Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 30

Required Courses:

MUSC 8212Coaching Skills (4 terms)8
MUSC 8416Piano for Accompanying and Chamber Music Majors2
MUSC 8417Piano for Accompanying and Chamber Music Majors2
MUSC 8418Piano for Accompanying and Chamber Music Majors2
MUSC 8419Piano for Accompanying and Chamber Music Majors2
MUSC 8471Recital Accompanying1
MUSC 8472Recital Accompanying1
MUSC 8473Recital Accompanying1
MUSC 8474Recital Accompanying1
MUST 8701Research in Music3
MUST 8708History of Opera2
MUST 8709History of Opera2
MUST 8742Seminar in Theoretical Analysis3
or MUST 8746 Seminar in Stylistic Analysis
Total Credit Hours30

Additional Requirements:
Diagnostic Examinations:
Diagnostic examinations in Aural Theory, Written Theory, and Music History are required for all entering master's students. The exceptions are students in Jazz Studies and Music Therapy who have their examinations arranged within their respective departments. In addition, Keyboard students take an additional two-hour examination in Keyboard Literature. As stated in the Boyer College Graduate Handbook, master’s "students may not take final qualifying examinations nor perform graduation recitals until all diagnostic examinations have been successfully completed."

The exams may be taken in one day or split over three days, or the exams can be taken online for a fee. Preparations are provided upon registration. Visit the Boyer College of Music and Dance website for the graduate music examination schedule and registration form.

Please note that registration for a student's first term of study is completed in consultation with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Please re-read the admission letter, especially the "Special Notes" section on page 2, regarding any entrance deficiencies. If any remedial coursework is required, it must be completed by the end of the first year of study. It is also best for students to complete MUST 8701 Research in Music, which is required of all students except those in Jazz Studies, Music Education, and Music Therapy in the first year of study.

A. Graduate Diagnostic Examination in Aural Theory

The examination lasts approximately 40 minutes and consists of a written portion in which students are asked to:

  1. Dictate a chord progression that modulates and contains chromatic harmony by writing out the bass line and identifying chords by Roman numerals and inversions.
  2. Complete a two-part melodic dictation that modulates and contains chromatic pitches.

B. Graduate Diagnostic Examination in Written Theory

The examination lasts one and one-half hours and is in two parts: 

  1. Harmonic analysis of two chorales: one that uses diatonic harmony, and one that uses chromatic harmony.
  2. Analysis of the form, motives and phrase structures of the first movement of a Classical-era piano sonata.

C. Graduate Diagnostic Examination in Music History

The examination lasts one hour and contains objective questions in a multiple choice and/or true/false format. It covers composers, forms, instruments, musical works, styles and terms from 1450 to the present. Sample questions are:

  1. The basso continuo came into use in about which year?
    (a) 1500  (b) 1600  (c) 1650  (d) 1700
  2. Who composed Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth)?
    (a) Mahler  (b) Bruckner  (c) Brahms  (d) Schumann
  3. Which of the following instruments would not be found in the score of a symphony by Haydn?
    (a) horn  (b) oboe  (c) timpani  (d) trombone  (e) trumpet

D. Conditions for Exemption from Diagnostic Examinations

The requirement to take the Diagnostic Examination in any area is waived only for graduates of the Boyer College of Music and Dance who:

  • matriculate and enroll in the term immediately following completion of all undergraduate degree requirements; and
  • received grades of "B-" or better in every undergraduate course taken in each individual examination area to be waived.

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 terms. 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 is granted only after the student has presented a detailed description of the intended independent study project. Approval of independent study projects is 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:
Weekly one-hour private lessons are provided for all matriculated master's and doctoral performance majors in good standing, provided at least three additional credits of programmatically required graduate-level study are taken simultaneously. A $250 per term lesson fee (subject to change without notice) is charged for all private lessons. Tuition remission may not be used to cover the private lesson fee.

