James Madison University School of Music

Master of Music Degree Programs

The School of Music at JMU offers a Master of Music degree with concentration options in performance, music education, composition, and conducting. The program seeks to assure an opportunity for the highest degree of musical development and professional training for each student, appropriate for careers in teaching performance and composition of music. The School of Music is a full member of the National Association of Schools of Music. Apply online today!

If you would like more information about the Graduate Music Program, then download the JMU School of Music Graduate Studies Handbook. It requires Adobe Reader.


The Music Performance program is offered in all orchestral instruments, voice, and piano. Performance majors will specialize in activities that develop the technical mastery and musical maturity essential to the instrument or voice. The curriculum combines studio study, solo and ensemble performance opportunities and pedagogical knowledge. A minimum of 30 hours is required including a recital or lecture/recital.

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Music Education

At the graduate level, the School of Music offers a Master of Music degree with a concentration in music education. All music students take a course in library research and a core of performance, theory and literature courses. Music education students examine the foundation and principles underlying the profession of music education and develop both the scholarly and technical abilities essential to a continuing development as teachers and leaders. Advanced training in the student's area of specialization (vocal/choral or instrumental music education) is available. A variety of summer workshops which may be applied to the program are available. The program prepares students to return to the classroom, assume expanded responsibilities in music supervision or continue with graduate study. A thesis or document serves as the culminating project of the program.

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The Composition program places strong emphasis on the development of personal creative style, while stressing the concepts of form, harmony, counterpoint and orchestration. Student composers will immerse themselves in the techniques and aesthetics of musical creation and will become aware, through intensive examination, of the music and musical thought of all style periods, especially that of the present and immediate past. A minimum of 30 hours is required including a composition project.

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Conducting majors will undertake a comprehensive study of the literature of their medium, develop advanced insights into the musical ideas and structure of the major works, and refine their conducting and rehearsal skills. The minimum requirement for a conducting concentration is 32 hours which includes a lecture/recital.