USD offers the only Master's of Music degrees in the state with areas of specialization in Music Education, Music Performance, Music History and the History of Musical Instruments, as well as a variety of degree completion options.
Programs of study include Instrumental Music Education and Vocal/Choral Music Education. This program prepares students for an advanced level of K-12 teaching or for doctoral degree work. Students choose between two cumulative options: the master's thesis or the graduate music education project, which is applicable to the specific teaching area. Topics are chosen in consultation with the student's graduate committee/chair advisor.
The Master of Music degree in music education is a hybrid degree that offers courses online and face-to-face during the summer and academic year. The disbursement of the course materials are structured to meet the needs of the working public school teacher and the post-undergraduate looking for an advanced degree. The degree program is flexible in its offerings to allow for successful completion within a two year period.
Programs of study include Vocal Music Performance, Instrumental Music Performance (Woodwinds, Brass, Percussion, Strings and Keyboard). These programs are designed to increase expertise on a specific instrument, offering a strong grounding in music history, music theory and in the performance and pedagogy of the instrument. The degree prepares students for a professional performance career, or to pursue a doctorate in performance or other educational or entrepreneurial endeavors.
The Master of Music degree with Specialization in Music History is designed to increase knowledge of music in the western world from Classical Antiquity to the present. Students receive strong grounding in the six style periods in addition to an introduction to world music, preparing them to pursue a Ph.D. in music history or to teach music history.
If a student chooses to prepare a thesis in partial fulfillment of the degree requirements, the advisory committee must approve the topic for the paper. Students preparing a lecture/recital must submit a paper as part the lecture presentation. The advisory committee must approve the topic and format for the lecture/recital. The lecture/recital materials must be presented to the faculty advisory committee three weeks in advance of the public presentation.
The Master of Music degree with Specialization in History of Musical Instruments is designed to meet the needs of students with a wide variety of backgrounds, training, and interests. Students can choose to focus on conservation, research, cataloging, and/or performance practices, among others that best suit the student’s needs and interests.
The Master of Music degree with Specialization in Collaborative Piano allows skilled pianists to complete lesson, coursework and performance requirements in vocal and instrumental duo, small chamber ensemble, choral ensemble and opera/musical theater. This selective, nurturing program provides extensive repertoire development, musical growth opportunities and preparation for further academic and/or professional work in the field of collaborative piano. Please see the Audition Repertoire for the requirements of the collaborative piano specialization audition.
The Master of Music degree with specialization in Conducting is designed to increase technical skills and provide the more advanced theoretical information necessary for a career in the conducting field. Students will have the option to focus on conducting specifically in the choral or instrumental realm or take a mixture of both concentrations. This program prepares students for advanced level K–12 ensemble teaching (no certification) or for doctoral work in various musical areas.