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Music at Kent State Stark

Music - B.A.

Kent State's Bachelor of Arts in Music program provides students with a well-rounded education in music theory, history and performance. With a variety of performance opportunities, experienced faculty and state-of-the-art facilities, this program prepares graduates for careers in music and beyond. Read more...

This program can be completed in its entirety at Kent State Stark.

Stark Contact

Sebastian Birch, D.M.A.
Associate Professor
Music 
118B Fine Arts
330-244-3359
sbirch@kent.edu

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Program Information

Program Description

Full Description

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Music gives music majors an opportunity to study music and liberal arts with an optional minor, available in most academic areas of the university, or as a dual degree program with a major in another field. Although not as music intensive as the Bachelor of Music (B.M.) degree, the B.A. degree includes study on a main instrument and ensemble participation throughout the program.

The Music major includes the following optional concentrations:

  • The Contemporary Popular Music concentration provides students the opportunity to study contemporary instruments such as electric guitar, electric bass and voice, as well as participate in a variety of styles including rock, pop, Motown and other popular styles.
  • The Jazz Studies concentration provides students the opportunity to study jazz improvisation, arranging and composing.
Admissions

Admission Requirements

The university affirmatively strives to provide educational opportunities and access to students with varied backgrounds, those with special talents and adult students who graduated from high school three or more years ago.

Admission to this major is selective. Students must audition before being admitted to the Music major. Inquiries can be directed to the coordinator of admissions and scholarships, School of Music, E-101 Music and Speech, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242-0001 (or call 330-672-2172).

For more information on admissions, including additional requirements for some academic programs, visit the admissions website for new freshmen and the admissions website for transfer, transitioning and former students.

International Students: All international students must provide proof of English language proficiency unless they meet specific exceptions. For more information, visit the admissions website for international students.

Learning Outcomes

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of music history and theory.
  2. Demonstrate high-level skills in recitals, ensembles or music research.
Coursework

Program Requirements

Major Requirements

Major Requirements (courses count in major GPA) (min C grade in all required courses)
MUS 11121THEORY I 4
MUS 11122THEORY II 4
MUS 21111THEORY III 4
MUS 21112THEORY IV 4
MUS 22111UNDERSTANDING WESTERN MUSIC (KFA) (music major section)3
MUS 22121MUSIC AS A WORLD PHENOMENON (DIVG) (KFA) (music major section)3
MUS 34111INTRODUCTION TO CONDUCTING 2
Piano Class, choose from the following: 12
MUS 17111
PIANO CLASS I
MUS 17112
PIANO CLASS II
MUS 27111
PIANO CLASS III
MUS 27112
PIANO CLASS IV
Major Ensemble, choose from the following: 21
MUS 45111
UNIVERSITY CHOIR
MUS 45141
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY CHORALE
MUS 45142
CORO CANTARE
MUS 45143
CANTIQUE
MUS 45212
ORCHESTRA
MUS 45221
SYMPHONY BAND
MUS 45223
WIND ENSEMBLE
Additional Requirements (courses do not count in major GPA)
CA 31300MUSIC CAREER DEVELOPMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP 2
UC 10001FLASHES 101 1
Kent Core Composition6
Kent Core Mathematics and Critical Reasoning3
Kent Core Humanities3
Kent Core Social Sciences (must be from two disciplines)6
Kent Core Basic Sciences (must include one laboratory)6-7
Kent Core Additional6
Non-Music (MUS) Electives33
Additional Requirements or Concentrations
Choose from the following:27
Minimum Total Credit Hours:120
1

Piano Class (2 credit hours): placement test required. Students who have piano as their main instrument and students placed into Applied Music-Piano replace with music (MUS) electives.

2

Major ensemble (eight separate semesters of music ensemble are required): Students must enroll in an ensemble appropriate to their major performance area. Students in the Contemporary Popular Music concentration take one semester of major ensemble and seven separate semesters of MUS 35213. Courses MUS 25011 and MUS 25225 can be used for major ensemble credit. Students in the Jazz Studies concentration take one semester of major ensemble and four semesters of MUS 45321 and four semesters of MUS 45312. Voice students in the Jazz Studies concentration replace MUS 45321 with MUS 45313.

