Music

Back to Music - Bachelor of Arts

Standards & Outcomes
Based on the 2007-08 National Association of Schools of Music Handbook

SECTION ONE – ALL B.M. DEGREE PROGRAMS AND CONCENTRATIONS

  1. Common Body of Knowledge and Skills:
    1. Performance.
      Students must acquire:
      1. Technical skills requisite for artistic self-expression in at least one major performance area at a level appropriate for the particular music concentration.
      2. An overview understanding of the repertory in their major performance area and the ability to perform from a cross-section of that repertory.
      3. The ability to read at sight with fluency demonstrating both general musicianship and, in the major performance area, a level of skill relevant to professional standards appropriate for the particular music concentration.
      4. Knowledge and skills sufficient to work as a leader and in collaboration on matters of musical interpretation. Rehearsal and conducting skills are required as appropriate to the particular music concentration.
      5. Keyboard competency.
      6. Growth in artistry, technical skills, collaborative competence and knowledge of repertory through regular ensemble experiences. Ensembles should be varied both in size and nature. Normally, performance study and ensemble experience continue throughout the baccalaureate program.
    2. Musicianship Skills and Analysis.
      Students must acquire:
      1. An understanding of the common elements and organizational patterns of music and their interaction, the ability to employ this understanding in aural, verbal, and visual analyses, and the ability to take aural dictation.
      2. Sufficient understanding of and capability with musical forms, processes, and structures to use this knowledge and skill in compositional, performance, analytical, scholarly, and pedagogical applications according to the requisites of their specializations.
      3. The ability to place music in historical, cultural, and stylistic contexts.
    3. Composition and Improvisation.
      Students must acquire a rudimentary capacity to create derivative or original music both extemporaneously and in written form; for example, the imitation of various musical styles, improvisation on pre-existing materials, the creation of original compositions, experimentation with various sound sources, and manipulating the common elements in non-traditional ways.
    4. History and Repertory.
      Students must acquire basic knowledge of music history and repertories through the present time, including study and experience of musical language and achievement in addition to that of the primary culture encompassing the area of specialization.
    5. Technology.
      Students must acquire the ability to use technologies current to their area of specialization.
    6. Synthesis.
      While synthesis is a lifetime process, by the end of undergraduate study students must be able to work on musical problems by combining, as appropriate to the issue, their capabilities in performance; aural, verbal, and visual analysis; composition and improvisation; history and repertory; and technology.
  2. Upon completion of degree program:
    1. Students must demonstrate achievement of professional, entry-level competence in the major area, including significant technical mastery, capability to produce work and solve professional problems independently, and a coherent set of artistic/intellectual goals that are evident in their work. A senior project or presentation in the major area is required in many concentrations, and strongly recommended for all others.
    2. Students are expected to have the ability to form and defend value judgments about music, and to communicate musical ideas, concepts, and requirements to professionals and laypersons related to the practice of the major field.
  3. Best Practices, Recommendations per NASM handbook:
    Students should have opportunities to:
    1. Gain a basic understanding of the nature of professional work in their major field. Examples are: organizational structures and working patterns; artistic, intellectual, economic, technological, and political contexts; and development potential.
    2. Acquire the skills necessary to assist in the development and advancement of their careers.
    3. Develop teaching skills, particularly as related to their major area of study.
    4. Continue to develop improvisational skills whether as an aspect of composition, musicianship, or performance studies.
    5. Experience a broad range of repertory through attendance at events such as recitals, concerts, opera and music theatre productions, and other types of performances.
    6. Explore areas of individual interest related to music in general or to the major. Examples are music bibliography, notations, aesthetics, acoustics, performance practices, specialized topics in history, musicology, ethnomusicology, analysis, and technology.
    7. Explore multidisciplinary issues that include music.
    8. Practice synthesis of a broad range of musical knowledge and skills, particularly through independent study that involves a minimum of faculty guidance, where the emphasis is on evaluation at completion.
  4. General Studies Competencies per NASM standards:
    1. The ability to think, speak, and write clearly and effectively.
    2. An informed acquaintance with fields of study beyond music such as those in the arts and humanities, the natural and physical sciences, and the social sciences.
    3. A functional awareness of the differences and commonalities regarding work in artistic, scientific, and humanistic domains.
    4. Awareness that multiple disciplinary perspectives and techniques are available to consider all issues and responsibilities including, but not limited to, history, culture, moral and ethical issues, and decision-making.
    5. The ability to identify possibilities and locate information in other fields that have bearing on musical questions and endeavors.

