The baccalaureate degrees awarded by the School of Music represent numerous individual programs of study designed to meet diverse professional and personal interests. Specific program requirements can be found in the curriculum outlines.
Bachelor of Music
Music education -- This program allows the prospective music teacher an opportunity to achieve vocal and instrumental certification for birth through 12th grade (B-12) while developing performance and pedagogical skills.
Performance/music education (four-and-a-half-year program) -- The performance standards of this program are the same as for the performance degree, with the additional requirements of the music education program. A special audition of a rigorous nature before a committee is required of students desiring to be performance/music education majors. For entering freshmen, this may occur as their entrance audition to the School of Music. However, most students interested in the performance/music education degree wait until the end of their first or second semester for their audition. In the audition the student must exhibit the potential to fulfill, with distinction, the recital obligations of the program.
Performance -- A special audition of a rigorous nature before a committee is required of students desiring to be performance majors. For entering freshmen, this may occur as their entrance audition to the School of Music. However, most students interested in the performance degree wait until the end of their first or second semester for their audition. In the audition the student must exhibit the potential to fulfill, with distinction, the recital obligations of the program.
Performance-collaborative emphasis -- The performance standards are the same as for the piano performance degree, with additional emphasis placed on collaborative performance. Students must meet every performance standard (including semiannual juries, proficiency examinations, and two solo recitals) expected of piano performance majors. The degree is supplemented with intensive study of foreign languages, diction, chamber music, duo sonata and art song literature, and opera. This program focuses careful attention on the technical and musical skills of the young solo pianist, while providing a solid foundation for further study as a collaborative pianist.
Sound recording technology -- This degree program combines rigorous study of music with courses in electroacoustic music, audio production, and music recording. In addition to passing a standard music audition, applicants for this program must have a personal interview with the faculty and staff who teach in the sound recording technology program, and submit a letter of recommendation that supports the applicant's technical aptitude. Ideally, applicants should have completed advanced mathematics (e.g., trigonometry, calculus) and a physics course. Tape recordings illustrating the applicant's recording expertise may be submitted but are not required.
Sound Recording Technology
Music theory -- Admission to the music theory degree program requires an oral examination with a committee from the music theory faculty. This examination usually takes place during the second semester of the sophomore year. Many students in this degree program initially major in performance or music education and then elect to add the music theory major, thus working toward a double degree. This is not to say that music theory majors must be double majors. Music theory majors must maintain a minimum B average in music theory courses required for the major and meet the jury requirements of the performance instrument area. Questions pertaining to the degree should be addressed to the chair of the department.
Composition -- Students wishing to major in composition must submit at least two representative scores of their compositions and, if possible, a recording of these works. In addition, prospective majors must have an interview with a member of the composition faculty, during which they may take the opportunity to demonstrate their keyboard skills.
All composition students study piano; however, all prospective composition majors are given the option to audition on another instrument or voice in order to be eligible for additional study with the faculty in this secondary area. A successful audition guarantees the student two full years of study in the secondary performance area. Additional study beyond the first four semesters is possible, depending on student performance, faculty studio availability, and a performance study fee for additional credits. (This secondary performance area audition is not a requirement for entrance into the composition program; it is simply provided for those students who are already advanced performers and who wish to continue serious and rigorous study on their instrument or voice.) Pianists may also avail themselves of this opportunity and would receive an additional year of piano performance study during their course of study.
All undergraduate composition majors must take a piano proficiency examination by the end of their junior year. Graduate students must take the exam during the first year of study. The exam should be scheduled by the student with the composition faculty. The exam is pass/fail. A failure will require the student to retake the exam. The exam may be taken a maximum of three times. Failure to pass the exam will cause the student to be dropped from the composition program.
- Unprepared portion: Sight-read in a reasonable tempo and with consistent rhythm a Bach four-part chorale; accompany in any style a given melody; improvise, utilizing various piano textures, a convincing short composition of approximately two minutes' duration; extract and perform the basic harmonic/chordal movement from a portion of a classic period orchestral score.
- Prepared portion: Perform any Bach two- or three-part invention; perform any Debussy prelude.
Music in combination with an outside field -- This program allows students to combine the bachelor of music with a sequence of courses in another discipline.
Music in Combination with an Outside Field
Jazz studies -- This program provides the opportunity for students to major in jazz studies, although, with the exception of jazz guitar and electric bass majors, the private performance lessons are in the classical idiom. Jazz guitar majors may study the electric instrument in the jazz idiom for this degree but must audition on both the nylon-string classical guitar and the electric guitar. Electric bass applicants follow specific audition requirements.
