Graduate Bulletin

Instrumental Conducting: Wind-Band Emphasis, M.M.


Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Application Deadline:

Fall: December 1

Applications are processed as they arrive up to the deadline date.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:

Number Required: 3

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained from evaluators who can provide insight into the applicant's abilities, talents, and aptitude for graduate study.

Coursework Required for Admission Consideration:

All applicants must present credentials that are the equivalent of the appropriate Bachelor of Music degree at Temple University, which is based on a curriculum of 124 to 135 hours.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline:

A degree in Music is expected.

Statement of Goals:

The Statement of Goals should include your special interests within the discipline and expectations for the program (1,500 word maximum).

Standardized Test Scores:

Minimum TOEFL score needed to be accepted: 79 iBT or 550 PBT.


Applicants must upload an audition video to Decision Desk that shows the applicant conducting from the front, i.e., with face and torso facing the camera. The video should include15-20 minutes of rehearsal and 5-15 minutes of performance. See for audition repertoire requirements.

Written Analysis:

Each applicant must upload to DecisionDesk a written score analysis of Theme and Variations, opus 43a by Arnold Schoenberg; flow charts are strongly encouraged.


A professional resume is required. Instrumental teaching experience at the secondary level, community ensemble level, collegiate level, semi-professional level, or professionally is highly encouraged and is favorably viewed in the decision process.

Transfer Credit:

A student who wishes to transfer credit should speak with her/his academic advisor and obtain a transfer of credit form, available at Transfer credits must be approved by the advisor, the department chair, and the Associate Dean. The maximum number of credits a student may transfer is 6.


Due to the large number of applications for admission and the competitive nature of its music programs, the College admits only a portion of its applicants. In addition to the general admissions credentials required of all Temple University graduate applicants, specialized admission criteria (i.e., auditions, portfolios, interviews, recommendations, departmental term papers, and standardized examinations) are very heavily weighted in admission decisions of the Boyer College of Music and Dance. Graduate applicants may be rejected for admission for failing to obtain the required level of proficiency in any one area of the specialized admission criteria regardless of the level of success in meeting the Temple University general admission criteria. In addition to the level of success demonstrated in the above-mentioned criteria, a final admission factor is the College's Optimum Enrollment Policy. This Policy may preclude the admission of any student who meets the minimum requirements.

Program Requirements
General Program Requirements:

Number of Didactic Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 32

Required Courses (29 s.h.):

MUSC 8352:  Choral Conducting Seminar

MUSC 8535:  Private Lessons: Instrumental Conducting Major

MUSC 8536:  Private Lessons: Instrumental Conducting Major
MUSC 8537:  Private Lessons: Instrumental Conducting Major
MUSC 8538:  Private Lessons: Instrumental Conducting Major

MUSC 8539:  Instrumental Conducting Seminar: Score Analysis, Programming & Interpretation of Wind Ensemble Lit

MUSC 8540:  Wind Conducting Seminar

MUSC 8541:  Advanced Orchestral Conducting I-II

MUSC 8544:  Wind Repertory in History: European Antiquity Through the 21st Century

MUSC 8545:  History of Wind and Brass Chamber Music

MUST 8701:  Research in Music

MUST 8742:  Seminar in Theoretical Analysis


MUST 8746:  Seminar in Stylistic Analysis

MUST 8764:  Studies in Performance Practice

Electives (3 s.h.) selected from Music, Music Education, Music Studies, or other graduate departments. Advisor approval required.

Internship: No internship is required.

Language Examination: A language examination is required. Candidates in Instrumental Conducting: Wind-Band Emphasis must demonstrate competency in foreign language dictions at the time of admission to the program. Where the transcript or pass-off examination does not reveal such competency, the appropriate deficiency course in diction skills must be taken prior to completion of the master's degree.

Additional Requirements:

Diagnostic Examinations:

All entering Master of Music students are required to take Diagnostic Examinations in Harmony, Counterpoint, Aural Skills, and Music History prior to the first semester of graduate study. The purpose of these examinations is to determine weaknesses in undergraduate preparation. Depending on the examination results, students may be required to take one or more remedial courses. In these instances, the remedial courses will be graded on a "Credit / No Credit" basis and the official university transcript will indicate "CR" (for "Credit," meaning that the deficiency has been satisfied) or "NC" (for "No Credit," meaning that the deficiency has not been satisfied). Students must have a "B-" or better average in any remedial course or section thereof to earn the grade of "Credit" and to satisfy the requirement. Students who earn a grade of "NC" (that is, having a class average below "B-") must retake that course or section until an average of "B-" or higher is achieved and a grade of "CR" is recorded on the official university transcript. Remedial courses are offered for undergraduate credit only, and may not count toward graduate degree requirements.