Additional Requirements for Students Not Declaring a Concentration

Additional Requirements (courses count in major GPA) (min C grade required in all courses)
MUS 32211MUSIC HISTORY I 3
MUS 32212MUSIC HISTORY II (WIC) 3
Senior Recital or Research Electives, choose from the following:2
MUS 48598
MUSIC RESEARCH (ELR)
MUS 36XXX
Applied Music (Senior Recital) 1
Applied Music Electives, choose from the following: 212
MUS 21213
CLASS COMPOSITION I
MUS 21214
CLASS COMPOSITION II
MUS 36111
APPLIED MUSIC-PIANO 3
MUS 36311
APPLIED MUSIC-VOICE
MUS 36411
APPLIED MUSIC-VIOLIN
MUS 36412
APPLIED MUSIC-VIOLA
MUS 36413
APPLIED MUSIC-CELLO
MUS 36414
APPLIED MUSIC-DOUBLE BASS
MUS 36511
APPLIED MUSIC-FLUTE
MUS 36512
APPLIED MUSIC-OBOE
MUS 36513
APPLIED MUSIC-CLARINET
MUS 36514
APPLIED MUSIC-BASSOON
MUS 36515
APPLIED MUSIC-SAXOPHONE
MUS 36611
APPLIED MUSIC-TRUMPET
MUS 36612
APPLIED MUSIC-HORN
MUS 36613
APPLIED MUSIC-TROMBONE
MUS 36614
APPLIED MUSIC-EUPHONIUM
MUS 36615
APPLIED MUSIC-TUBA
MUS 36711
APPLIED MUSIC-PERCUSSION
MUS 36912
APPLIED MUSIC-GUITAR
Major Ensemble Electives, choose from the following: 47
MUS 45111
UNIVERSITY CHOIR
MUS 45141
KENT STATE UNIVERSITY CHORALE
MUS 45142
CORO CANTARE
MUS 45143
CANTIQUE
MUS 45212
ORCHESTRA
MUS 45221
SYMPHONY BAND
MUS 45223
WIND ENSEMBLE
Minimum Total Credit Hours:27
1

 The Senior Recital may be used to satisfy the Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR), with approval.

2

Applied Music: Students not declaring a concentration will need to take a total of 6 semesters and 12 credit hours of Applied Music or replace up to 2 semesters of applied music with MUS 21213 and MUS 21214. Based on instrument of music degree acceptance. Students must meet the 46000 entry level prior to graduation. The 46000 level may be taken following a successful 46000-level barrier exam. One semester of MUS 21213 can replace one semester of MUS 31211

3

Piano Class (2 credit hours): placement test required. Students who have piano as their main instrument and students placed into applied Music-Piano replace with music (MUS) electives. 

4

Major ensemble (8 separate semesters of music ensemble are required): Students must enroll in a major ensemble appropriate to their major performance area.