SECTION TWO – MUSIC PERFORMANCE (B.M.)

  1. A. Common Body of Knowledge and Skills –
    See Section 1, A
    1. Performance
    2. Musicianship Skills and Analysis
    3. Composition and Improvisation
    4. History and Repertory
    5. Technology
    6. Synthesis
  2. Results upon completion of degree program –
    See Section 1, B
  3. Essential Competencies, Experiences, and Opportunities:
    1. Comprehensive capabilities in the major performing medium including the ability to work independently to prepare performances at the highest possible level; knowledge of applicable solo and ensemble literature; and orientation to and experience with the fundamentals of pedagogy. For majors in Early Music, Historical Performance, or the equivalent, the ability to apply aural, improvisational, and language skills, knowledge of styles and performance practices, and general historical and cultural knowledge as required by the focus of the major is essential.
    2. For performance majors in voice, the study and use of foreign languages and diction are essential.
    3. Solo and ensemble performance in a variety of formal and informal settings. A senior recital is essential, and a junior recital is recommended.
  4. Best Practices, Recommendations –
    See Section 1, C
  5. General Studies Competencies –
    See Section 1, D
  6. General Studies Best Practices – Recommendations per NASM handbook

    Historical and analytical studies in the arts and studies in foreign languages are recommended for all performers.

SECTION THREE – MUSIC EDUCATION (B.M.)

  1. Common Body of Knowledge and Skills –
    See Section 1, A
    1. Performance
    2. Musicianship Skills and Analysis
    3. Composition and Improvisation
    4. History and Repertory
    5. Technology
    6. Synthesis
  2. Results upon completion of degree program –
    See Section 1, B
  3. Essential Competencies, Experiences, and Opportunities:
    1. Desirable Attributes
      The prospective music teacher should have:
      1. Personal commitment to the art of music, to teaching music as an element of civilization, and to encouraging the artistic and intellectual development of students, plus the ability to fulfill these commitments as an independent professional.
      2. The ability to lead students to an understanding of music as an art form, as a means of communication, and as a part of their intellectual and cultural heritage.
      3. The capability to inspire others and to excite the imagination of students, engendering a respect for music and a desire for musical knowledge and experiences.
      4. The ability to articulate logical rationales for music as a basic component of general education, and to present the goals and objectives of a music program effectively to parents, professional colleagues, and administrators.
      5. The ability to work productively within specific education systems, promote scheduling patterns that optimize music instruction, maintain positive relationships with individuals of various social and ethnic groups, and be empathetic with students and colleagues of differing backgrounds.
      6. The ability to evaluate ideas, methods, and policies in the arts, the humanities, and in arts education for their impact on the musical and cultural development of students.
      7. The ability and desire to remain current with developments in the art of music and in teaching, to make independent, in-depth evaluations of their relevance, and to use the results to improve musicianship and teaching skills.

      The following competencies and procedures provide means for developing these attributes:

    2. Music Competencies

      The profession of school music teacher now encompasses a wide range of traditional, emerging, and experimental purposes, approaches, content, and methods. Each institution makes choices about what, among many possibilities, it will offer prospective specialist music teachers. Institutions may offer a comprehensive curriculum involving two or more specializations and/or focus on one or more particular specializations.

      The following standards provide a framework for developing and evaluating a wide variety of teacher preparation program goals and achievements.

      Items b.(1), (2), (3), and (4) given here apply to all programs that prepare prospective music teachers.