1. All entering M.M. students must take the Diagnostic Examination in Harmony, Counterpoint, and Aural Skills prior to the first semester of graduate study unless conditions for exemption have been met (see below). Students may take the test only once, and if they do not pass the test or any portion thereof, they must enroll in the remedial course(s) during their first semester of study. Depending on which section(s) of the examination are failed, the examiners will stipulate which sections of remedial coursework the student must take. The courses are MUST 5001: Diatonic Harmony Review, MUST 5002: Chromatic Harmony Review, MUST 5003: Counterpoint Review, and MUST 5004: Graduate Aural Theory Review.

2. All entering M.M. students are required to take the Diagnostic Examination in Music History prior to registering for their first semester of graduate study unless conditions for exemption have been met (see below). If the student is unsuccessful in passing any portion of the Music History examination, the student may select one of two options:

Option A entails registering to take MUST 5005: Music History Review for 1 to 5 undergraduate credits, with 1 credit assigned to each of the following five periods: Renaissance, Baroque, Classic, Romantic, and Twentieth Century. Students may register for a maximum of 3 credits of MUST 5005 in any semester; thus, it is possible to extend the remediation over two semesters.

Option B entails the student's studying independently and retaking the failed sections of the examination at the end of the first semester of study. Students may retake the examination only once, and if any section is failed a second time, they must take the assigned remedial sections in their second semester of study.

3. Conditions for Exemption: The requirement to take the Diagnostic Examination in any area is waived only for graduates of the Boyer College of Music and Dance who (a) matriculate and enroll in the semester immediately following completion of all undergraduate degree requirements; and (b) received grades of "B-" or better in every undergraduate course taken in each individual examination area to be waived.

Proficiencies in Piano and Musicianship:
The department evaluates proficiencies in piano and musicianship in the first semester of graduate study.

Professional Development Policy:

In addition to taking the required subjects for their degrees, all students in the Boyer College of Music and Dance are obligated to serve in a number of capacities in order to enrich their academic and musical expertise. Boyer College of Music and Dance believes that such experiences give impetus to successful professional careers. Among the duties that may be required are conducting laboratory classes; tutoring; teaching private lessons; coaching; participating in the distribution and inventory control of Temple University-owned musical instruments and instructional materials; participating in ensembles; accompanying; performing at admissions and open house events; supervising performance classes; and engaging in other academic activities.

Performing Ensembles:

1. Touring: All students in touring performing ensembles are required to participate in all scheduled tours. These tours, usually one or two weeks in length, often take place immediately after termination of semesters. Students must arrange their schedules to accommodate this requirement.

2. Non-Credit Participation: With special permission, graduate students for whom there is no ensemble requirement, or where previous ensemble credits exceed the graduation requirement, may participate in choral and instrumental ensembles without cost, with prior permission from the ensemble director, the department chair, and the Associate Dean.

Independent Study Courses:

Independent study courses provide a special opportunity for graduate students to work in a highly individualized setting with one or more faculty members. All such study must receive the approval of the faculty member providing the instruction, the students' major advisor, and the Associate Dean. Approval will be granted only after the student has presented a detailed description of the intended independent study project. Approval of independent study projects will be granted only for students whose academic and musical record provides substantial support for the benefits of this type of study. In no case may more than 20% of a graduate student's curriculum be taken as independent study. Private lessons beyond those required in the curriculum are not an appropriate form of independent study.

Acceptable English:

All students, including those for whom English is not the native language, are expected to present all written work in acceptable English. No double standard exists to differentiate students on the basis of proficiency in the use of the English language. Students are also responsible for becoming familiar with the College's statement on plagiarism and academic honesty.

Graduate Private Lesson Policy:

Graduate students in non-performing curricula may take up to six credits of applied study toward the degree with the permission of the major advisor. Such non-required lessons may be taken only if the student can pass the normal graduate-level performing audition expected of performance majors. In this event, a fee of $200, not covered by tuition remission, is charged.

Alternately, a graduate student, regardless of major, with a demonstrable performing proficiency that may not meet the more rigorous requirements of a graduate-level performing audition, may, by audition, qualify to take two credits of applied study per semester for graduate credit. These courses carry a fee of $400 plus tuition and may be applied to the non-performing curriculum for degree credit up to six semester hours with the approval of the major advisor. Tuition remission may not be used to cover the private lesson fee.


All incomplete grades and keyboard proficiencies must be fulfilled by the first day of the month in which the student expects to graduate.

Students in Instrumental Conducting: Wind-Band Emphasis present two recitals during the two years of study, conducting members of the Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band, and other instrumentalists and/or vocalists. One public chamber recital with a Keynote (c) or PowerPoint presentation is required in the first year of study, and one public large ensemble recital is required by performances of pieces programmed with the Wind Symphony and Symphonic Band throughout the academic year/concert season. 

