Stephen R. Eaves, Dean, College of Music and Performing Arts
Kris Elsberry, Director of Graduate Studies in Music
Nancy Allen, Jeffery Ames, Anthony Belfiglio, Bruce Bennett, Elena Bennett, Rick Beresford*, Madeline Bridges, Eric Burgett*, Vivian Caputo*, Wayne Causey*, Jennifer Coleman, Billy Contreras*, Sarah Cote*, Jennifer Craig*, Bruce Dudley, Sandra Dudley, Kris Elsberry, Deen Entsminger, Jocelyn Fisher, Amy Frederick*, Kelly Garner, Ellen Goebel*, Alison Gooding*, Alex Graham, Robert Gregg, Richard Hoffman, Todd Kemp, Tammy Rogers King*, Jeff Kirk, Kristian Klefstad, Terry Klefstad, Barry Kraus, Peter Lamothe, Virginia Lamothe, Daniel Landes, Todd London, David Madeira*, Lesley Mann, Keith Mason, David McKay, Keith Moore, Paul Moore*, Paul Nelson*, Christopher Norton, Kathryn Paradise, John Pell, Jeffrey Phillips*, William Pursell, Susan Ramsay*, Andrew Risinger*, Radu Rusu*, Anne Schwartzenberg*, Richard Shadinger, David Shamburger, Elisabeth Small, Henry Smiley, Carolyn Treybig, Joel Treybig, Michael Valeras*, Roy Vogt, Mark Volker, Jane Warren, Mark Whatley, Kristi Whitten, James Wigginton, Ted Wylie, Xaio-Fan Zhang*
To be a nationally recognized, comprehensive graduate program where talented students and expert teachers practice scholarship, performance, and creativity in the study of music.
To provide a challenging environment for graduate students which fosters excellence in performance, creativity, and research in the areas of music composition, church music, commercial music, music education, performance, and pedagogy.
The goals for graduate study in music are:
- To enhance and extend the educational knowledge of students preparing for careers in music.
- To offer various curricula in graduate study for the student desiring to pursue advanced study in music.
- To enrich the cultural and musical environment of the university and regional community.
The Belmont University School of Music is a fully accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).
The Master of Music Degree
The Master of Music Degree is a professional music degree designed for students seeking advanced study in music in the areas of Church Music, Commercial Music, Composition, Music Education, Pedagogy (keyboard, instrumental, vocal), or Performance (keyboard, instrumental, vocal). Students applying to this program typically will have completed undergraduate degrees in music. The professional goals of students in this program include doctoral study in music, careers in performance or composition, elementary and secondary school music teaching, private or college teaching and church music positions.
Master of Music Curricula
The Belmont University Master of Music Degree includes six majors: Church Music, Commercial Music, Composition, Music Education, Pedagogy, and Performance. Each of these strong musical and academic curricula consists of 34 total hours. Graduate students in each major are required to successfully complete a culminating project. Culminating project track options vary according to the major and include: (a) lecture recital track (includes a research project), (b) full recital track (includes a recital paper), (c) thesis/project track, (d) recording project track (includes a production paper). Requirements for each track are described in the Guidelines to the Master of Music Degree, accessed through the Belmont University portal.
Master of Music - Major in Church Music
Students pursuing advanced academic study in Church Music are preparing to be ministers of music, choirmasters, organists, children’s choir leaders or a combination of these roles. Students in this program may focus on performance, research, and/or conducting.
Coursework is required in worship, church music education, hymnology, and choral literature. Supervised work in a church setting is a practical component of this curriculum. Supporting courses in music include research, theory, history, ensemble, and applied studies.
Church Music Majors are required to successfully complete comprehensive written and oral examinations. The culminating project is either a lecture recital or a full recital.
Master of Music - Major in Commercial Music
The Master of Music in Commercial Music is designed for students to further develop their knowledge and skills of music in commercial styles. The major offers two emphasis areas: performance and media composition and arranging. Graduates will enhance their opportunities to become professional commercial performers, composers/arrangers, producers, and musicians in a variety of creative media in the commercial music industry. This degree will also make possible the pursuit of doctoral programs within certain discipline areas.
Courses in studio technology, entrepreneurship, and apprenticeship are included in both emphases. Supporting coursework includes research, history, ensemble participation, and theory.
Commercial Music majors are required to successfully complete comprehensive written and oral examinations. The culminating project is a choice of a full recital, lecture recital, or recording project.
Master of Music - Major in Composition
The Master of Music in Composition is designed for students wishing to further develop their skills and knowledge in the area of music composition. Graduates with a major in Composition pursue careers as professional free-lance composers/arrangers, serve as adjunct instructors in regional and community colleges, and/or continue study in a doctoral program leading to a university teaching position.
Coursework is required in applied composition, composition seminar, compositional analysis, and theory pedagogy. Supporting courses in music include research, history, ensemble participation, and theory.
Composition majors are required to successfully complete comprehensive written and oral examinations. The culminating project for the MM in Composition includes a 50-minute chamber recital of original compositions as well as a research paper.
Master of Music - Major in Music Education
The Master of Music in Music Education is designed to train today’s music teacher as both musician and educator. Graduate students majoring in Music Education choose from three specializations: elementary/middle school, secondary choral, or secondary instrumental.
In addition to courses in the area of specialization, coursework is required in music education foundations and contemporary educational issues. Supporting courses in music include research, theory, history, ensemble participation, and applied studies.
Music Education majors are required to successfully complete written and oral comprehensive examinations. The culminating project is a choice of either the lecture recital or thesis/project track.
