Jun 13, 2024  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music, Music Industry Emphasis, B.M.

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Dr. Jeffrey E. Bush, Director
Phone: (540) 568-6197
Location: Music Building, Room 130

S. Barber, S. Bolstad, B. Chandler, A. Connell, D. Cottrell, W. Dabback, G. Dobner, C. Donakowski, C. Dotas, J. Gibson, J. Haney, W. Huang, A. Lankford, J. Little, D. Maddison, D. Pope, E. Ruple, G. Sparks, M.J. Speare, K. Stees, C. Stevens

Associate Professors
P. Aponte, C. Carrillo, V. Curry, R. Hallahan, W.B. Hayes, L. Maynard, K. McMillan, L. Piitz, D. Rierson, P. Steinberg, D. Stringham, J. Taylor, J. van der Vat-Chromy, I. Zook

Assistant Professors
F. Beyers, C. Cangelosi, E. Guinivan, S. Jankauskas, J. Peterson, D Phoenix-Neal, J. Rathgeber, S. Suggs, J. Zyko

S. Rikkers


The mission of the School of Music is to provide the highest level of musical training in a comprehensive program that prepares students in conducting, music education, music industry, music performance, theory, composition and musichistory and to prepare them to be thoughtful and productive citizens. Specifically, the school’s mission is to:

  • Select undergraduate and graduate majors and minors who have demonstrated a commitment to developing their musical skills and talents.
  • Motivate music enthusiasts to explore musical concepts by exposing them to and including them in musicperformance, composition and education.
  • Foster a sense of community that encourages intellectual curiosity, creative endeavor, cultural diversity and respect for various perspectives.
  • Encourage excellence from faculty members as educators, researchers, performers, clinicians and supporters so that they develop students into motivated, competent professionals and outstanding world citizens.
  • Provide music majors and non-music majors with knowledge of music and develop appropriate skill levels and musicianship.
  • Offer curricula that prepare students to be professionals in music performance, composition, education or industry.
  • Broaden students’ understanding of music through innovative teaching, creative experiences and scholarly research.
  • Provide a wide variety of cultural events for the JMU and Shenandoah Valley communities.
  • Expose students to current technology employed in the music field, such as computers, music instruction software, electronic devices, and advanced audio and visual equipment.
  • Prepare D.M.A. students to teach at the college level, not just in their principal areas but also in many of the core curriculum classes, such as theory, music history and music appreciation.

The School of Music is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of School of Music.


The ten major degree concentrations are each designed to establish a set of skills and a knowledge base necessary for success as a practitioner in specific career areas in the broad field of music. These objectives are achieved through Schoolof Music classes:

  • Through core music classes, students will attain a general level of functional musicianship sufficient to begin and sustain a professional career in the music field.
  • To gain awareness and basic competency in composition and analysis of the standard forms and styles of western music.
  • To gain a broad historical perspective on the development of the forms and styles of western music, as well as diverse world musics.
  • To develop a knowledge base enabling the placement of music within stylistic and chronological eras through cues that can be aurally identified.
  • To develop a minimal ability to use a piano keyboard in the study, analysis and performance of music.
  • To learn and practice the basic skills of conducting a musical ensemble and leading a rehearsal.
  • Through attendance at musical performances, students will gain awareness and acceptance of a broad variety of music, as well as of the traditional practices of concert musicians through listening to and watching others perform.
  • Through specialized classes in each concentration, students will attain skills and attitudes necessary for the establishment and maintenance of a career as a professional musician.
  • Students in all concentrations will take weekly lessons in a primary instrument until they have mastered the skills of performance on that instrument sufficiently well to pass the graduation level for the specific concentration and to successfully complete a senior recital in performance or composition.
  • Students in all concentrations will perform regularly in both solo and ensemble situations, allowing them to gain a variety of professional-level performing experiences. At least one ensemble per semester is required of all musicstudents until they have completed all the major requirements for the B.M. degree.
  • Students in all concentrations will take specialized classes at the upper levels to learn the skills and more concentrated knowledge bases of the individual concentration areas. These classes may be aimed at developing a broad survey knowledge of music literature or history in a particular segment of the repertoire, or at the discovery and development of skills needed in the field but not necessarily to be mastered through individual practice and performance.
  • In some major concentrations, internships are required that put the student into the work world in a supervised off-campus learning activity designed to give practical workplace experience in the field.

