provide you with Maryland teaching certification and a Masters degree.  For fuller information about the MAT, please click HERE to go to the section in this handbook about that.  

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