Purpose and Focus
The mission of the School of Music is to provide a professional artistic environment that supports programs of excellence in the education of musicians. Courses in music are designed to prepare graduates for professional music careers in teaching, performance, and composition and to enrich the cultural experience of all university students.
The School of Music offers many music courses that may be selected by non-music majors to satisfy university and College of Fine Arts requirements. In addition, university students may participate in the School of Music ensembles. Membership in the department’s instrumental and vocal ensembles is open to all university students by audition and/or consent of the instructor.
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
National Association of Schools of Music
Music — Bachelor of Arts
Music — Bachelor of Music
Music Education Concentration
Instrumental Performance Concentration
Piano Performance Concentration
Vocal Performance Concentration
Jazz and Commercial Music — Bachelor of Music
Instrumental Performance Concentration
Vocal Performance Concentration
Commercial Music Certificate 1 (specialist) in Performance
Commercial Music Certificate 2 (professional) in Performance
Commercial Music Certificate 1 (specialist) in Technology
Commercial Music Certificate 2 (professional) in Technology
Commercial Music Certificate: (specialist) in World Percussion
Areas of Concentration
Bachelor of Arts
The Bachelor of Arts in Music allows the student to pursue the study of music within the context of a liberal arts curriculum. The curriculum offers an intensive study of music as both an intellectual discipline and a performance art. In addition to classes, lessons, and performing ensembles common to the Bachelor of Music program, students pursuing the B.A. pursue more advanced music scholarship and research projects, as well as engage with other disciplines relevant to the study and performance of music.
Bachelor of Music in Music
The Bachelor of Music in Music degree is offered in the following areas of concentration:
The Bachelor of Music in Music degree in Composition, with training in composition, orchestration, and arranging, prepares students for professional work in music.
The Bachelor of Music in Music degree in Music Education, a five year program with special areas of interest in instrumental or vocal music prepares the student for a career in public school music teaching while earning Nevada teacher certification.
The Bachelor of Music in Music degree in Performance, with special areas of interest in instrumental, vocal, and piano, prepares the student for a professional career in music.
Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Commercial Music
The Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Commercial Music degree is offered in the following areas of concentration:
The Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Commercial Music degree in Composition, with training in composition, orchestration, and arranging, prepares students for a professional career in the field of jazz and commercial music.
The Bachelor of Music in Jazz and Commercial Music degree in Performance, with special areas of interest in instrumental and vocal prepares the student for a professional career in the field of jazz and commercial music.
All Bachelor of Music degrees provide thorough preparation for further study in music at the graduate level.
Admission to the Major
The School of Music requires a minimum GPA of 2.00 overall. A minimum GPA of 2.70 must be maintained in all music courses.
New freshman should refer to the university requirements for admission. Each music major enrolling at UNLV for the first time must audition in the primary performance medium (principal instrument or voice classification) and must qualify for admission to MUSA lower- division applied study as specified in the course syllabus for this medium.
Transfer students must have earned at least a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.50 in transferable college credits and 2.70 in the area of concentration. Transfer students must also audition in the appropriate primary performance medium (principal instrument or voice classification) and will be placed in the appropriate level of applied study based on the audition.
All entering freshman music majors and transfers from other institutions must take the Music Theory and Music History placement examinations for assignment to the appropriate level of music theory and music history study.
Principal Instrument/Voice Classification
Each music major must declare, with the approval of the faculty of music, a primary performance medium (principal instrument or voice classification) or a primary and a secondary medium, depending upon the special area of interest selected. Each music major must audition in the primary performance medium prior to registration in order to qualify for admission to MUSA lower division of applied study. Those not qualifying must enroll in Applied Music for non-majors each semester until able to pass the audition. Applied lessons in the primary performance medium must be taken in sequence, beginning with lower-division applied music. Applied lessons may not be audited.
If a student chooses to change to another primary performance medium, the entire Principal Instrument/Voice Classification policy must be met for the new medium.
While enrolled in applied music lessons, each music major must perform regularly in studio and/or repertory class. Those enrolled in Applied Music III or above must perform on Convocation at the discretion of the instructor, but not less than once each semester.
Each music major, while enrolled in Applied Music for Majors, must appear before a departmental jury at the end of each semester for performance examination and grading recommendations. At the conclusion of Applied Music IV, the jury performance occurs before a committee representing the entire faculty of music. To advance to upper division applied study (Level V), the student must successfully complete four semesters of harmony, sight singing, and ear training and have made satisfactory progress toward his or her degree (see Satisfactory Progress).
Composition students enrolled in MUSA 451, Private Study in Composition, must present their work before a jury each semester.
All undergraduate music majors must demonstrate piano proficiency as a requirement for graduation. The School of Music will not approve a student’s Graduation Application until notification is received from the piano faculty that the student has passed the Piano Proficiency Examination. For students majoring in Music Education, the Piano Proficiency Examination is part of the student teaching endorsement. The School of Music will not accept an application for student teaching placement until the student has passed the Piano Proficiency Examination. (NB: Music Education/Vocal students must complete two additional semesters of private piano instruction after passing the Piano Proficiency Examination and before beginning the student teaching experience. Students may not complete this requirement during the student teaching semester.)
