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Department of Music

The Department of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music and offers three degree programs: a bachelor of music in performance with piano, organ, voice, guitar or orchestra/band instruments as the major area of concentration; a bachelor of music education (K-12), with the teaching of music as the major area of concentration; and a bachelor of arts in music. In the music education program, the student may prepare for a teaching career in either vocal or instrumental music or a combination of the two. The music education programs are certified by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Mission Statement

The Saint Xavier University Department of Music offers quality music programs, grounded in the liberal arts tradition, which prepare music students for careers in the field of music. The Music Department provides a supportive learning environment that promotes the attainment of knowledge and artistic expression within a broad cultural context serving the university and surrounding community with a variety of cultural opportunities and educational activities.

Bachelor of Music Degrees

Purpose - Students enrolled in a professional undergraduate degree in music are expected to develop a range of knowledge, skills, concepts, and sensitivities essential to the professional life of a musician which include: technical competence; broad knowledge of music and music literature; the ability to integrate musical knowledge and skills; sensitivity to musical styles; and an insight into the role of music in intellectual and cultural life.

Common Learning Objectives for Bachelor of Music Degrees

  1. Performance - Students will acquire technical skills, musicianship and understanding of the repertory requisite for artistic self-expression in at least one major performance area at a level appropriate for the particular degree program.
  2. Musicianship Skills and Analysis - Students will understand the common elements and organizational patterns of music and their interactions as it relates to aural, verbal and visual analyses.
  3. Composition/Improvisation - Students will acquire technical skills in creating original or derivative music.
  4. History and Repertory - Students will acquire knowledge of music history and repertories through the present time including musical repertoires beyond those of the primary culture of the area of specialization.
  5. Synthesis - Students will be able to synthesize a broad range of musical knowledge and skills (performance, analysis, composition, and history and repertory) to evaluate and respond to musical issues appropriate to the particular degree program.

Specific Learning Objectives for the Bachelor of Music in Performance Degree

  1. Students will develop comprehensive capabilities in their major performing medium including the ability to work independently to prepare performances at the highest possible level.
  2. Students will develop knowledge of applicable solo and ensemble literature and orientation to and experience with the fundamentals of pedagogy.
  3. Students will develop musicianship skills through solo and ensemble performances in a variety of formal and informal settings.
  4. Students will develop the ability to perform in recital advanced solo repertoire appropriate to their performing medium.
  5. Vocal performance students will develop capabilities in the study and use of foreign languages and diction.

Specific Learning Objectives for the Bachelor of Music in Music Education Degree

Music Competencies

  1. The prospective music teacher will develop skills to be a competent conductor, able to create accurate and musically expressive performances with various types of performing groups and in the general classroom situation.
  2. The prospective music teacher will develop skills to be able to arrange and adapt music from a variety of sources to meet the needs and ability levels of individuals, school performing groups, and in classroom situations.
  3. The prospective music teacher, in addition to the skills required for all musicians, will develop functional performance abilities in keyboard and voice. Functional performance abilities in instruments appropriate to the student's teaching specialization are also essential.
  4. The prospective music teacher will be able to apply analytical and historical knowledge to curriculum development, lesson planning and daily classroom and performance activities; relating their understanding of music with respect to styles, literature, multiple cultural sources, and historical development, both in general and as related to their area(s) of specialization.
  5. The prospective music teacher will develop necessary competencies (musicianship, vocal, keyboard and pedagogical skills, knowledge of content, methodologies, philosophies, materials, technologies and curriculum development) to teach music.

Teaching Competencies

  1. The prospective music teacher will develop the ability to teach music at various levels to different age groups and in a variety of classroom and ensemble settings in ways that develop knowledge of how music works syntactically as a communication medium and developmentally as an agent of civilization. This set of abilities includes effective classroom and rehearsal management.
  2. The prospective music teacher will develop an understanding of child growth and development and principles of learning as they relate to music.
  3. The prospective music teacher will develop the ability to assess aptitudes, experiential backgrounds, orientations of individuals and groups of students, and the nature of subject matter, and to plan educational programs to meet assessed needs.
  4. The prospective music teacher will develop knowledge of current methods, materials, and repertories available in various fields of music education appropriate to the teaching specialization.
  5. The prospective music teacher will develop the ability to accept, amend, or reject methods and materials based on personal assessment of specific teaching situations.
  6. The prospective music teacher will develop an understanding of evaluative techniques and ability to apply them in assessing both the musical progress of students and the objectives and procedures of the curriculum.