      Items c.(1), (2), (3), and (4) given below apply to specializations singly or in combination as determined by the focus and content of specific program offerings determined by each institution.

      In addition to those basic competencies, experience, and opportunities outlined in Section 1, A-C, the following apply to the preparation of music teachers:

      1. Conducting and Musical Leadership. The prospective music teacher must be a competent conductor, able to create accurate and musically expressive performances with various types of performing groups and in general classroom situations. Instruction in conducting includes score reading and the integration of analysis, style, performance practices, instrumentation, and conducting techniques. Laboratory experiences that give the student opportunities to apply rehearsal techniques and procedures are essential. Prospective teachers in programs with less focus on the preparation of ensemble conductors must acquire conducting and musical leadership skills sufficient to teach effectively in their area(s) of specialization.
      2. Arranging. The prospective music teacher must be able to arrange and adapt music from a variety of sources to meet the needs and ability levels of individuals, school performing groups, and in classroom situations.
      3. Functional Performance. In addition to the skills required for all musicians, functional performance abilities in keyboard and the voice are essential. Functional performance abilities in instruments appropriate to the student's teaching specialization are also essential.
      4. Analysis/History/Literature. The prospective music teacher should be able to apply analytical and historical knowledge to curriculum development, lesson planning, and daily classroom and performance activities. Teachers should be prepared to relate their understanding of music with respect to styles, literature, multiple cultural sources, and historical development, both in general and as related to their area(s) of specialization.
    3. Specialization Competencies

      Institutions and other educational authorities make decisions about the extent to which music teachers will be prepared in one or more specializations. The following competencies apply singly or in combination consistent with the specialization objectives of each teacher preparation program in music.

      Items b.(1), (2), (3), and (4) given above apply to all programs that prepare prospective music teachers.

      Items c.(1), (2), (3), and (4) given here apply to specializations singly or in combination as determined by the focus and content of specific program offerings.

      1. General Music Listed below are essential competencies and experiences for the general music teaching specialization:
        1. Musicianship, vocal, and pedagogical skills sufficient to teach general music.
        2. Knowledge of content, methodologies, philosophies, materials, technologies, and curriculum development for general music.
        3. The ability to lead performance-based instruction.
        4. Laboratory and field experiences in teaching general music.
      2. Vocal/Choral Music
        Listed below are essential competencies and experiences for the vocal/choral teaching specialization:
        1. Vocal and pedagogical skill sufficient to teach effective use of the voice.
        2. Knowledge of content, methodologies, philosophies, materials, technologies, and curriculum development for vocal/choral music.
        3. Experiences in solo vocal performance, as well as in both large and small choral ensembles.
        4. Performance ability sufficient to use at least one instrument as a teaching tool and to provide, transpose, and improvise accompaniments.
        5. Laboratory experience in teaching beginning vocal techniques individually, in small groups, and in larger classes.
      3. Instrumental Music Listed below are essential competencies and experiences for the instrumental music teaching specialization:
        1. Knowledge of and performance ability on wind, string, and percussion instruments sufficient to teach beginning students effectively in groups.
        2. Knowledge of content, methodologies, philosophies, materials, technologies, and curriculum development for instrumental music.
        3. Experiences in solo instrumental performance, as well as in both small and large instrumental ensembles.
        4. Laboratory experience in teaching beginning instrumental students individually, in small groups, and in larger classes.
      4. Specific Music Fields or Combinations.
        Listed below are essential competencies and experiences for music teaching specialization(s) focused on either one or a combination of areas such as composition, electronic and computer music, ethnic music, guitar, small ensembles, jazz, keyboard, orchestral music, music history and theory, music in combination with other disciplines, music technologies, and popular music; or combinations of one or more of these types of content with aspects of the general, vocal/choral, or instrumental specializations:
        1. Knowledge and skill in the selected area(s) of specialization sufficient to teach beginning and intermediate students effectively.
        2. Knowledge of content, methodologies, philosophies, materials, technologies, and curriculum development for the area(s) of specialization.
        3. In-depth experiences with the creative and/or performance and/or scholarly aspects of the selected area of specialization as required by the nature and content of that specialization.
        4. The ability to use instruments, equipment, and technologies associated with the area(s) of specialization.
        5. Laboratory experience in teaching beginning students in the area(s) of specialization, individually, in small groups, and in larger classes.
    4. Teaching Competencies. The musician-teacher must be able to lead students to competency, apply music knowledge and skills in teaching situations, and integrate music instruction into the process of P–12 education.
      Essential competencies are:
      1. Ability to teach music at various levels to different age groups and in a variety of classroom and ensemble settings in ways that develop knowledge of how music works syntactically as a communication medium and developmentally as an agent of civilization. This set of abilities includes effective classroom and rehearsal management.
      2. An understanding of child growth and development and an understanding of principles of learning as they relate to music.
      3. The ability to assess aptitudes, experiential backgrounds, orientations of individuals and groups of students, and the nature of subject matter, and to plan educational programs to meet assessed needs.
      4. Knowledge of current methods, materials, and repertories available in various fields and levels of music education appropriate to the teaching specialization.
      5. The ability to accept, amend, or reject methods and materials based on personal assessment of specific teaching situations.
      6. An understanding of evaluative techniques and ability to apply them in assessing both the musical progress of students and the objectives and procedures of the curriculum.
    5. e. Professional Procedures In order to implement programs to achieve the competencies identified in the foregoing sections, the following standards and guidelines apply:
      1. (1) Program purposes and requirements must be clear to prospective students, the profession, potential employers of graduates, and the public.

