As a music education major at Saint Mary’s College, you will develop your unique musical talents while working closely with outstanding faculty and visiting artists. The Music Department offers state-approved curricula to prepare you for your career as a licensed elementary or secondary music teacher. Our program challenges you to strive for excellence in both individual and group performance, and to develop an intellectual understanding of musical structure and the processes that create it.
The Music Department believes in the philosophy that to learn is to perform, and to perform is to learn.
The Saint Mary’s College Music Department is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music, a high honor for a college music department.
Writing in the Major
The advanced writing proficiency requirement in the Music Department has two components:
- A paper written for a music course. The faculty must approve the selection of the piece to be submitted.
- A composition, orchestration, or arrangement written during the third or fourth semester of the theory sequence. Computer notation and laser printing of the score are required. Both the composition itself and its notation will be assessed. The faculty must approve the selection of the composition to be submitted.
Students may fulfill the advanced writing proficiency requirement at any time after completing the history and theory sequences. First drafts are due in September of the senior year, and all subsequent revisions are to be completed before spring break of the senior year.
Senior Comprehensive Examination
The music comprehensive will focus your training in analysis, history, and music literature on a single solo or ensemble composition. You will present a theoretical and historical analysis of the piece or set of pieces to the faculty and other students in the department. In the event the faculty determines there are any deficiencies in the presentation, an oral examination over the materials will be scheduled, with only the student and music faculty members present. You must complete both the four-semester theory sequence and the two-semester music history sequence before starting your project, but may proceed at any point after that.
As a music major, you will enjoy a wealth of diverse performance and other experiential opportunities working with student composers, chamber ensembles, and various members of the surrounding musical community. Recital forums and the “Window on Music” series offer exposure to many music-related careers. Field experiences in local classrooms will prepare you to teach after graduation.
Students who earn the bachelor of music degree in music education have no trouble finding teaching positions in public or parochial schools immediately upon graduation. Students may elect to pursue the all-grade music certification (K-12, recommended), or focus on a specific level (elementary, middle level, secondary).