Undeclared -- This option provides the opportunity for incoming students to begin study in the School of Music while deciding on a specific degree program. Generally, undeclared students follow the music education curriculum for the individual's specific instrument. Students must decide on a degree program by the fifth semester of study. It is not possible to graduate as an undeclared music major.
Bachelor of Arts
Music -- This program provides the opportunity for students to major in music and to pursue substantive studies in the liberal arts.
Bachelor of Fine Arts
Musical theater -- This is a performance-based professional program designed for the student who is interested in a career in musical theater. The program, a joint offering of the Department of Theatre Arts in the School of Humanities and Sciences and the School of Music, offers students the option of either a vocal or dance concentration within the context of an acting major. A combined theater/music audition is required of all students interested in this degree (cross-listed under the Department of Theatre Arts, School of Humanities and Sciences).
Bachelor of Music in Music Education
By fulfilling academic requirements for the New York initial teaching certificate, this program allows the prospective music teacher an opportunity to achieve vocal and instrumental certification for birth through 12th grade (B-12) while developing performance and pedagogical skills..
The initial teaching certificate is valid for five years, during which time the master's degree in music education or master's degree in an approved related area must be attained in order to maintain teacher certification. In addition to the courses required for the undergraduate degree in music education, candidates must also attain a satisfactory level of performance on three components of the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations -- the liberal arts and sciences test (LAST), the assessment of teaching skills-written (ATS-W), and the content-specific test (CST). A fingerprinting and background check of the student's judicial record is also required. Information concerning test and fingerprinting sites, dates, and cost is available in the Department of Education in 213 Muller Center and the Office of Career Services in the Gannett Center.
Senior Block Student Teaching
Senior Block Student Teaching: Vocal or Instrumental (MUED 46800 or MUED 46900) represents the culminating experience in the music education curriculum.
Prerequisites for Senior Block Student Teaching:
- A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.70
- Successful completion of music theory courses MUTH 10100, MUTH 12100, MUTH 12200, MUTH 22100, and MUTH 22200 (or the corresponding honors-level courses)
- Successful completion of sight-singing courses MUTH 13300, MUTH 13400, MUTH 23300, and MUTH 23400 (or the corresponding honors-level courses)
- A minimum cumulative average of C+ in major performance area
- Successful completion of MUED 10100, MUED 10200, MUED 20100, and MUED 20200 with a minimum cumulative average of C+
- Successful completion of Music Education for Children (MUED 26700) with a minimum grade of C+
- Successful completion of Choral Conducting (MUED 30100 and MUED 30200) or Instrumental Conducting (MUED 30300 and MUED 30400) with a minimum cumulative average of C+.
- Successful completion of Student Teaching and Rehearsal Lab: Vocal-Choral (MUED 36900 and MUED 38000), Student Teaching and Rehearsal Lab: Instrumental-Band (MUED 37100 and MUED 38100), or Student Teaching and Rehearsal Lab: Instrumental-Orchestra (MUED 37100 and MUED 38200) with a minimum cumulative average of C+.
- Successful completion of Contemporary Ensembles in the Public Schools: Vocal-Choral (MUED 28000), Contemporary Ensembles in the Public Schools: Instrumental-Band (MUED 28100), or Contemporary Ensembles in the Public Schools: Instrumental-Orchestra (MUED 28200) with a minimum grade of C+.
- Successful completion of core subjects in either the vocal or instrumental emphasis:
- A. Vocal Emphasis
- Classroom Instruments (MUED 24600) with a minimum grade of C+
- General and Choral Music in the Secondary School (MUED 36800) with a minimum grade of C+
- Keyboard Musicianship (PFSM 17100, PFSM 17200, PFSM 27300, and PFSM 27400) with a minimum cumulative average grade of C+
- B. Instrumental Emphasis
- Secondary instruments through the junior year with a minimum cumulative average of C+
- Teaching Instrumental Music (MUED 36200) with a minimum grade of C+
- String Pedagogy (MUED 34700), for string majors only, or Wind Pedagogy (MUED 37500), for wind and percussion majors only, with a minimum grade of C+
- A. Vocal Emphasis
- Successful completion of proficiency examinations in the vocal or instrumental emphasis. These exams are normally completed during block I of the spring semester of the junior year, and all proficiencies and secondary instrument classes within the designated track must be completed by the end of block I of the spring semester before the block of senior student teaching. For proficiency requirements, see the Handbook for Senior Student Teaching in Music Education.
Students who fail to achieve the academic criteria listed must meet with the department chair to arrange the necessary remedial coursework.