        A program may focus on an area of specialization as listed above in items c.(1), (2), (3), and (4).

        A program may focus on the traditional vocal / choral / general / instrumental combination. A program may have a unique focus or purpose that combines two or more of the many possible specializations as listed in item c.(4). Whatever choices are made about purpose and focus, degree titles and descriptions must be consistent with curricular content and requirements. The following information must be clearly stated for each music teacher preparation program offered by an institution:
        1. the specific area(s) included in a comprehensive or specialization-focused program;
        2. the subject matters to be addressed in the program and in supportive areas;
        3. expectations regarding breadth and depth of study and engagement;
        4. expectations for the development of artistic, intellectual, and pedagogical competencies, and specifically, what students must know and be able to do in order to graduate from the program; and
        5. the relationship of program purposes, content, and graduation expectations to licensure requirements.
      2. Music education methods courses should be taught or supervised by the institution's music education faculty who have had successful experience teaching music in elementary and/or secondary schools, and who maintain close contact with such schools.
      3. Institutions should encourage observation and teaching experiences prior to formal admission to the educator preparation program; ideally, such opportunities should be provided in actual school situations. These activities, as well as continuing laboratory experiences, must be supervised by qualified music personnel from the institution and the cooperating schools. The choice of sites must enable students to develop competencies consistent with standards outlined above, and must be approved by qualified music personnel from the institution.
      4. Institutions should establish specific evaluative procedures to assess students' progress and achievement. The program of evaluation should include an initial assessment of student potential for admission to the program, periodic assessment to determine progress throughout the program, and further assessment after graduation.
      5. Institutions should provide opportunities for advanced undergraduate study in such areas as conducting, composition, and analysis.
  4. Best Practices, Recommendations –
    See Section 1, C
  5. General Studies Competencies –
    See Section 1, D

SECTION FOUR – ALL B.A. IN MUSIC DEGREE PROGRAMS AND SPECIALIZATIONS:
ESSENTIAL CONTENT AND COMPETENCIES

Common Body of Knowledge and Skills –
See Section 1, A

  1. Performance
  2. Musicianship Skills and Analysis
  3. Composition and Improvisation
  4. History and Repertory
  5. Technology
  6. Synthesis

The Music Department understands that a Bachelor of Arts in Music diploma differs from a Bachelor of Music diploma. However, we strive to have our B.A. graduates exhibit the same knowledge and skills as our B.M. graduates through a common and rigorous core curriculum in the first two years of study. Such rigor will aid the B.A. in Music graduate, if she or he wishes, in pursuing a music-related career or in gaining admission into a NASM-accredited graduate program or both. The knowledge and skills of the B.M. degree do not conflict with the essential content and competencies of a B.A. in Music degree, nor are they additive, but rather are viewed as being complementary, integrative, and of benefit to B.A. in Music students.

