School of Music

Dr. Mellasenah Y. Morris, Director


Berneking, Choi, Cross, J. Cryder, S. Cryder, Estock, Hilliard, Kluesner, Lance, Little, McPherson, M. Morris, Mossblad, Noe, Rice, Rooney

Associate Professors

Ashby, Brady, Gilliam, Hiatt, Kehlenbrink, McCashin, McEnderfer, Ruple, R. Smith, Stees, Tynes, D. Watkins

Assistant Professor



Crawley, Douglas, Kirkdorffer

Adjunct Instructors

Fishell, T. Johnson, K. Stevens

Course Descriptions:
Applied Music Instruction, Music Education, Music and Music Industry

The School of Music at JMU is strongly committed to the highest level of musical training. A significant emphasis is placed on developing professional level musicianship skills. To fulfill this mission, a major focus of all curricular programs is excellence in performance which includes a solid grounding in the theoretical, historical and stylistic aspects of music. Graduates of our programs are prepared to be outstanding music teachers, professionals in the music industry, performers and composers.

The School of Music offers specific programs leading to professional careers in music and provides opportunities for students to study music for personal enrichment. It offers the Bachelor of Music degree in composition, performance, music industry emphasis and music education. The performance degree includes instrumental, keyboard and vocal concentrations. Music education degree concentrations are instrumental and vocal. Minors in music, music industry and jazz studies also are invaluable for students interested in continuing their musical development while pursuing a major in another field.

An important part of the mission of the School of Music is to provide the campus community and Shenandoah Valley area a variety of cultural benefits with on- and off-campus music performances throughout the year. These performances include faculty and student recitals, concerts by the numerous musical ensembles within the school, and performances, clinics and workshops by visiting artists.

Students who do not plan to major or minor in music may elect to enroll in many of the courses, including performing organizations offered by the school, provided the prerequisites have been met. Applied or group lessons are available through audition with the appropriate music faculty members at the time of registration.

The School of Music is an accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

Admission and Retention Requirements


Students choosing to major in music must possess the necessary background and experience in the performance medium they elect for their major and display sufficient musical talent to indicate promise in their field.

Although students desiring admission to James Madison University must follow the usual procedure for admission by submitting an application to the admissions office, no student will be accepted as a music major until an audition, music theory exam and piano placement test are successfully completed. Information regarding these requirements can be secured from the music admissions coordinator in the School of Music.

Auditions, music tests and interviews are scheduled on the university campus during the first part of the spring semester. Specific dates are established early in the school year and are announced to high school music teachers, guidance counselors and prospective music students upon request.

All candidates are expected to perform the entrance audition on one of the scheduled audition dates. Special appointments are not encouraged and will only be arranged when students find it impossible to appear for scheduled auditions because of serious conflicts. Because it is often difficult to assess a student's ability through a taped performance, only students who live at great distances are encouraged to send audition tapes. All tapes submitted must be high quality recordings and demonstrate the student's ability. Candidates who do not appear at scheduled auditions must take the music tests during summer orientation/registration or during the fall registration period.

The audition should reveal the student's highest level of musical attainment. Appropriate literature in at least two varying styles and tempos are suggested so that an accurate evaluation of the candidate's ability can be made. The piano and theory tests primarily are used to determine class-level placement.

An information packet containing audition guidelines, an audition application and other pertinent materials will be sent to prospective music majors upon request. Packets may be obtained from the School of Music office or by writing or calling the music admissions coordinator in the School of Music, Music Building.


Students admitted as music majors must meet school standards, as published in the School of Music Student Handbook, if they are to continue. To ensure that these standards are met, the Music Academic Review Committee examines each music major's progress each semester according to the policies stated in the handbook.

School of Music Student Handbook

For more detailed information on student advice, student affairs, scholarships, recital performance requirements, ensemble participation, recital and concert attendance, reviews and juries, piano proficiencies, and curricula, students should refer to the School of Music Undergraduate Student Handbook which is available upon request from the School of Music office.

Music Degree Requirements

All music majors must complete the liberal studies program and a 25 credit-hour core program of music courses common to all Bachelor of Music degree major curricula. The remaining hours are specified under each of the various majors and concentrations.

Ensemble participation, one major ensemble each semester except in the professional semester, is also required for a total of seven or eight credits. All music students should enroll in class piano each semester until requirements appropriate to their specific degree or concentration have been met. Graduating seniors are expected to participate in assessment activities including assessment day.

Attendance at recitals and concerts is a vital part of the education of a musician. It should contribute to the breadth of students' knowledge of music literature. Hearing performances also allows students to observe performing techniques from the student level to the professional. To assure an appropriate amount of experience in this area of musical development, undergraduate music majors are required to attend a minimum of 20 recitals per semester for six semesters, totaling 120 attendances during their degree studies. Registration for MUS 195 must continue each semester until this requirement has
been fulfilled.

Basic Music Core for All Majors

Music majors must earn a minimum grade of "C" in all music courses required for their degree. Required music courses without a "C" minimum must be repeated until "C" or higher is earned.

Choose one of the following: 1
MUS 101. Elementary Class Piano
(required for music industry majors and prerequisite for MUS 202-303)
MUS 303. Class Piano (all music majors
except music industry)
MUS 141-142. Theory I: Writing and Analysis 6
MUS 143-144. Theory I: Aural Perception 2
and Analysis
MUS 195. Recital Attendance (six semesters) 0
MUS 241-242. Theory II: Writing and Analysis 6
MUS 243-244. Theory II: Aural Perception 2
and Analysis
MUS 317. Basic Conducting 2
MUS 365-366. Music History 6

The freshman year of study shares a common curriculum for all concentrations. The year is devoted to courses from the basic music core requirements, liberal studies courses, ensemble participation and applied study in the student's major applied area. A typical freshman course of study might be:

First Semester Hours
Choose one of the following: 1
MUS 100-101. Elementary Class Piano
MUS 202-303. Class Piano
MUS 141. Theory I: Writing and Analysis Techniques 3
MUS 143. Theory I: Aural Perception and Analysis 1
MUS 195. Recital Attendance 0
Applied music major course 2
Music ensemble course 1-2
Liberal studies electives 6
Second Semester Hours
Choose one of the following: 1
MUS 101. Elementary Class Piano
MUS 202-303. Class Piano
MUS 142. Theory I: Writing and Analysis Techniques 3
MUS 144. Theory I, Aural Perception and Analysis 1
MUS 195. Recital Attendance 0
Applied music major course 2
Music ensemble course 1-2
Liberal studies electives 6

Continue School of Music

College of Arts and Letters Directory

Undergraduate Catalog Contents

1996-97 Undergraduate Catalog
Last reviewed: 30 November 1996
Information Publisher: Division of Academic Affairs
James Madison University