General Information regarding Senior Block Student Teaching:
In order to fulfill New York State Education Department (NYSED) policies and foster a true commitment to senior student teaching, music education senior student teachers may not participate in official Ithaca College activities related to varsity sports and registered credit-bearing coursework, including zero-credit participation or auditing. This coursework includes, but is not limited to, classes, lessons, rehearsals, and performances. In addition, music education senior student teachers are strongly encouraged to consider the impact that additional non-student teaching activities and obligations (including, but not limited to, lessons, performing, rehearsing, employment, and other commitments) may have on completing a successful student teaching experience. Participating in non-student teaching activities may affect a student teacher’s ability to complete senior teaching successfully and may affect the related grade negatively or result in removal from senior student teaching. Recognizing the importance of outstanding musicianship to effective music teaching, student teachers are encouraged to continue practicing and making music during their student teaching -- this is the essence of being a high-quality teacher-practitioner (music educator-musician). However, all senior student teachers are expected to consider the above-stated policy and make the student teaching experience their primary focus. (This written policy underscores the commitment expected of every Ithaca College music education student teacher; in addition, it emphasizes the responsibility that student teachers and Ithaca College have to ensure quality music education for the host site’s students.)
Other than absences related to illness, which require immediate contacting of the cooperating teacher, or absences related to serious illness or accidents, which additionally require immediate contacting of the supervisor or chair of music education, all absences must be approved in advance by the chair of music education.
The senior student teaching program is based on the belief that certain competencies fundamental to successful teaching can best be fostered in the environment in which the teaching will generally occur. Therefore, the senior student teaching program is a cooperative effort on the part of this institution and cooperating secondary schools. An application requesting a student teaching assignment must be submitted by the student by February 15 of the academic year immediately preceding the student teaching assignment. Students are required to preregister for MUED 46800 Senior Block Teaching: Vocal or MUED 46900 Senior Block Teaching: Instrumental during the semester immediately preceding the student teaching assignment. Student teaching is to be completed during the fall (block I or II) or in the spring (block II). Vacation periods coincide with the calendar of the cooperating school district during the assignment. Students are not assigned to teach in a public school they attended as students.
Students are encouraged to live in the community or the school district where they are assigned to teach. Although the student is not charged for meals during the student teaching assignment period, a charge is assessed for on-campus housing commitments that students have made. Transportation and arrangements for housing in the assigned community are the responsibility of the student teacher. Help in making housing arrangements can be sought through the cooperating teacher, the principal's or superintendent's offices, local real estate agencies, or former student teachers. Commuting any great distance may be dangerous or time-consuming and could lead to an inadequate teaching experience. Most cooperating teachers are involved in some evening and weekend teaching duties, and the student teacher is expected to participate in all of these duties. Married students, if they desire, may be placed in schools close to Ithaca as a convenience to their families.
Piano, Organ, and Guitar Majors in Music Education
Piano, organ, and guitar majors in music education must declare, no later than during the sophomore year, whether they plan their teaching experience to be in the vocal or instrumental area.
Piano, organ, and guitar students normally receive instruction and experience in the vocal emphasis area. Piano, organ, and guitar majors who want to have a teaching experience in the instrumental area may elect the instrumental emphasis. They must have performance capability on a wind, string, or percussion instrument equal to "outstanding level" on grade IV literature listed in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) manual. This is determined by an audition with a member of the instrumental music education department and the appropriate performance faculty member. The audition determines the amount of study necessary on that instrument. The program makes provision for four semesters of secondary instrument private lessons. Deficiencies may demand further study in private lessons, subject to the elective applied music fee. Membership is required in a major instrumental performing group (on the secondary instrument) each semester and in choral ensemble for two semesters. The student must follow the curriculum of music education-instrumental.
Pianists, guitarists, and organists who elect the instrumental emphasis will, in these programs, enroll for 2 credits of private instruction on the major instrument -- piano, guitar, or organ. They have a weekly half-hour lesson, attend weekly repertoire class, and perform a jury at the end of the semester. Students may also audition for the four-and-a-half-year degree program. If accepted, the students have a weekly one-hour lesson, attend weekly repertoire class, and perform a jury at the end of the semester. Students in these programs must enroll for 1 credit of private instruction on the secondary instrument; they have a weekly half-hour lesson.
The credits earned in private lessons on the secondary instrument may be counted as music electives.
Credits earned in private lessons on the secondary instrument beyond the four semesters provided for in the program are subject to a private lesson fee in accordance with the schedule shown under "Expenses"; they may be counted as music electives.
Senior Student Teaching
Complete information concerning prerequisite coursework, proficiency exams, assignments, procedures and policies, and other information can be found in the Handbook for Senior Student Teaching in Music Education.