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Washington State University Factsheets

Master of Arts in Music

Faculty working with Students: 25
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 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.
  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 Outcome:

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:

Ard, Bradley

Serves as: co-chair or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Guitar, jazz, composition

Arksey, Meredith, D.M.A.

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

Research Interests

Violin and viola performance, Suzuki training, Baroque violin.

Bennefield, Troy

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

Research Interests

Symphonic Band, Marching Band, Varsity Band

Blasco, Scott

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

Research Interests

Composition, electronic music, music theory

Boden, Ruth Adair, D.M.A.

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

Research Interests

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

Carter, Brian, D.M.A.

Serves as: co-chair or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Vocal performance

Converse, Sheila Kearney, Ph.D.

Serves as: co-chair or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Vocal pedagogy, women in music, music and the brain, mythology in music.

Dickey, Christopher, D.M.

Serves as: co-chair or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Euphonium and tuba performance, film music

Hagelganz, David John, M.A.

Serves as: co-chair or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Saxophone, jazz studies.

Hare, Ryan, D.M.A.

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

Research Interests

Bassoon pedagogy and literature, composition, music theory.

Jarvis, David Edward, M.A.

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

Research Interests

Vibraphone techniques and practice methods in jazz, vibraphone transcriptions of Lionel Hampton, Red Norvo and Milt Jackson, composing for percussion.

Luethi, Dean, D.M.A.

Serves as: chair, co-chair, or member on 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 on 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).

Mielke, Michelle M, M.A.

Serves as: co-chair or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Performance anxiety and relevance to attachment theory and emotional intelligence (EI), piano pedagogy, educational piano music.

Pham, Danh T, D.M.A.

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

Research Interests

Orchestra and wind ensemble conducting

Savage, Jeffrey, D.M.A.

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

Research Interests

Solo and piano duo performances in North America, Europe and Asia, commissioning and recording new works for piano duo, transcriptions and arrangements for piano duo or piano-four hands.

Savage, Karen, D.M.A.

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

Research Interests

Collaborative piano, premiering duo piano works, building two-piano repertoire and visibility of contemporary art music through commissions and performances of new works.

Schneider, Jill Lenae, D.M.A.

Serves as: co-chair or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Organ pedagogy, piano pedagogy, articulation in Baroque keyboard music.

Scott, Shannon, D.M.

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

Research Interests

Jazz bass, jazz studies.

Turnbull, David Ray, D.M.A.

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

Research Interests

Trumpet performance, conducting, composing/arranging.

Ward, Brian, M.S.

Serves as: co-chair or member on graduate committee

Research Interests

Piano, jazz, composition

Wieck, Julie, D.M.A.

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

Research Interests

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

Wiest, Lori J, D.M.A.

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

Research Interests

Conducting, international and national touring, adjudications and clinics.

Yasinitsky, Gregory W, D.M.A.

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

Research Interests

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

Contact Information:

Dr. Shannon Scott
PO Box 645300
Kimbrough 260
Pullman, WA 99164-5300
509-335-5342
509-335-4245