Specialization Competencies

Vocal/Choral Music:

  1. The vocal/choral teaching specialist will develop sufficient vocal and pedagogical skills to teach individually and in groups the effective use of the voice.
  2. The vocal/choral teaching specialist will develop knowledge of content, methodologies, philosophies, materials, technologies, and curriculum development for vocal/choral music.
  3. The vocal/choral teaching specialist will develop sufficient performance ability on at least one instrument as a teaching tool and to provide, transpose, and improvise accompaniments.
  4. The vocal/choral teaching specialist will develop knowledge of appropriate repertoire through participation in large and small choral ensembles.

Instrumental Music:

  1. The instrumental teaching specialist will develop knowledge of and performance ability on wind, string, and percussion instruments sufficient to teach beginning students effectively in groups or individually.
  2. The instrumental teaching specialist will develop knowledge of content, methodologies, philosophies, materials, technologies, and curriculum development for instrumental music.
  3. The instrumental teaching specialist will develop knowledge of appropriate repertoire through participation in large and small instrumental ensembles.

Bachelor of Arts in Music Degree

Purpose - Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Music degree will develop a wide range of knowledge, skills, and competencies expected of those holding a liberal arts degree in music.

Learning Objectives for the Bachelor of Arts in Music

  1. Performance – Students will develop knowledge and skills in one or more areas of music beyond basic musicianship at a level consistent with the liberal arts degree; and will understand procedures for realizing a variety of musical styles.
  2. Musicianship – Students will develop the ability to hear, identify, and work conceptually with the elements of music and read and realize musical notation.
  3. Composition – Students will understand compositional processes, aesthetic properties of style and the ways these shape and are shaped by artistic and cultural forces.
  4. History and Repertory – Students will be acquainted with a wide selection of musical literature, the principal eras, genres and cultural sources.
  5. Synthesis – Students will acquire abilities in developing and defending musical judgments.

The Non-Music Major

Students not enrolled in a music degree program may develop individual performance skills through private instruction in voice or instruments. Study in these areas is contingent upon current enrollment in a University ensemble (see below) and intermediate playing experience. Vocal Technique (MUS 103), Guitar Class (MUS 104), and Piano Class (MUS 107) are required prior to registration in applied music at the 200-level in these areas.

In addition, numerous opportunities are provided for qualified students to participate in a wide variety of performance organizations including: University Chorale,University Chamber Singers, University Women's Ensemble, University Men's Ensemble, Opera Workshop, University Orchestra, University Band, Flute Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, Saxophone Ensemble and Chamber Music Ensemble. Non-majors may apply credit earned in these courses toward the University "Literature and Fine Arts" requirement.

The courses offered to the general student by the Department of Music are designed to:

  1. Provide an opportunity for every student to explore the resources for personal enrichment to be found in music.
  2. Provide alternative areas of study to students in their quest to become liberally educated persons.
  3. Contribute to the cultural life of the University and the community.

Full-Time Faculty

G. Coutts, Chair; J. Bickel; P. Lee; J. Malecki

Entrance Requirements

Music Major (Incoming Freshman)

  1. Previous experience in music activities at the high school level.
  2. Successful performance audition, including an evaluation of sight reading skills and tonal memory.
  3. Letter of recommendation from high school music teacher or private instructor.
  4. Theory placement exam.
  5. Keyboard skills placement.

Music Major (Transfer Student)

  1. Successful performance audition, including an evaluation of sight reading skills and tonal memory.
  2. Theory placement exam regardless of other theory courses completed.
  3. Keyboard skills placement.
  4. Exams in music history, conducting, vocal technique, methods courses for acceptance of credit from other institutions and/or placement in appropriate levels of study.

Admission to the Department

All students in the Music Department are considered "music major candidates" until formal application and acceptance status into the department has been completed. Students must apply for formal admittance to the department after completion of four (4) semesters of study as a music major candidate. Applications are available from the chair of the Music Department or the department office manager. Transfer students must see the chair for exact date of application, as each case is different. Students who are not admitted after the second attempt may petition the music faculty for a third and final attempt at formal admission to a specific program.

Requirements for Formal Admission to the Department of Music

  1. Successful completion of Music Department sophomore year requirements.*
  2. Successful completion of the University's sophomore year requirements (48-60 credit hours).
  3. Cumulative grade-point average of at least 2.5.
  4. Letters of recommendation from:
    1. Applied music professor
    2. Theory/aural skills professor
    3. Music education director (music education students only)
  5. Successful completion of a formal admission jury with a grade-point average of 2.5 for bachelor of arts candidates, and 3.0 for bachelor of music candidates.
  6. Successful completion of the State of Illinois Criminal Background Investigation, and Test of Academic Proficiency #400 for music education majors.