The chamber recital is 50 minutes of music, presented on-campus in either Rock Hall or Klein Recital Hall, and adjudicated by three full-time music faculty members. The large ensemble recital performances are performed in the Temple Performing Arts Center or other concert hall, and adjudicated by three full-time music faculty members. Students must show evidence through Temple University transcript records of having taken private lessons up to the time of the concert performances and chamber and large ensemble recitals.

Program Notes:
Students in Instrumental Conducting: Wind-Band Emphasis must provide scholarly program notes for compositions performed at public performance recitals, including details about the composer, the historical context, analytical components, and inspiration. These are submitted to the Director of Bands four weeks prior to the performance date for review.  The notes must be provided with the program at the public performance.

Keynote (c) or PowerPoint Presentation for Chamber Recital:
Students in Instrumental Conducting: Wind-Band Emphasis present a 30-minute Keynote (c) or PowerPoint presentation prior to the public concert.  This presentation is presented one hour before the recital or one day prior to the public concert (location arranged by the student). The Keynote (c) or PowerPoint presentation includes salient and interesting features of the pieces and the program. The Keynote (c) or PowerPoint presentation is meant to supplement the concert experience for the audience and offer a platform for the student conductor to speak about the music, not to reiterate the printed program notes.

Prior to taking the Comprehensive Examination, students in the Instrumental Conducting: Wind-Band Emphasis M.M. program must submit a portfolio. The portfolio is to include printed concert programs, recordings (audio and visual), resume, transcript, major projects and assignments completed during degree program, presentations, attendance at conferences and symposia, and any other documentation related to experiences in the program. The portfolio is to be submitted during the final semester of study for review by the Director of Bands and Director of Athletic Bands.

Culminating Events:

Comprehensive Examination:
Taken in the final semester of study, this three-part exam is: 1) tailored toward the student's coursework while in the program, and 2) standardized to cover a body of knowledge related to history and repertoire in relation to winds. The Director of Bands mentors students, creates the exam, and administers the writing and listening portions of the exam. A small committee, including the Director of Bands, the Director of Athletic Bands, and one or two Conducting and/or Music Education (instrumental) faculty, is involved in the creation of the oral portion of the exam. The student is asked questions that are mostly from the major field but also include other areas of music, history, theory, and related topics. The department schedules the exam, and the committee grades it pass or fail.

Program Contact Information:

Department Information:

Dept. of Instrumental Studies
Boyer College of Music and Dance
2001 North 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Department Contacts:


James Short


Program Coordinator:

Professor Emily Threinen

Graduate Chairperson:

Professor Emily Threinen


Professor Terell Stafford

About the Program

The Instrumental Studies Department offers a program of study leading to the Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting: Wind-Band Emphasis.  Students in the program have the opportunity to receive advanced instruction in technique, artistry, and scholarship while preparing for success as a conductor-educator in an academic or professional setting.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 6 years

Campus Location:


Full-Time/Part-Time Status:

Students are required to complete the degree program through classes offered before and after 4:30 p.m. Students are also able to complete the degree program on a part-time basis (8 credit hours or less per semester).

Department Information:

Dept. of Instrumental Studies
Boyer College of Music and Dance
2001 North 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Interdisciplinary Study:

With approval of the major advisor, students may elect to take up to 6 graduate credits outside the field of music.


Not applicable.

Study Abroad:



Boyer College of Music and Dance has been ranked among the top 30 music schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.


This degree program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Areas of Specialization:

Students are trained to listen to the many events occurring simultaneously in ensembles; to learn how to conduct rehearsals; to appreciate how text can affect musical performance; to distinguish between the many different kinds of ensemble participation depending on the media; and to develop their pianistic skills in order to meet the demands of advanced chamber and accompanied works.

Job Placement:

The program prepares musicians for either professional activity or doctoral study.


Not applicable.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy:

Non-matriculated students may enroll in selected courses in music with permission, but may not take applied lessons until they have been fully admitted and matriculated.

Financing Opportunities

Boyer College of Music and Dance offers a number of assistantships and academic internships to matriculated graduate students. Full awards carry a cash stipend plus full tuition remission for the Fall and Spring semesters. Partial awards also are available in values of 1/4 or 1/2 of a full award. Duties for assistantships and internships vary, but typically include teaching, tutoring, classroom assistance, research, artistic performance, and/or direct service related to academic programs. Applicants must submit an assistantship/internship application by March 1 to obtain priority consideration for an award. Applications are available online at the Graduate Financial Aid page of Boyer's website. Typically these awards are made only in the Fall semester for up to two semesters: Fall and Spring. Awards may be renewed on an annual basis (typically up to one additional year for master's students and up to three years for doctoral students) based on departmental needs as well as satisfactory academic and musical progress by the recipient.

Updated 6.17.14