M.M. Conducting | School of Music | Kent State University

The Master of Music – Conducting degree is designed for current teachers of middle, junior and senior high school music ensemble programs, for professional church musicians, and for pre-professionals such as students continuing after completing undergraduate degrees. The latter are preparing for entering teaching at the secondary or college level, entering the professional conducting market or students who plan to pursue a DMA or PhD program in conducting.

The degree emphasizes development of skills, knowledge and background in the following areas: literature and repertoire; conducting technique; rehearsal techniques; score study; choral and/or instrumental performance pedagogy; historical performance practices; interpretation and expression. Students can specialize in Orchestral, Band and Choral areas - audition and contact information can be found here. 

Admission Requirements

  • Official transcript(s)
  • 3.0 GPA
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of career goals
  • Resumé
  • Audition

Outcomes/Objectives

Literature and repertoire

Students are able to recognize, identify, interpret and conduct representative literature from different historical periods, countries and composers.

Conducting technique

Students demonstrate and apply advanced conducting techniques including baton technique, use of hands/arms, facial expressions and body language.

Rehearsal techniques

Students demonstrate the ability to plan and execute an efficient and productive rehearsal including time management, setting achievable goals, ability to detect and correct errors, providing motivation and inspiration for expressive performance and focused work ethic.

Score study

Students utilize and discuss score study techniques such as keyboard score reading, transposition of instruments, instrumental/vocal score order, compositional structure, analysis of chord and melodic structures and audiation skills.

Vocal and/or instrumental performance pedagogy

Students identify, explain and utilize performance pedagogy appropriate to the specific vocal or instrumental area of study.

Historical performance practices

Students identify, associate, differentiate and utilize performance practices appropriate to the literature of the various stylistic periods.

Interpretation and expression

Students display interpretation and expression in music through discussion in conducting lessons, explanation in rehearsals and demonstration in rehearsal and performance settings through conducting gestures and the resulting musical product.

Oral examination

Students take a two-hour comprehensive oral examination administered by a faculty committee covering the specific degree area, music history and music theory.

Course information and program requirements can be found by visiting the University Catalog.