Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University Factsheets

Master of Arts in Music

Faculty working with Students: 26
Students: 15
Students receiving assistantships or scholarships: 100%
Priority deadline:
  • Fall January 10
  • Spring July 1
Campus:
  • Pullman: Yes
Tests required:
  • TOEFL 80 or higher

Degree Description:

The music program in the School of Music offers the degree of Master of Arts in Music, which may be earned face-to-face or with Global Campus through study in areas of music education, composition, music history and literature, conducting, and performance studies.

Four emphases are available:

  1. Music education: Provides advanced studies for experienced or prospective teachers.
  2. Performance: Selected by students wishing to teach at the college level or enter professions such as music performance and conducting.
    Note: This emphasis is not available for Global Campus students.
  3. Composition: Prepares students to enter professions in music such as composition and arranging.
  4. Jazz emphasis: Focuses on one or more aspects of jazz, including performance, composition, arranging, pedagogy, or history, in preparation for careers in jazz.

The degree may also be completed without an emphasis.

The program offers both thesis and non-thesis options, designed according to the goals of the student.

Admission Requirements:

A minimum score of 80 on the TOEFL is required for all International Students for whom English is not their primary language.

The School of Music requires an audition, official transcripts, and three letters of recommendation. In addition, please submit: for the composition emphasis, a composition portfolio with recordings; for the music education emphasis, your written philosophy of teaching; performance (including conducting) requires a more in-depth audition. Contact the music program for details. Once admitted to WSU, each student takes assessments in music theory, history, and keyboard skills, and auditions for music ensembles during the week prior to the first day of classes.

Student Learning Outcomes:

All graduates will be able to:

  1.  Critical, Creative and Musical Reasoning: This includes learning to analyze and interpret music, to express the composer’s intention, the character of the music and to convey the  emotion of the work.
  2.  Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning: This involves taking the abstract symbols on the page and making musical sense of them, interpreting the rhythmic and pitch elements of the  music and making expressive choices based on the notation on the page.
  3.  Information Literacy: Musicians must understand the historical and cultural aspects of the music that they are performing to present a musically and artistically convincing  performance. Also, students must become familiar with a wide range of important works from the musical canon. Students are required to use several outside sources, including  library and online resources, to gain this knowledge.
  4.  Communication: A musical performance is not successful unless there is communication with the audience.
  5.  Diversity: To perform music of different styles and genres, it is essential to understand diverse cultures and musical views. This is related to information literacy.
  6.  Integration of Learning: For a musical performance to be truly successful, all of these Learning Outcomes—creative thinking, symbolic reasoning, information literacy, communication  and diversity must be integrated by the performer.

Student Opportunities:

Graduate students have opportunities to conduct and rehearse ensembles; teach undergraduate courses; perform and make recordings with world acclaimed faculty artists; prepare for major competitions in performance and composition; and tour nationally and internationally with performance ensembles. WSU graduate students have won numerous awards in major competitions for performance and composition. Recent graduates have been featured in Jazziz magazine and been successful in publishing their compositions.

Career Opportunities:

Graduates are prepared for professional careers in music including work as performers, composers, arrangers, recording artists and educators.

Career Placements:

Graduate students in music have achieved teaching positions at major universities, community colleges and public schools throughout the United States, including the Director of Jazz Studies at West Valley College in Saratoga, CA; teaching position at the Joy of Music Academy in Boston; and teacher position at the American School in Rome, Italy. Other students have continued their postgraduate work at other prestigious schools of music and performed at major music festivals.

Faculty Members:

Agulay, Aaron, DMA, James Madison University

Research Interests

Vocal Performance

Arksey, Meredith, D.M.A.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Violin and viola performance, Suzuki training, Baroque violin.

Bennefield, Troy

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Symphonic Band, Marching Band, Varsity Band

Blasco, Scott

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Composition, electronic music, music theory

Boden, Ruth Adair, D.M.A.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Low strings pedagogy, contemporary music, non-traditional performance.

Chettri, Navin, MM, University of Idaho

Research Interests

Jazz Percussion, World Music

Condon, Gabe, MM, Eastman School of Music

Research Interests

Jazz and Classical Guitar

Dickey, Christopher, D.M.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Euphonium and tuba performance, film music

Edwards, Brent, MA, Washington State University

Research Interests

Rudimental Percussion, Composition

Luethi, Dean, D.M.A.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Message fatigue in solo/choral works with text, Ralph Vaughan Williams, choral symphony, vocal technique, early requiem mass, Vivaldi choral works.

McCarthy, Keri, D.M.A.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Commissioning and performing new works by American and Southeast Asian composers, studying traditional musics of Southeast Asia, and reviewing newly published music in the United States (for the IDRS Journal).

Menchetti, Fabio, DMA, University of Cincinnati

Research Interests

Piano Performance, Keyboard Pedagogy

Miller, Sarah, DMA, University of Kansas

Research Interests

Trombone Performance and Pedagogy

Parkhurst, Melissa, Ph.D. in Music: Ethnomusicology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Research Interests

First Nations music in the Pacific Northwest, how music promotes personal and community resilience, and the role of music in cultural revitalization.

Pham, Danh T, D.M.A.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Orchestra and wind ensemble conducting

Roh, Yoon Wha, DM in Piano Performance and Literature

Research Interests

Applied Piano, Piano Literature, Chamber music, Arts Administration

Scott, Shannon, D.M.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Avant garde performance techniques, chamber music for flute and clarinet, newly composed solo and chamber music for clarinet.

Snider, Frederick David, M.A.

Serves as: co-chair or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Jazz Bass, Combos, Jazz History, Rock History.

Svendsen, Jacob, MM, Eastman School of Music

Research Interests

Jazz Piano, Composition

Tegart, Sophia, DMA Flute Performance, University of Missouri Kansas City

Research Interests

Women/gender in music, madness in music, musical ekphrasis, nature and music.

Turnbull, David Ray, D.M.A.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Trumpet performance, conducting, composing/arranging.

Wieck, Julie, D.M.A.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Classical vocal literature, opera and musical theatre, voice pedagogy and diction, Ukrainian and Russian art song.

Wilson, Christopher, DM, University of Northern Colorado

Research Interests

Classical Percussion, Percussion Ensemble, Percussion Pedagogy

Wilson, Jacqueline, DMA, University of Iowa

Research Interests

Music featuring underrepresented perspectives and lived experiences

Yasinitsky, Gregory W, D.M.A.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member of graduate committee

Research Interests

Composition and arranging of jazz and classical music, national and international performances as a saxophonist and guest conductor, CD recordings.

Young, Horace Alexander, MA, Washington State University

Research Interests

Jazz and Classical Saxophone, Recording Artist

Contact Information:

Keri E. McCarthy, DM
Office: Kimbrough 358
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 645300
(509) 335-7966