*Sophomore Year Music Requirements: 

Requirements for Formal Admission of Transfer Students to the Department of Music

  1. Four (4) credit hours of applied music with minimum G.P.A of 2.5, and demonstrating an appropriate level of expertise.
  2. Nine (9) credit hours in music courses, including music theory, aural skills and keyboard skills (if required after entrance exam), with minimum G.P.A of 2.5.
  3. Twelve (12) credit hours of general studies, with cumulative G.P.A of 2.5.
  4. Letters of recommendation from:
    1. Applied music professor
    2. Theory/aural skills professor
    3. Music education director (music education students only)
  5. Successful completion of a formal admission jury with a G.P.A of 2.5 for bachelor of arts candidates, and 3.0 for bachelor of music candidates.
  6. Successful completion of the State of Illinois Criminal Background Investigation, and Test of Academic Proficiency for music education majors.

Note: Students who are not admitted into a specific music degree program should not register for upper-level music courses in that program. It is possible that upper-level coursework taken prior to formal admission will not count toward degree program completion.

Requirements for Degree

  1. Completion of general education core requirements.
  2. Completion of departmental courses specified for the particular area of emphasis with a minimum of C in each course, and a 2.5 minimum cumulative GPA in music courses for music education students. 
  3. Recorded attendance each semester at a specified number of campus recitals or concerts approved for this purpose by the music faculty.
  4. Successful completion of a senior culminating experience (solo recital, joint recital, lecture-recital, student teaching or major research paper) as specified in the particular degree requirements.

It is the responsibility of each student to ascertain and fulfill the requirements for the desired degree. The major advisor will assist the student in this responsibility.

Programs of Study in Music

Bachelor of Music (B.M.) - Professional Degree

Bachelor of music students must complete the music core requirements along with the requirements for one of the majors (either music performance or music education). Accredited: National Association of Schools of Music

Professional Degree Music Core

Music Theory I-IV 12
Aural Skills I-IV 4
Keyboard Skills I-IV 4
Form and Analysis 2
Conducting 3
Writing and Speaking about Music 3
Music History I-II 6
Perspectives in Non-Western Music 3
Total Hours Required for Music Core 37

Music Performance

Performance majors must complete the requirements for one of the following emphases:

Vocal Emphasis
Applied Voice (7-semester minimum) 14
Vocal Technique 3
Vocal Literature 3
Vocal Pedagogy 3
Diction for Singers 4
Junior Recital 1
Senior Recital 1
Opera Workshop 4
Counterpoint 2
Large Ensemble (every semester until graduation) 8
Foreign Language 6
Music Electives 4
Total Hours Required for Emphasis 53
Total Hours Required for Major 90
Piano Emphasis
Applied Piano (8-semester minimum) 16
Piano Literature 3
Piano Pedagogy 3
Accompanying 2
Chamber Music 2
Junior Recital 1
Senior Recital 1
Large Ensemble (every semester until graduation) 8
Counterpoint 2
Music Electives 6
Total Hours Required for Emphasis 44
Total Hours Required for Major 81
Instrumental Emphasis
Applied Instrument (8 credit minimum) 16
Instrumental Literature 3
Instrumental Pedagogy 3
Chamber Music 4
Junior Recital 1
Senior Recital 1
Large Ensemble (every semester until graduation) 8
Counterpoint 2
Music Electives 6
Total Hours Required for Emphasis 44
Total Hours Required for Major 81

Music Education K-12

Music education majors must complete the requirements for one of the following emphases:

Choral Emphasis
Applied Voice (Vocal Emphasis Only) (6-semester minimum) 6 or 0
Applied Piano, (Keyboard Emphasis Only) (7-semester minimum) 0 or 7
Vocal Technique 3
Diction for Singers (Vocal Emphasis Only) 4 or 0
K-12 General Music 3
Teaching Choral Music in the Junior and Senior High School 3

Vocal Pedagogy

3

Piano Pedagogy (Keyboard Emphasis Only)

0 or 3

Applied Piano (Vocal Emphasis Only) (3-semester minimum)

3 or 0

Applied Voice (Keyboard Emphasis Only) (3-semester minimum)

0 or 3
Large Ensemble (every semester except Student Teaching semester) 7
Total Hours Required for Concentration 32
Total Hours Required for Major 69
Instrumental Emphasis
Applied Music, Major area (7-semester minimum) 7
Vocal Methods 1
Brass Methods 1
Percussion Methods 1
String Methods 1
Woodwind Methods 1
K-12 General Music 3

Teaching Instrumental Music in the Junior and Senior High School

3
Small Ensemble 3
Large Ensemble (every semester until graduation) 7
Total Hours Required for Emphasis 28
Total Hours Required for Major 65

General Education Core - Professional Degree (B.M.)