Career Opportunities

The various programs offered by the school can lead students to a wide range of careers. Programs in performance or composition are intended for students who desire to continue their musical training in graduate programs that will prepare them for professional careers in performance, composition and/or teaching at the college level.

Those who elect the emphasis in music industry will be prepared for positions in a broad area of music-business occupations and for admission to graduate professional schools of business.

The music education program prepares students to teach vocal and/or instrumental music in public schools.

The music theatre program is designed to prepare vocal music majors for the field of popular Broadway musical theatre performance as well as for careers in opera and operetta.

The jazz studies program prepares students for the rigors of graduate study in jazz performance, equips students with the jazz vocabulary necessary for professional performance, and provides knowledge and skills necessary for employment in private instruction or as a jazz specialist in public schools.

The following list of careers is only a small sample of possibilities:

  • Artists’ manager
  • Composer
  • Conductor
  • Entertainment lawyer
  • Music educator
  • Music journalist
  • Music librarian
  • Music software developer
  • Orchestra manager
  • Performing artist
  • Professional accompanist
  • Professor/teacher
  • Record producer

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

These activities are open to all JMU students without audition:

  • Concert Band
  • Marching Royal Dukes
  • Men’s and Women’s Choruses

These activities are open to all JMU students with audition or instructor permission:

  • Bach Aria Group
  • Brass Ensembles
  • Camerata Strings
  • Chamber Orchestra
  • Chorale
  • Clarinet Choir
  • Collegium Musicum
  • Flute Choir
  • Guitar Ensemble
  • Horn Choir
  • Jazz Band
  • Jazz Chamber Ensembles
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Madison Singers
  • Opera Theatre
  • Opera Theatre Orchestra
  • Percussion Ensemble
  • Piano Accompanying
  • Steel Drum Band
  • String Ensembles
  • Symphonic Band
  • Symphony Orchestra
  • Treble Chamber Choir
  • Trombone Choir
  • Trumpet Ensemble
  • Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble
  • Wind Symphony
  • Woodwind Ensembles

Admission Requirements

Students choosing to major in music must possess a solid background and experience in the performance medium they elect for their major, and they should display sufficient musical talent to indicate promise in their field.

To be considered for undergraduate admission to the music program, all entering first year students, transfer students and previously enrolled students seeking re-admission must complete the following:

  • Submit an application for admission to JMU’s Office of Admission.
  • Submit the Undergraduate Music Audition Application to select an audition date.
  • Successfully complete an audition.

Audition guidelines may be found on the music website.

Students are encouraged to contact the applied faculty on their area of performance expertise with specific questions about their audition. General questions about the music degree programs may be answered by an admissions assistant at (540) 568-3851 or by sending a message to music_admit@jmu.edu.

Audition, Exam and Placement Test

No student will be accepted into the music degree programs until an audition is successfully completed and passed. A piano placement test will also be taken but has no bearing on acceptance. The piano test primarily determines keyboard skills class-level placement.

All candidates are expected to perform the entrance audition on one of the scheduled audition dates. The school does not encourage special appointments and will arrange them only when applicants have serious conflicts with the scheduled auditions.

Because assessing a student’s ability through a recorded performance is difficult, only students who live at great distances are encouraged to send audition recordings. All recordings submitted must be of high quality and demonstrate the student’s ability.

The audition should reveal the student’s highest level of musical attainment. Appropriate literature in at least two varying styles and tempos is suggested so that the school can evaluate the candidate’s ability accurately. If you have specific questions regarding appropriate audition literature, please contact the applied professor of your area of performance.

In addition to meeting the audition requirements above, all students who intend to major in the Bachelor of Music, emphasis in music industry or the music industry minor are required to first complete MUI 221  and then enroll in MUI 231  and MUI 250 . To successfully complete MUI 250 , prospective majors and minors must submit a portfolio for review, showing evidence of their interest and potential for success in the music industry. The portfolio should represent work completed in the above classes with assistance in resume preparation from Career and Academic Planning. Portfolios will be reviewed once each fall and once each spring semester. Following the portfolio review, students who are recommended for the major or minor will be eligible to register for upper level music industry classes. Students who are not recommended for admission to the major or minor may reapply the following semester. To obtain the schedule of portfolio review sessions, as well as other specific information about the admission process, contact the School of Music, music industry area.

All major concentrations in the School of Music require potential candidates to develop additional qualifications before full admission to the concentrations. These gateways are generally attempted at the end of the first or second year in the major. For additional details, see the School of Music’s Undergraduate Music Student Handbook.