Contemporary Popular Music Concentration Requirements

Concentration Requirements (courses count in major GPA) (min C grade required in all courses)
MUS 21341CONTEMPORARY POPULAR MUSIC THEORY 13
MUS 35213STUDIO ENSEMBLE 17
MUS 36913APPLIED STUDIO MUSICIANSHIP 22
or MUS 48598 MUSIC RESEARCH (ELR)
MUS 42165HISTORY OF CONTEMPORARY POPULAR MUSIC (DIVD) (WIC) 3
Composition or Applied Studio Musicianship Electives, choose from the following: 38
MUS 31211
COMPOSITION 4
MUS 36913
APPLIED STUDIO MUSICIANSHIP 1
MUS 36914
ELECTRIC GUITAR APPLIED STUDIO MUSICIANSHIP 1, 5
MUS 36915
ELECTRIC BASS APPLIED STUDIO MUSICIANSHIP 1, 5
MUS 36916
DRUM SET PERCUSSION APPLIED STUDIO MUSICIANSHIP 1
MUS 36917
KEYBOARD APPLIED STUDIO MUSICIANSHIP 1
MUS 36918
CONTEMPORARY VOICE APPLIED STUDIO MUSICIANSHIP 1
MUS 36919
FLUTE APPLIED STUDIO MUSICIANSHIP 1
MUS 36920
CLARINET APPLIED STUDIO MUSICIANSHIP 1
MUS 36921
SAXOPHONE APPLIED STUDIO MUSICIANSHIP 1
MUS 36922
TRUMPET APPLIED STUDIO MUSICIANSHIP 1
MUS 36923
HORN APPLIED STUDIO MUSICIANSHIP 1
MUS 36924
TROMBONE APPLIED STUDIO MUSICIANSHIP 1
Applied Music Electives, choose from the following:4
MUS 36111
APPLIED MUSIC-PIANO
MUS 36311
APPLIED MUSIC-VOICE
MUS 36414
APPLIED MUSIC-DOUBLE BASS
MUS 36511
APPLIED MUSIC-FLUTE
MUS 36512
APPLIED MUSIC-OBOE
MUS 36513
APPLIED MUSIC-CLARINET
MUS 36514
APPLIED MUSIC-BASSOON
MUS 36515
APPLIED MUSIC-SAXOPHONE
MUS 36611
APPLIED MUSIC-TRUMPET
MUS 36612
APPLIED MUSIC-HORN
MUS 36613
APPLIED MUSIC-TROMBONE
MUS 36614
APPLIED MUSIC-EUPHONIUM
MUS 36615
APPLIED MUSIC-TUBA
MUS 36711
APPLIED MUSIC-PERCUSSION
MUS 36912
APPLIED MUSIC-GUITAR
Minimum Total Credit Hours:27
1

Only available at the Stark Campus. 

2

MUS 36913 Applied Studio Musicianship (Senior Recital) may be used to satisfy the Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR), with approval.

3

Applied Music: Students in the Contemporary Popular Music concentration must take 2 semesters and 4 credit hours of Applied Music and 8 credit hours of MUS 36913, MUS 36914, MUS 36915, MUS 36916, MUS 36917, MUS 36918, MUS 36919, MUS 36920, MUS 36921, MUS 36922, MUS 36923, MUS 36924 or MUS 31211 (one semester of MUS 21213 can be included). Students must also meet the 46000 entry level prior to graduation, the 46000 level may be taken following a successful 46000-level barrier exam.

4

One semester of MUS 21213 can replace one semester of MUS 31211.

5

Electric Guitar and Electric Bass students, based upon the audition, can be placed in either MUS 16914 or MUS 16915. Upon successful completion of two semesters of MUS 16914/MUS 16915 students continue with applied study as indicated in footnote 3.

Jazz Studies Concentration Requirements

Concentration Requirements (courses count in major GPA) (min C grade require in all courses)
ENGR 31000CULTURAL DYNAMICS TECHNOLOGY (DIVD) (WIC) 3
MUS 17013FUNDAMENTALS OF JAZZ PIANO 1
MUS 36011APPLIED MUSIC - JAZZ 14
MUS 36011APPLIED MUSIC - JAZZ 22
or MUS 48598 MUSIC RESEARCH (ELR)
MUS 41341JAZZ IMPROVISATION I 1
MUS 41342JAZZ COMPOSING AND ARRANGING 2
MUS 41351JAZZ IMPROVISATION II 1
MUS 42162JAZZ STYLES AND ANALYSIS 3
MUS 45231JAZZ ENSEMBLE 34
or MUS 45313 NOVA JAZZ SINGERS
MUS 45312JAZZ COMBO DEVELOPMENT 34
Applied Music Electives, choose from the following: 12
MUS 36111
APPLIED MUSIC-PIANO 1
MUS 36311
APPLIED MUSIC-VOICE
MUS 36411
APPLIED MUSIC-VIOLIN
MUS 36412
APPLIED MUSIC-VIOLA
MUS 36413
APPLIED MUSIC-CELLO
MUS 36414
APPLIED MUSIC-DOUBLE BASS
MUS 36511
APPLIED MUSIC-FLUTE
MUS 36512
APPLIED MUSIC-OBOE
MUS 36513
APPLIED MUSIC-CLARINET
MUS 36514
APPLIED MUSIC-BASSOON
MUS 36515
APPLIED MUSIC-SAXOPHONE
MUS 36611
APPLIED MUSIC-TRUMPET
MUS 36612
APPLIED MUSIC-HORN
MUS 36613
APPLIED MUSIC-TROMBONE
MUS 36614
APPLIED MUSIC-EUPHONIUM
MUS 36615
APPLIED MUSIC-TUBA
MUS 36711
APPLIED MUSIC-PERCUSSION
MUS 36912
APPLIED MUSIC-GUITAR
Minimum Total Credit Hours:27
1