Music majors must demonstrate satisfactory progress in their degree through concurrent registration in harmony, sight singing, ear training, and functional piano until these course sequences are completed. Accordingly, music majors enrolled initially in first-year music theory (MUS 201E) must concurrently enroll in Functional Piano I (MUS 109) and continue until the Functional Piano course sequence is completed. Functional Piano courses must be taken in sequence. A grade of ‘C’ or above is required in each Functional Piano course.
Transfer students and students with accomplished piano skills are placed in the appropriate Functional Piano course after demonstrating sufficient keyboard skills to the piano faculty. These same students may also choose a one-time opportunity to take the Piano Proficiency Examination (MUS 167) in lieu of enrolling in the Functional Piano sequence. However, if
the Piano Proficiency Examination is not passed, the student is then placed in the appropriate Functional Piano course and must complete the sequence and retake the Piano Proficiency Examination.
When enrolling in Functional Piano IV (MUS 210), the student must also concurrently enroll in Piano Proficiency Examination (MUS 167). The Piano Proficiency Examination is separate from the Functional Piano course sequence. The sequence prepares the student for the Piano Proficiency Examination, but successful completion of the sequence does not exempt the student from the obligation to pass the Piano Proficiency Examination. However, students maintaining a grade of ‘B’ or above in each of the four Functional Piano courses are exempt from taking the Piano Proficiency Examination.
Members of the piano faculty administer the Piano Proficiency Examination during the Final Examination period at the conclusion of the fall and spring terms. The Examination is not scheduled at any other time during the academic term and no Examination is administered in summer.
Music Theory Placement Examination
All entering freshman music majors and transfers from other institutions must take the music theory placement examination for assignment to the appropriate level of music theory study. The examination consists of written harmony, dictation, and sight singing. Students not qualifying for placement in MUS 201, as determined by this examination, are required to take MUS 102. All other students will be assigned according to their demonstrated proficiency.
Music History Placement Examination
All entering freshman music majors and transfers from other institutions must take the Undergraduate Music History Placement Examination during the fall semester to evaluate students’ basic music historical literacy and competence and ensure that students enroll in appropriate music history courses. The date and time of the Examination will be announced each academic year. A grade of 70 out of the Examination’s 100 points is a passing grade. Students who pass the Examination may enroll, at their earliest convenience and on the advice of their advisors, in the MUS 341-343 sequence. A student who does not pass the Examination must enroll in MUS 131 before enrolling in the MUS 341-343 sequence. Students who show deficiencies in the essay portion of the exam may also be counseled to seek assistance with their language and writing skills.
Ensemble participation is open to all students including non-degree seeking and or part time students. All students must audition for ensemble participation. Auditions will be held prior to the start of Fall and Spring semesters. Contact the ensemble director or area coordinator for audition times and places. Music majors are required to participate each semester of full-time enrollment in an ensemble appropriate both to their degree program and to their major instrument beginning with the first semester of full-time study. In the case where a designated ensemble of choice does not exist for the student (based on audition results) the student will consult with the primary applied professor to receive approval to enroll in an alternative ensemble. Students holding scholarships will consult the primary applied professor/area coordinator and ensemble director to determine/receive an alternative ensemble assignment.
Full-time students enrolled beyond their prescribed four-year (performance) or five-year (music education) degree time frame will continue to enroll in a minimum of one ensemble per semester until graduation.
Music students receiving the School of music scholarship support must participate in a minimum of two (2) ensembles each semester of full-time enrollment. In order to meet scholarship requirements, ensemble instrumentation or music departmental needs students that participate in more than two (2) ensembles must receive permission from the applied instructor and the music department chair. Consult the Undergraduate Catalogue for specific participation requirements in your degree program.
For students transferring to UNLV: The UNLV School of Music will accept one ensemble credit for each semester taken at another institution, as approved by the student’s area coordinator. UNLV School of Music will accept no more than a total of four (4) ensemble credits from another institution.
Ensembles satisfying this category are as follows: a regular rehearsal schedule encompassing two or more days per week with a minimum of 2 ½ hours rehearsal time per week. Ensembles in this tier are designed to deliver instruction of advanced repertoire and pedagogical concepts to students possessing requisite musicianship and skill levels.
Ensembles in this category are as follows: a regular rehearsal schedule encompassing one to two days per week with a minimum of 1 ½ hours of rehearsal time per week. Ensembles in this tier are usually conducted and are designed to deliver instruction of mid-level repertoire and pedagogical concepts that will assist students to continue to develop skills or provide service to the music department.
Ensembles satisfying this category are as follows: a regular rehearsal schedule encompassing one to two days per week with a minimum of 1 ½ hours rehearsal time per week. Distinctive characteristics in this category are small ensembles with one instrument or voice per part (trios, quartets, etc.) or small ensembles of like instruments. These ensembles are frequently coached and not conducted.
To ensure satisfactory progress toward completion of the degree, students must register concurrently for harmony, sight singing, ear training, and functional piano each semester until these course sequences are completed. A minimal grade point average of 2.70 must be maintained in all music courses except where noted by individual degree programs.
Students successfully completing undergraduate degrees offered by the School of Music will have acquired competencies sufficient to enter the job market in their areas of concentration. Performance majors are prepared to begin building careers as professional performers or private teachers. Music education graduates earn for teaching music in the state of Nevada and promise for success as school music teachers. All degrees in the School of Music offer thorough preparation for success in graduate music programs.
Music students are advised in the College of Fine Arts Advising Center located in CDC Building 2. Students meet with their advisor once per semester. Variable elective credits must be approved by the student’s advisor.