Class Fees

There is a once per semester fee for enrollment in MUAP 200 MUAP 214  and MUAP 300 , applied lessons. See MyMadison for details.

Music Scholarships

The entrance audition also serves as the scholarship audition. All music scholarships are awarded on the basis of merit. Recorded auditions will not qualify a prospective student for consideration to receive a music scholarship.

A transfer student on scholarship at another school can only be considered for a scholarship at JMU if the music executive of the current school sends a written release to the director of the School of Music.

Retention Policy

Students admitted as music majors must meet school standards published in the School of Music Student Handbook to continue. To ensure that these standards are met, the Music Academic Review Coordinator examines each music major’s progress at the end of each semester in accordance with policies stated in the handbook.

Music majors must earn a minimum grade of “C-” in all music courses required for their degree. In situations where courses are sequential, with prerequisites (for example, MUS 141 -MUS 142 MUS 241 -MUS 242 , or MUS 100 -MUS 101 -MUS 202 -MUS 303 ), if a grade lower than “C-” is earned, it does not constitute fulfillment of the prerequisite. A student who wishes to take MUS 142  must first pass MUS 141 , with a “C-” or higher.

Bachelor of Music Degree

The Bachelor of Music degree offers six specialized majors: performance, composition, music industry, music education, jazz studies and music theatre. All music majors must complete the General Education program and a 30 credit hour core program of music courses common to all the majors’ curricula. The remaining hours are specified under each of the various majors and concentrations.

All undergraduate music majors must perform on the primary instrument in one assigned ensemble each semester when one or more of the following indicators applies:

  • They are enrolled for a minimum of 12 credit hours on campus.
  • They are enrolled for applied lessons on the primary instrument.
  • They have not completed all of the requirements in the music major.
  • They are not enrolled in an off-campus internship or in student teaching.

While students are required to participate in only one ensemble each semester, they are encouraged to take advantage of the many performance opportunities offered by the School of Music by participating in more than one ensemble. For information regarding the ensemble audition process, see the Undergraduate Music Student Handbook.

If piano is the primary instrument, see the specific requirements in the Undergraduate Music Student Handbook.

All music students should enroll in class piano each semester until they meet the keyboard skills requirements appropriate to their specific degree or concentration. Graduating seniors must participate in assessment activities including assessment day, as represented by MUS 220 .

Another vital aspect of the programs is attendance at recitals and concerts. Attending these events contributes to the breadth of students’ knowledge of music literature. Hearing performances also allows students to observe performing techniques from the student to the professional levels. Consequently, undergraduate music majors must attend a minimum of 10 recitals per semester for six semesters, totaling 60 attendances during their degree studies. Students must continue to register for MUS 195  until they fulfill this requirement.

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

  • General Education  courses 35-41 Credit Hours 1
  • Core music program courses 30 Credit Hours
  • Major concentration courses and electives 54-62 Credit Hours
Total: 123-133 Credit Hours


1 The General Education  program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.

Major Requirements

Choose one of the following: 1 Credit Hour

Total: 30 Credit Hours


1 MUS 206  will count for the Music Core and also for the General Education , Cluster Two , Part 2 if desired. There will be a specific music major section of MUS 206  offered once each academic year.

Recommended Schedule for First Year Majors

The first year of study shares a common curriculum for all concentrations. The year is devoted to courses from the basic music core requirements, General Education  courses, ensemble participation and applied study in the major applied area.

First Year

First Semester

Choose one of the following (According to placement decision): 1 Credit Hour

Total: 15-16 Credit Hours

Second Semester

Choose one of the following: 1 Credit Hour

Total: 14-15 Credit Hours

Additional Information

For a recommended eight-semester outline of curricular requirements for each major concentration, see the School of Music’s Undergraduate Music Student Handbook.

Bachelor of Music with an Emphasis in Music Industry

Coordinator: Dr. David Cottrell
Phone: (540) 568-6303

Degree Requirements

Required Courses

  • General Education  courses 38-41 Credit Hours 1
  • Core music program courses 30 Credit Hours
  • Major concentration courses and electives 57 Credit Hours

Total: 128 Credit Hours


1 The General Education  program contains a set of requirements each student must fulfill. The number of credit hours necessary to fulfill these requirements may vary.

Major and Emphasis Requirements


Total: 57 Credit Hours


1 Approved music electives may not be fulfilled by additional ensemble credits.

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