We provide students, majors and non-majors, with a full range of musical opportunities, academic and performance, guided with a high level of personal attention. We offer instrumental and vocal instruction (private and class), the opportunity to participate in a variety of excellent ensembles, and course work that supports an understanding of music in its wider historical, social, cultural and geographical contexts. Our numerous college-level and professional-level performance activities provide a substantial educational foundation and serve as an important cultural resource for our region. The unique summer international and orchestral programs offer students the opportunity to expand horizons and deepen understanding of worlds beyond their own by engaging in conservatory-like, pre-professional training here and abroad. Taken together, these endeavors prepare our students for advanced training and careers in a variety of fields such as performance, composition, music scholarship, education and arts administration.
Students who graduate with a major in music will have achieved college- level proficiency in:
- General musicianship (ear training, dictation, keyboard competency)
- Music theory
- Music history
- Performance in their chosen instrument(s) or voice
Skills in these areas of music will be demonstrated in:
- Classroom work and examinations
- Public performances
The final project (St. Mary’s Project) will show, in addition to the above, proficiency in:
- Critical thinking
The major in music incorporates a high degree of flexibility beyond the core of required courses. All students pursue electives in music, and additionally some students undertake double majors or minors in other subjects. This helps students prepare for careers and graduate study in a wide variety of musical areas.
NOTE: Some music requirements may be waived (by the department chair in consultation with the music faculty) for transfer students or for students with experience or knowledge equivalent to the material of a particular course.
Alba, Italy Program
MUSA 473 is a special course offered only through the College’s program in Alba, Italy. MUSA 473 provides a way for students to earn credit for participating in a two-week international music festival in the summer.
Degree Requirements for the Music Major
General College Requirements
General College Requirements (see “Curriculum” section), including the following requirements to satisfy the major.
Core Music Courses
A grade of C- or better must be received in each course. Courses taken for credit/no credit may not be used to satisfy requirements.
- MUSC 203 & 201: Music Theory I & Sight Singing and Dictation I
- MUSC 204 & 202: Music Theory II & Sight Singing and Dictation II
- MUSC 303 & 309: Music Theory III & Sight Singing and Dictation III
- MUSC 311: Sight Singing and Dictation IV
- One course chosen from:
MUSC 304: Music Theory IV
MUSC 332: Form and Analysis
- MUSC 318: Music History Survey I
- MUSC 319: Music History Survey II
- MUSC 320: Music History Survey III
- MUSC 216 Introduction to the World’s Music or
- MUSC 223 Topics in Ethnomusicology
Performance Requirements. A grade of C or better must be received in each course under this requirement. Courses taken for credit/no credit may not be used to satisfy the performance requirement. Students earning below a C in any semester will need to re-audition for private instruction and ensemble participation.
- Private Instruction: at least seven semesters (one credit hour each) chosen from MUSA 280, 281, 284,285, 286, 287, 288, 289, 380, 381, 384, 385, 386, 387, 388, 389. Students who are at St. Mary’s less than four years must consult with the department chair regarding this requirement.
- Ensemble Participation: at least seven semesters (one credit hour each) of large ensemble (MUSA 180/480 Choir, MUSA 182/482 Chamber Singers, MUSA 186/486 Jazz Ensemble, or MUSA 189/489 Orchestra). Students who are at St. Mary’s less than four years must consult with the department chair regarding this requirement.
NOTE: A student will not be permitted to take more than four credit hours of applied music (MUSA) courses during one semester without consent of the music faculty.
Elective Courses (8 credit hours)
Eight credit hours of music courses chosen by the student subject to approval by a full-time music faculty member. Courses in fields other than music can satisfy this requirement with the approval of 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.
Performance proficiency in vocal or instrumental music, to be demonstrated by public recital or audition before the music faculty, with the acceptable option for each student to be determined by the music faculty.
Proficiency in piano as a basic tool
Proficiency in piano as a basic tool, through two semesters of class piano (MUSA 173, 174 or 273, as appropriate – one credit hour each). One or both semesters may be replaced by one or two semesters (as appropriate) of private instruction in piano (MUSA 281/381). Students satisfying this requirement through MUSA 281/381 must still pass an exam given by the teacher of Class Piano focused on melody harmonization. If they fail this exam, they must complete a single semester of MUSA 273.
St. Mary’s Project
Completion of MUSC 493/494 St. Mary’s Project in Music (eight credit hours). This requirement is waived if the student completes either a senior seminar or a St. Mary’s Project outside the Music Department. Students exercising this option must obtain prior approval of the music faculty.
Minimum Grade and GPA Requirements
To earn a bachelor of arts degree with a major in music, a student must satisfy the following minimum requirements with an overall minimum GPA of 2.0 in required MUSA/MUSC courses.
Degree Requirements for the Music Minor
To earn a minor in music, a student must not be a music major and must satisfy either the performance option or the academic option. A grade of C or better must be received in each course. Courses taken for credit/no credit may not be used to satisfy requirements in the minor. Students earning below a C in any semester will need to re-audition for private instruction and ensemble participation. Restrictions noted in “Degree Requirements for the Major,” section 3.b., will apply.
Performance Option (18 credit hours)
Performance requirements: At least 14 credit hours chosen from a combination of private instruction and ensemble participation as approved by the music faculty:
- Private Instruction: between 4 and 10 credit-hours chosen from MUSA 280, 281, 284, 285, 286, 287, 288, 289, 380, 381, 384, 385, 386, 387, 388, 389.
- Ensemble Participation: between 4 and 10 credit hours of large ensemble (MUSA 180/480 Choir, MUSA 182/482 Chamber Singers, MUSA 186/486 Jazz Ensemble, or MUSA 189/489 Orchestra).
Academic requirements: At least four credit-hours chosen from MUSC 201, 202, 203, 204, 216, 217, 221, 223, 310, 318, 319, 320, 360.
Academic Option (19 credit hours)
Performance Requirements: At least three credit hours chosen from MUSA 180/480, 196/486/ 189/489, 280/380, 281/381, 284/384, 285/385, 286/386, 287/387, 288/388, 289/389.
Academic requirements: At least 16 credit hours chosen from MUSC 201, 202, 203, 204,216, 217, 221, 223, 303, 304, 309, 310, 311,318,319, 320, 332, 340, 342, 360.
Requirements for Teacher Certification
A Master of Arts in Teaching program is available at St. Mary’s College of Maryland after completion of the baccalaureate degree. Students who are interested in becoming teachers should contact the chair of the Department of Educational Studies or an education adviser in their major field of study for suggested coursework in educational studies, and their specific major. These consultations should take place during the first semester of the sophomore year.
David Froom, Sterling Lambert (department chair), Deborah Lawrence, Jeffrey B. Silberschlag, Larry E. Vote