Master of Music - Major in Pedagogy
Students entering the Pedagogy Major seek specialization in the teaching of their particular performance area. Emphasis is placed on excellence in performance as well as excellence in teaching. Pedagogy majors are interested in establishing private teaching studio businesses and/or teaching in community colleges. Some will continue graduate study in doctoral programs leading to college and university teaching positions.
Pedagogy courses include two semesters of pedagogy and one to two semesters of supervised teaching. Applied study and repertoire are also part of the major. Supporting music courses include research, theory, and history, and ensemble.
Pedagogy majors are required to successfully complete comprehensive written and oral examinations. The culminating project is a choice of either the lecture recital or the thesis/project track.
Master of Music - Major in Performance
Students who have achieved a high level of skill in their performance area during undergraduate careers and wish to further develop their performance abilities seek this degree. Performance majors specialize in their applied performance area with a secondary component in the teaching of that area.
In this degree, students prepare to become professional performing musicians. It is assumed that most graduates of the Performance Major will either become professional performers or continue study in doctoral programs leading to university teaching positions.
Performance majors are required to successfully complete comprehensive written and oral examinations and follow the full recital track for the culminating project.
A. Requirements for Admission to the Master of Music Program
- To be considered for admission, all Belmont University applicants must submit the following:
- A completed Belmont University Graduate Studies Application for Admission (see MM Admission/Audition on the Belmont University website for a link to the application.)
- Two completed recommendation forms from individuals who know applicant’s musical abilities. At least one recommendation must address the applicant’s scholastic accomplishments and potential.
- The $50 non-refundable application fee.
- Official transcripts of all previous college and masters level work.
- Additionally, students seeking admission to the School of Music must also submit:
- A copy of a printed program from a junior and/or senior undergraduate recital.
- A complete undergraduate repertory list in the principal performing area.
- Scores from the GRE taken within the last five years. Anticipated scores for an entering student are 300 on the GRE verbal and quantitative combined and 3.5 on the analytical writing.
- School of Music Applicants must:
- Have earned at least a 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average on a 4.0 scale or a 3.0 average in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work to be fully admitted. A student may receive probationary acceptance with a 2.5 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale or a 2.75 in the last 60 hours of undergraduate work. By maintaining a minimum 3.0 cumulative graduate GPA for the first two semesters, probation is lifted.
- Complete an audition and an interview with the Director of Graduate Studies in Music. See MM Admission/Audition on the Belmont University website for information regarding audition requirements. (Commercial Music applicants must submit a pre-screening recording for approval prior to the live audition.) The interview will include a review of the applicant’s coursework and transcript.
- During the week prior to the beginning of classes, complete the School of Music entrance examination which covers Music History and Music Theory. Review courses are required for students who do not successfully complete these entrance examinations. Review courses may count as elective hours.
B. Post-Baccalaureate Study and Requirements for Admission
Non-degree seeking students who have already earned an undergraduate degree may, with permission of the Director of Graduate Studies in Music, take a limited number of music hours as a post-baccalaureate graduate student in music .
- All applicants seeking admission to Belmont University as a non-degree seeking post-baccalaureate student must submit the following:
- The Belmont University Non-Degree Graduate Application.
- The $50 non-refundable application fee.
- Official transcripts of all previous college and masters level work.
- Additionally, students seeking admission to the School of Music as a non-degree post-baccalaureate student must complete an interview with the Director of Graduate Studies in Music.
- Should students wish, at a later time, to apply as degree-seeking Master of Music graduate students, they must complete the entire M.M. application and audition process as described in letter A.
Undergraduate Equivalency. Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in music but who wish to pursue an M.M. degree should apply for post-baccalaureate graduate study. Undergraduate equivalency is designed for students who have had significant music experience (for example, several years of private study) and/or some college coursework in music. Applicants should also contact the School of Music Graduate Office for information regarding undergraduate equivalency requirements.
Licensure. Post-baccalaureate students wishing to receive licensure to teach K-12 music should contact the Director of Graduate Studies in Music to determine a program of studies appropriate to the applicant’s particular background.
C. Limitation on Completion of Requirements
The Master of Music is designed to be completed in two (2) years. Students have up to six (6) years to complete the degree.
D. Full-Time Status and Maximum Course Load
A six (6)-hour credit load constitutes full-time status for a Master of Music student. A twelve (12)-hour credit load constitutes the maximum load for a Master of Music student.
E. Academic Requirements
All M.M. students must maintain minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0. A grade of B- or higher must be earned in all courses specific to the major content area (i.e., Church Music, Commercial Music, Composition, Music Education, Pedagogy, or Performance). A minimum grade of C- is required for all other courses in order to count toward the degree.
F. Undergraduate Seniors Taking Graduate Course Work
A Belmont University School of Music senior who is within 30 hours of completing requirements for a bachelor’s degree and has at least a 3.0 grade-point average may take up to 3 hours per semester of graduate credit toward the Master of Music degree. The senior must have the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies in Music and the student’s undergraduate advisor.
Additionally, the student must submit:
- The completed Application for Senior Enrollment in Graduate Course (available from the School of Music Office)
- The Belmont University Non-Degree Graduate Application
Although seniors must pay graduate tuition rates for any graduate level courses taken, the $50 graduate application fee is waived.
G. Financial Aid
A limited amount of scholarship aid is available for Master of Music students. The Master of Music application form serves as an application for scholarship aid. To be eligible for a scholarship award, all application materials (except GRE scores) and the audition must be completed by March 1. If a scholarship is offered, GRE scores must be reported by June1. A limited number of graduate and graduate teaching assistantships are available. Contact the Graduate Secretary for a description of assistantships and application materials.