Applied Music: Students in the Jazz Studies concentration must take one semester and 2 credit hours of Applied Music and two semesters and 4 credit hours of MUS 36011.

2

MUS 36011 Applied Music Jazz (Senior Recital) may be used to satisfy the Experiential Learning Requirement (ELR), with approval.

3

Major Ensemble (8 separate semesters of music ensemble are required): Students in the Jazz Studies concentration take one semester of major ensemble and 4 semesters of MUS 45231 and 4 semesters of MUS 45312. Voice students in the Jazz Studies concentration replace MUS 45321 with MUS 45313.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum Major GPA Minimum Overall GPA
2.250 2.000
  • Completion of the Major Field Test (MFT) in music history and music theory during senior year (specific score level achievement is not required)
  • Minimum C grade in all music courses
  • Completion of a senior recital or MUS 48598
  • Attendance at minimum 80 concerts or recitals for students who begin the program as first semester freshmen (students who transferred from a non-music program or university must attend an average of 10 music concerts or recitals for semesters of full time enrollment)
  • MUS 11110 , MUS 11111, MUS 16914 and MUS 16915 will not count as credit for graduation in this program
Roadmap

Roadmaps

Music Major (No Concentration)

This roadmap is a recommended semester-by-semester plan of study for this major. However, courses designated as critical (!) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester OneCredits
!MUS 11121 THEORY I 4
!MUS 22111 UNDERSTANDING WESTERN MUSIC (KFA) 3
!MUS 36XXX Applied Music2
UC 10001 FLASHES 101 1
!Major Ensemble Elective 1
Kent Core Requirement 3
 Credit Hours14
Semester Two
!MUS 11122 THEORY II 4
!MUS 22121 MUSIC AS A WORLD PHENOMENON (DIVG) (KFA) 3
!MUS 36XXX Applied Music2
!Major Ensemble Elective 1
Kent Core Requirement 3
Kent Core Requirement 3
 Credit Hours16
Semester Three
!MUS 21111 THEORY III 4
!MUS 36XXX Applied Music2
!Major Ensemble Elective 1
Kent Core Requirement 3
Kent Core Requirement 3
Non-Music Electives 3
 Credit Hours16
Semester Four
!MUS 21112 THEORY IV 4
!MUS 36XXX Applied Music2
!Major Ensemble Elective 1
Piano Class Elective 1-2
Kent Core Requirement 3
Non-Music Electives 3
 Credit Hours14
Semester Five
CA 31300 MUSIC CAREER DEVELOPMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP 2
!MUS 32211 MUSIC HISTORY I 3
MUS 34111 INTRODUCTION TO CONDUCTING 2
!MUS 36XXX Applied Music2
!Major Ensemble Elective 1
Piano Class Elective 0-1
Kent Core Requirement 3
Non-Music Electives 1
 Credit Hours15
Semester Six
!MUS 32212 MUSIC HISTORY II (WIC) 3
!MUS 36XXX Applied Music2
!Major Ensemble Elective 1
Kent Core Requirement 3
Non-Music Electives 6
 Credit Hours15
Semester Seven
!Major Ensemble Elective 1
Senior Recital or Research Elective 2
Kent Core Requirement 3
Non-Music Electives 10
 Credit Hours16
Semester Eight
Successful completion of a major-field achievement test in music history and music theory.  
!Major Ensemble Elective 1
Kent Core Requirement 3
Non-Music Electives 10
 Credit Hours14
 Minimum Total Credit Hours:120
 