  1. Musicianship
    1. Competencies
      Students holding undergraduate liberal arts degrees must have:
      1. The ability to hear, identify, and work conceptually with the elements of music such as rhythm, melody, harmony, structure, timbre, texture.
      2. An understanding of and the ability to read and realize musical notation.
      3. An understanding of compositional processes, aesthetic properties of style, and the ways these shape and are shaped by artistic and cultural forces.
      4. An acquaintance with a wide selection of musical literature, the principal eras, genres, and cultural sources.
      5. The ability to develop and defend musical judgments.
    2. Operational Guidelines
      These competencies should be pursued through making, listening to, and studying music.
  2. Performance and Music Electives
    1. Competencies
      Students holding undergraduate liberal arts degrees must develop:
      1. Ability in performing areas at levels consistent with the goals and objectives of the specific liberal arts degree program being followed.
      2. Understanding of procedures for realizing a variety of musical styles.
      3. Knowledge and/or skills in one or more areas of music beyond basic musicianship appropriate to the individual's needs and interests, and consistent with the purposes of the specific liberal arts degree program being followed.
    2. b. Operational Guidelines
      1. Instruction in a performing medium, participation in large and small ensembles, experience in solo performance, and opportunities to choose music electives are the means for developing these competencies.
      2. Opportunities are provided for advanced undergraduate study in various music specializations consistent with the liberal arts character of the degree. See Sections 5-9 below for B.A. in Music specializations, competencies, and best practices.
  3. Levels
    1. The Music Department shall make clear the levels of competency necessary to graduate
    2. The levels specified must be consistent with expectations for an undergraduate liberal arts major in music.
  4. General Education
    1. Competencies
      Normally, students graduating with liberal arts degrees have:
      1. The ability to think, speak, and write clearly and effectively, and to communicate with precision, cogency, and rhetorical force.
      2. An informed acquaintance with the mathematical and experimental methods of the physical and biological sciences; with the main forms of analysis and the historical and quantitative techniques needed for investigating the workings and developments of modern society.
      3. An ability to address culture and history from a variety of perspectives.
      4. Understanding of, and experience in thinking about, moral and ethical problems.
      5. The ability to respect, understand, and evaluate work in a variety of disciplines.
      6. The capacity to explain and defend views effectively and rationally.
      7. Understanding of and experience in one or more art forms other than music.
    2. Operational Guidelines
      These competencies are usually developed through studies in English composition and literature; foreign languages; history, social studies, and philosophy; visual and performing arts; natural science and mathematics. Precollegiate study, regular testing and counseling, and flexibility in course requirements are elements in achieving these competencies.

SECTION FIVE – MUSIC HISTORY AND LITERATURE (B.A.)

  1. Essential Content and Competencies –
    See Section 4
  2. Common Body of Knowledge and Skills –
    See Section 1, A
  3. Results upon completion of degree program –
    See Section 1, B
  4. Essential Competencies, Experiences, and Opportunities
    1. The ability to work intellectually with relationships between music and music literature within cultural/historical contexts. Knowledge of a variety of cultures, various historical periods, and the ability to produce and defend scholarly work are essential.
    2. An understanding of evolving relationships among musical structure, music history, and performance practices, and the influence of such evolutions on musical and cultural change.
    3. Ability to use effectively the tools of scholarship including keyboard skills, spoken and written language, research techniques, advanced musical analysis, and applicable technologies. Reading skill in foreign languages is essential.
    4. An opportunity for independent study that culminates in a senior project or thesis is strongly recommended.
  5. Best Practices, Recommendations –
    See Section 1, C
  6. General Studies Competencies –
    See Section 1, D
  7. Best Practices, Recommendations for General Studies