Private applied lessons beyond the four-term requirement currently in effect for graduate performance students may be extended with the permission of the jury, department chair, and the Associate Dean or Dean of the Boyer College of Music and Dance.

Recital Extension:
Students withdrawing from the recital requirement during the recital term receive an Incomplete and must register for extended study for non-degree credit (MUSC 5000 Recital Extension for 2 credits). Recital Extension must be taken each term until the recital has been presented. This course is offered on a "Credit/No Credit" basis only. Upon satisfactory completion of the recital, the Incomplete for the recital course is replaced by a letter grade and MUSC 5000 Recital Extension is issued a grade of "CR." Credit derived from Recital Extension is not counted toward degree requirements.

  1. Recital Extension Fees: Tuition for these additional terms of private study is the cost of 2 graduate credits plus a $400 Recital Extension fee. Graduate assistantships and other forms of University-sponsored financial aid do not cover the Recital Extension fee.
  2. Exceptions to Recital Extension:
    1. Students who perform their recitals during the first three weeks of the Spring term are not required to register for Recital Extension that term.
    2. Students who register for Recital Extension during the Summer may perform their recitals during the first three weeks of the Fall term. However, any student who does not take Recital Extension during the Summer may not present the recital in the Fall term, regardless of the date, without also registering for the Fall term of Recital Extension.
  3. Failure to Present Recital: The degree status of students who are unable to present a recital after one term of Recital Extension is reviewed by the Associate Dean and the major advisor, who, in consultation with the major teacher and department, determine whether or not the student may continue in the program. Inability to present the recital after one term of Recital Extension may be grounds for dismissal from the degree program for failing to maintain reasonable academic progress.

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

Culminating Events:
Comprehensive Final Project:
All candidates for the Master of Music degree must submit a list of all repertoire studied with their studio teacher(s) while enrolled in the MM program. Students choose two stylistically contrasting pieces from their final recital program. (Students enrolled in programs without a recital requirement, such as Opera Coaching, choose two contrasting works studied with their assigned studio teacher.) Students choose to give either an oral presentation or submit a written document that addresses at least several of the following topics:

  • Form and harmonic language of the piece
  • Historical background of the work
  • Aspects of the composer’s style
  • Relationship to other keyboard works by the composer
  • Performance practice considerations     
  • Specific technical problems and their solutions  
  • Other relevant information about the piece

The goal of the presentation or paper is to demonstrate cumulative knowledge and skills gained during the course of study at the master’s level. Courses taken in research, theory, history, pedagogy and performance practice can inform the discussion of the particular works chosen by the student.

If the student selects the oral option, the presentation is scheduled during end-of-term juries. At least two representatives from the graduate faculty in the Department of Keyboard Studies adjudicate the oral presentation. The session should last approximately 20 minutes with some extra time for questions from the faculty members following the presentation. Students can perform small sections of the work if germane to their discussion. Lecture notes with cited sources for information should be submitted to the Department of Keyboard Studies no later than ten days before juries.

The written document, if chosen, should be a research-quality paper of approximately 10 pages, double-spaced, and include appropriate references. This should be submitted to the Department of Keyboard Studies no later than April 1 for a May graduation or November 15 for a January graduation. At least two graduate faculty members from the Department of Keyboard Studies read the paper and confer about the final decision. Students must follow the guidelines for academic honesty found in the Graduate Bulletin.

Each reader grades the project as either pass or fail. Any student who fails is not allowed to graduate at the end of that term. Another document may be submitted after suggestions for improvement by the Department of Keyboard Studies faculty, or another oral presentation is arranged and graded as before. Students who fail a second time are dismissed from the degree program.

Recital Accompaniment:
Students must accompany one vocal recital in the first term and at least two in succeeding terms for a total of six required recital accompaniments. Students must also have participated in preparing singers for opera productions and, in some cases, conducted opera rehearsals. Graduation recitals are typically one hour in length; presented on campus in either Rock Hall or Klein Recital Hall; and adjudicated by three full-time music faculty members.