English 120 3
First-Year Seminar 3
Speech 3
Science (one with lab) 6
Social Science 6
Philosophy 6
Religious Studies 6
Transitions 1
Electives 0-8
Total Hours Required 34-42

Teacher Certification

Music students who are seeking teacher certification must complete all required courses for the bachelor of music degree with a major in music education and the additional general education and professional education requirements for teacher certification with a minimum grade of C. Music students seeking certification must also be admitted to the School of Education and must maintain at least a 2.5 GPA in music for admission to the School of Education, and for student teaching. Consult the School of Education section of the catalog for specific requirements and procedures. The State of Illinois requires passing the Test of Academic Proficiency examination, certification examination, Music Content and Assessment for Professional Teaching (APT) exams.

State of Illinois General Education Requirements for Teacher Certification K-12

Math (100-level) 3
American History (HIST 103 or 104) 3
Total Hours Required 6

Professional Education Certification Requirements

EDU 200: Profession of Teaching 3
EDU 341: History and Philosophy of Education 3
PSYCH 201: Adolescence and the Transition to Adulthood 3
EDU 202: Educational Psychology 3
EDU 323: Survey of Students with Exceptionalities for the Regular Classroom Teacher 3
EDU/EDUL 344: Learning Theory and Instructional Practice 2 + 1
MUS 352: Directed Teaching: K-12 Music 6
Total Hours Required 24

Bachelor of Arts in Music (B.A.)

Music Core  
Applied Music, major area 8 (Voice majors 7)
Vocal Technique (Vocal Majors Only) 3
Music Theory I-IV 12
Aural Skills I-IV 4
Keyboard Skills I-IV 4
Writing and Speaking about Music 3
Music History I-II 6
Perspectives in Non-Western Music 3
Music Electives 4
Senior Recital/Project 1
Large Ensemble (every semester until graduation) 8
Total Hours Required for Major 53-55

Music Minor

Applied Music (4-semester minimum) 4
Music Theory I-II 6
Aural Skills I-II 2
Keyboard Skills I-II 2
Writing and Speaking About Music 3
Music History I or II 3
Total Hours Required 20

Music minors must be enrolled in a large ensemble every semester until graduation.

Applied Music

(1 or 2 each semester)

Saint Xavier University students who are currently enrolled in an appropriate University ensemble (see below) and who have at least intermediate singing or playing proficiency may register for private instruction in voice or orchestra/band instruments. Students who are interested in beginning piano, voice or guitar must first enroll in the appropriate introductory class (Class Piano - MUS 107; Vocal Technique - MUS 103, or Guitar Class - MUS 104). Students with at least intermediate playing proficiency may enroll in piano and guitar lessons at the MUSAP 100-level without being enrolled in a University ensemble at the discretion of the music faculty.

Students who register at the 200-level (MUSAP 2XX-01) of Applied Music are required to attend Practicum class and perform a juried examination before the music faculty at the end of each semester of active registration.

An accompanist fee of $130 per credit of registration is applied to private study in voice and orchestra/band instruments. Credit is organized as follows:

Credit Lesson Practice Time
1 hour 1/2 hour lesson 7 hours weekly
2 hours 1 hour lesson 14 hours weekly

All Music Majors/Minors Are Required to Attend Weekly Practicum Class (Recital Class)

Music Ensembles

Music ensembles (230-248) are open to all interested students, who must qualify by audition.  Non-majors may apply credit earned in these ensembles toward the University literature and fine arts requirement. Refer to individual course listings for a description of each ensemble.

230: University Orchestra
231: University Chamber Singers
232: University Chorale
234: University Band
236: Chamber Music Ensemble
237: Flute Ensemble
238: Guitar Ensemble
239: Jazz Combo
240: Jazz Ensemble
242: Opera Workshop
243: Percussion Ensemble
244: Woodwind Ensemble
245: University Women's Ensemble
246: University Men's Ensemble
248: Saxophone Ensemble
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