May 25, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music, Pedagogy, M.M.

The Masters in Performance / Pedagogy is for students who wish to prepare for, or are involved in a career in applied studio teaching. The program focuses on the development of teaching techniques and performance skills. Specific areas of pedagogy study include comparison of teaching methods and repertory. The program includes a supervised teaching internship.

Program Requirements

This program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours and a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

For piano pedagogy majors:

*If the student has already taken two semesters of piano literature in undergraduate studies, then MUS 563 - Topics in Keyboard Studies  may be substituted.

Depending on area of study, one of the following:

Information for Matriculated Students

Graduate Competency Exams

All incoming School of Music graduate students must pass a competency exam in music theory/ear training prior to enrollment in MUS 530, Seminar in Music Theory. This exam will be graded pass/fail and may be taken no more than three times. Students unable to pass after three attempts must withdraw from the program.

Special Requirements and Standards

All music graduate programs must be completed within six years from the date of matriculation.

Students must maintain a B average in all coursework and must have no grade lower than B-. Students who receive grades lower than B- will be reviewed for retention in the graduate program.

Each program requires that students demonstrate mastery in their primary area of study. Students meet this requirement through the presentation of a lecture-recital or thesis. Consult the individual requirements below for more details.

The following conditions will apply to all recitals, lecture recitals, and thesis projects in pedagogy:

  • Required final project must be presented after successful completion of the comprehensive exams.
  • Grading of the lecture-recital or thesis will be by a committee of at least two jurors. The jurors will be drawn from the graduate faculty.
  • The candidate must receive a grade of B or higher on the final project.

Final Project

Lecture-Recital: A 45 - 60 minute Lecture-Recital based on a topic of the student’s discretion with approval of the applied teacher. A copy of the lecture-recital document must be submitted for review before the public presentation.


An extensive Thesis based on a pedagogy topic to be agreed on by the program director and student.

Note: The student in the Masters of Music Program / Pedagogy may elect to present a non-required Recital with the approval of the Applied teacher after the 3rd semester of study is achieved.

Transfer credit

Six graduate credits may be transferred to USM from another NASM-accredited college or university.

Admissions credit

Additionally no more than six graduate credits for work earned at USM in the five years prior to matriculation may be credited to the master’s degree.


No residency is required for the pedagogy program.

Exit Requirements

Pedagogy majors must present a Final Project, a forty-five (45) to sixty (60) minute lecture recital or a thesis based on a pedagogical topic. The selection of an appropriate final project will be made in collaboration with the applied area teacher and program advisor.

In addition to the required Final Project and associated written documents, candidates will be required to complete a written or oral examination in which they will be prepared to discuss topics and answer questions in their field. The exit examination will be scheduled through the appropriate full-time faculty member.