Master of Music (MMus) Degree in the field of Orchestral Conducting

Program Learning Outcomes for the MMus Degree

Upon completing the MMus degree, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate technical and musical competence in performance, composition, or historical scholarship at a professional level.
  2. Develop advanced analytical skills in music theory and a deep understanding of how those skills inform music performance.
  3. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the relationship between music history and music performance.
  4. Develop career development skills that complement their professional-level performance skills.
  5. Demonstrate technical and musical competence in performance, composition, or historical scholarship at a professional level. 

Requirements for the MMus Degree  

The MMUS degrees can be thesis or non-thesis master's degrees depending on the field declared. For general university requirements for thesis master's degrees, please see Thesis Master’s Degrees. For general university requirements for non-thesis master's degrees, please see Non-Thesis Master’s Degrees. Students pursuing the MMUS degree programs must complete:

  • A minimum of 43-54 credit hours depending on field of study to satisfy degree requirements

Students completing the MMus degree in all fields of study must participate in core music, applied music, and other required music courses as well as in chamber music and large ensembles, plus electives. They are entitled to one hour of private lessons each week of each semester they are enrolled as an MMus degree candidate; private or group lessons beyond this may result in additional fees. 

Summary

Total Credit Hours Required for the MMus Degree in the field of Orchestral Conducting 47

Degree Requirements

Conducting Requirements 1
MUSI 637ADVANCED CONDUCTING FOR MAJORS (minimum of 4 semesters)3
MUSI 533GRADUATE CONDUCTING SEMINAR (minimum of 4 semesters)1
MUSI 635ADVANCED ORCHESTRA (minimum of 2 semesters)2
Performance Technique Coursework
Select 4 from the following:4
THEORY OF VOCAL PERFORMANCE TECHNIQUES
ORCHESTRAL REPERTOIRE (001 Orchestral Repertoire - Violin)
ORCHESTRAL REPERTOIRE (005 Orchestral Repertoire - Woodwind)
ORCHESTRAL REPERTOIRE (006 Orchestral Repertoire - Brass )
ORCHESTRAL REPERTOIRE (007 Orchestral Repertoire - Percussion )
Academic Coursework
MUSI 512ANALYTICAL SYSTEMS3
MUSI 514SCORE READING AND THEORY AT THE KEYBOARD3
MUSI 516ADVANCED ORCHESTRATION3
Other Requirements
Select 6 credit hours from Elective Requirements (see below for course list) 26
Select 8 credit hours (minimum of 4 semesters) from Concentration Lessons (see below for course list)8
Proficiencies 3
Students must demonstrate the following proficiencies:
Orchestration
Piano proficiency
Aural skills proficiency
Total Credit Hours47

Other Requirements

Students must complete 6 credit hours from the Elective Requirements, and 2 courses from the Performance Coursework lists below.  

Other Requirements
Elective Requirements 26
Select 6 credit hours from the following:
Any course at the 300-level or above
Any language course at the 100-level or above
Any Music Theory, Music History, or Music Career and Skills Enhancement course
Secondary Lessons (any course between MUSI 251 and MUSI 297 with the exception of MUSI 281)
RICE JAZZ ENSEMBLE
APPLIED STUDIES IN JAZZ
CONCENTRATION PIANO
COLLEGIUM MUSICUM
PRACTICUM IN CONTEMPORARY MUSIC
SONATA CLASS
GRADUATE INDEPENDENT STUDY
Concentration Lessons (private vocal and/or instrumental study)8
Select 8 credit hours from the following:
Any course between MUSI 351 and MUSI 373
Any course between MUSI 381 and MUSI 398
Footnotes and Additional Information

Policies for the MMus Degree 

Admission

For Instrumental Performance, Vocal Performance, and Orchestral Conducting applicants, an audition is required. Composition applicants must submit portfolios, and Musicology applicants must provide samples of their written work. Musicology applicants must also complete advanced music tests as well as the Graduate Record Examination for admission consideration.

Academic Standards

Curriculum and Degree Requirements

Further information on curricular requirements for all majors and degree programs is available from the Shepherd School of Music.

Grading Policy

A minimum grade of “B-“ is expected of all music students in their major applied area. A grade of “C+” or lower is considered unsatisfactory and will be evaluated in the following manner:

A music major who receives a grade of “C+” or lower in their major applied area will be placed on music probation. Music probation signifies that the student’s work has been sufficiently unsatisfactory to preclude graduation unless marked improvement is achieved promptly. A student on music probation may be absent from class only for extraordinary reasons and may not represent the school in any public function not directly a part of a degree program.

If a student receives a second semester of “C+” or lower in their major applied area, whether for consecutive semesters or not, the student will be discontinued as a music performance major and merit scholarship from the Shepherd School will be discontinued.

Note: For music history and musicology majors a grade of “C+” or lower in any music history course is considered unsatisfactory and will be evaluated as above.

Graduate degree requirement: a minimum grade point average of 2.67 is necessary for graduation. 

Leaves of Absence and Voluntary Withdrawal

Music majors must obtain permission in writing from the dean of the Shepherd School before requesting a leave of absence from the university. Requests must be in the dean’s office before the first day of classes in the semester for which leave is requested.

Music majors taking voluntary withdrawal from the university are not guaranteed readmission into the Shepherd School and may be asked to reapply/reaudition. Students should explain the reasons for their withdrawal to the dean before leaving campus.

For additional information, please see the School of Music website at: http://music.rice.edu

Opportunities for the MMus Degree 

Other Musical Opportunities

Lectures and Performances

A visiting lecture series, a professional concert series, and numerous distinguished visiting musicians contribute to the Shepherd School environment. The Houston Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Chorus, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, Houston Masterworks Chorus, Da Camera, Context, and Chamber Music Houston, as well as the activities of other institutions of higher learning in the area, also provide exceptional opportunities for students to enjoy a wide spectrum of music.

For additional information, please see the School of Music website at: http://music.rice.edu