    Students majoring in music history and literature must prepare themselves in both music and the liberal arts, especially if they plan to undertake graduate study in historical musicology or ethnomusicology. Studies recommended would include those from such areas as social, political, cultural, and intellectual history; various national literatures; cultural anthropology; psychology; aesthetics; histories of the visual arts and theatre; and studies in interrelationships among the arts; acoustics, mathematics, and computer science; comparative religion and liturgies.

SECTION SIX – COMPOSITION (B.A.)

  1. Essential Content and Competencies –
    See Section 4
  2. Common Body of Knowledge and Skills –
    See Section 1, A
  3. Results upon completion of degree program –
    See Section 1, B
  4. Essential Competencies, Experiences, and Opportunities
    1. Achievement of the highest possible level of skill in the use of basic concepts, tools, techniques, and procedures to develop a composition from concept to finished product. This involves the competency to work with both electronic and acoustic media; work with a variety of forms, styles, and notations; and apply principles of scoring appropriate to particular compositions.
    2. Fluency in the use of tools needed by composers. This includes keyboard skills, spoken and written language, conducting and rehearsal skills, analytical techniques, and applicable technologies.
    3. Opportunities to hear fully realized performances of the student's original compositions. Public presentation and critical assessment is an essential experience.
  5. Best Practices, Recommendations –
    See Section 1, C
  6. General Studies Competencies –
    See Section 1, D
  7. Best Practices, Recommendations for General Studies
    Study in such areas as computer science, acoustics, and media is strongly recommended.

SECTION SEVEN – MUSIC THEORY (B.A.)

  1. Essential Content and Competencies –
    See Section 4
  2. Common Body of Knowledge and Skills –
    See Section 1, A
  3. Results upon completion of degree program –
    See Section 1, B
  4. Essential Competencies, Experiences, and Opportunities
    1. Advanced capabilities in musical analysis including the ability to produce and discuss analytical work from an independent perspective. This includes the ability to compare and evaluate the results of various analytical procedures.
    2. An understanding of the relationships between theory and composition. This includes original and imitative work in composition and a basic understanding of the relationships among musical structure, aesthetic effect, and cultural context.
    3. Ability to use the tools of theoretical work including keyboard skills, spoken and written language, research techniques, and applicable technologies.
    4. An opportunity for independent study that culminates in a senior project or thesis is strongly recommended.
  5. Best Practices, Recommendations –
    See Section 1, C
  6. General Studies Competencies –
    See Section 1, D
  7. Best Practices, Recommendations for General Studies
    Study in such areas as computer science, film and theatre technology, acoustics, and aesthetics is strongly recommended.

SECTION EIGHT – MUSIC TECHNOLOGY (B.A.)

  1. Essential Content and Competencies –
    See Section Four
  2. Common Body of Knowledge and Skills –
    See Section 1, A
  3. Results upon completion of degree program –
    See Section 1, B
  4. Essential Competencies, Experiences, and Opportunities
    This section is currently under development.
  5. Best Practices, Recommendations –
    See Section 1, C
  6. General Studies Competencies –
    See Section 1, D
  7. Best Practices, Recommendations for General Studies
    Study in such areas as computer science, acoustics, and aesthetics is strongly recommended.

SECTION NINE – MUSIC FOR ELEMENTARY TEACHERS (B.A.)

  1. Essential Content and Competencies –
    See Section Four
  2. Common Body of Knowledge and Skills –
    See Section 1, A
  3. Results upon completion of degree program –
    See Section 1, B
  4. Essential Competencies, Experiences, and Opportunities
    This section is currently under development.
  5. Best Practices, Recommendations –
    See Section 1, C
  6. General Studies Competencies –
    See Section 1, D
  7. Best Practices, Recommendations for General Studies
    This section is currently under development.