Contemporary Popular Music Concentration

This roadmap is a recommended semester-by-semester plan of study for this major. However, courses designated as critical (!) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester OneCredits
!MUS 11121 THEORY I 4
!MUS 22111 UNDERSTANDING WESTERN MUSIC (KFA) 3
UC 10001 FLASHES 101 1
Applied Music Electives 2
!Major Ensemble or MUS 35213 1
Kent Core Requirement 3
 Credit Hours14
Semester Two
!MUS 11122 THEORY II 4
!MUS 22121 MUSIC AS A WORLD PHENOMENON (DIVG) (KFA) 3
Applied Music Electives 2
!Major Ensemble or MUS 35213 1
Kent Core Requirement 3
Kent Core Requirement 3
 Credit Hours16
Semester Three
!MUS 21111 THEORY III 4
!Composition or Applied Studio Musicianship Elective 2
!Major Ensemble or MUS 35213 1
Kent Core Requirement 3
Kent Core Requirement 3
Non-Music Electives 3
 Credit Hours16
Semester Four
!MUS 21112 THEORY IV 4
!Composition or Applied Studio Musicianship Elective 2
!Major Ensemble or MUS 35213 1
Piano Class Elective 1-2
Kent Core Requirement 3
Non-Music Elecctives 3
 Credit Hours14
Semester Five
CA 31300 MUSIC CAREER DEVELOPMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP 2
!MUS 21341 CONTEMPORARY POPULAR MUSIC THEORY 3
MUS 34111 INTRODUCTION TO CONDUCTING 2
!Composition or Applied Studio Musicianship Elective 2
!Major Ensemble or MUS 35213 1
Piano Class Elective 0-1
Kent Core Requirement 3
Non-Music Electives 1
 Credit Hours15
Semester Six
!Composition or Applied Studio Musicianship Elective 2
!Major Ensemble or MUS 35213 1
Kent Core Requirement 3
Non-Music Electives 9
 Credit Hours15
Semester Seven
MUS 36913
or MUS 48598
APPLIED STUDIO MUSICIANSHIP
or MUSIC RESEARCH (ELR)
2
MUS 42165 HISTORY OF CONTEMPORARY POPULAR MUSIC (DIVD) (WIC) 3
!Major Ensemble or MUS 35213 1
Kent Core Requirement 3
Non-Music Electives 7
 Credit Hours16
Semester Eight
Successful completion of a major-field achievement test in music history and music theory.  
!Major Ensemble or MUS 35213 1
Kent Core Requirement 3
Non-Music Electives 10
 Credit Hours14
 Minimum Total Credit Hours:120
 

Jazz Studies Concentration

This roadmap is a recommended semester-by-semester plan of study for this major. However, courses designated as critical (!) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester OneCredits
!MUS 11121 THEORY I 4
!MUS 22111 UNDERSTANDING WESTERN MUSIC (KFA) 3
MUS 41341 JAZZ IMPROVISATION I 1
MUS 45231
or MUS 45312
or MUS 45313
JAZZ ENSEMBLE
or JAZZ COMBO DEVELOPMENT
or NOVA JAZZ SINGERS
1
UC 10001 FLASHES 101 1
Applied Music Elective 2
Kent Core Requirement 3
 Credit Hours15
Semester Two
!MUS 11122 THEORY II 4
!MUS 22121 MUSIC AS A WORLD PHENOMENON (DIVG) (KFA) 3
MUS 45231
or MUS 45312
or MUS 45313
JAZZ ENSEMBLE
or JAZZ COMBO DEVELOPMENT
or NOVA JAZZ SINGERS
1
Applied Music Elective 2
Piano Class Elective 1
Kent Core Requirement 3
 Credit Hours14
Semester Three
!MUS 21111 THEORY III 4
MUS 45231
or MUS 45312
or MUS 45313
JAZZ ENSEMBLE
or JAZZ COMBO DEVELOPMENT
or NOVA JAZZ SINGERS
1
Piano Class Elective 1
Kent Core Requirement 3
Kent Core Requirement 3
Non-Music Electives 3
 Credit Hours15
Semester Four
MUS 17013 FUNDAMENTALS OF JAZZ PIANO 1
!MUS 21112 THEORY IV 4
MUS 41351 JAZZ IMPROVISATION II 1
MUS 45231
or MUS 45312
or MUS 45313
JAZZ ENSEMBLE
or JAZZ COMBO DEVELOPMENT
or NOVA JAZZ SINGERS
1
Kent Core Requirement 3
Kent Core Requirement 3
Non-Music Elecctives 3
 Credit Hours16
Semester Five
CA 31300 MUSIC CAREER DEVELOPMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP 2
MUS 34111 INTRODUCTION TO CONDUCTING 2
MUS 42162 JAZZ STYLES AND ANALYSIS 3
MUS 45231
or MUS 45312
or MUS 45313
JAZZ ENSEMBLE
or JAZZ COMBO DEVELOPMENT
or NOVA JAZZ SINGERS
1
Kent Core Requirement 3
Kent Core Requirement 3
Non-Music Electives 1
 Credit Hours15
Semester Six
MUS 41342 JAZZ COMPOSING AND ARRANGING 2
MUS 45231
or MUS 45312
or MUS 45313
JAZZ ENSEMBLE
or JAZZ COMBO DEVELOPMENT
or NOVA JAZZ SINGERS
1
Applied Music Elective 2
Kent Core Requirement 3
Non-Music Electives 6
 Credit Hours14
Semester Seven
MUS 36011
or MUS 48598
APPLIED MUSIC - JAZZ
or MUSIC RESEARCH (ELR)
2
MUS 45231
or MUS 45312
or MUS 45313
JAZZ ENSEMBLE
or JAZZ COMBO DEVELOPMENT
or NOVA JAZZ SINGERS
1
Kent Core Requirement 3
Non-Music Electives 10
 Credit Hours16
Semester Eight
Successful completion of a major-field achievement test in music history and music theory.  
ENGR 31000 CULTURAL DYNAMICS TECHNOLOGY (DIVD) (WIC) 3
MUS 45231
or MUS 45312
or MUS 45313
JAZZ ENSEMBLE
or JAZZ COMBO DEVELOPMENT
or NOVA JAZZ SINGERS
1
Major Ensemble Elective 1
Non-Music Electives 10
 Credit Hours15
 Minimum Total Credit Hours:120
Program Delivery
  • Delivery:
    • In person
  • Location:
    • Kent Campus
    • Stark Campus (Contemporary Popular Music concentration only)
Accreditation

National Association of Schools of Music

Become a Music Major at Stark

  1. Apply for admission to Kent State Stark and submit all required documentation.
  2. After you've been admitted, register for a music placement & audition.

For information on applying for a $2,000 Betty J. Clementz Music Scholarship available to incoming music majors, contact Dr. Sebastian Birch at sbirch@kent.edu.
 

Examples of Possible Careers and Salaries

Musicians and singers

0.9%

little or no change

175,600

number of jobs

$N/A

potential earnings

Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education

3.8%

about as fast as the average

1,050,800

number of jobs

$62,870

potential earnings

Additional Careers
  • Music and singing teachers, community college, colleges & universities, art institutes

Notice:

* Source of occupation titles and labor data comes from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Data comprises projected percent change in employment over the next 10 years; nation-wide employment numbers; and the yearly median wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less.