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Learning Goals for Undergraduates - School of Performing Arts

Music Division

Goals To Be Assessed:

A. Goals for all graduates in all Music programs:

a) Basic performance proficiency on at least one instrument or voice type.

b) Basic reading and performing proficiency on piano.

c) Ability to identify and analyze standard musical forms, compositional devices, stylistic characteristics of historical periods, individual compositions and interpretive performances, both aurally and using written scores.

d) Knowledge of theoretical concepts and basic analytic vocabulary of Western music, including tonal harmony, counterpoint, voice-leading, and notation.

e) Ability to communicate about music effectively to musicians and non-musicians.

B. Goals for all graduates in Music

a) Ability to perform on major instrument or voice type with technical facility and expressive impact, both as a soloist and as an ensemble member, on a professional level.

b) Ability to sight read with accuracy on major instrument or voice type.

c) Basic proficiency in sight-singing.

d) Proficiency in aural skills, including the ability to identify basic tonalities, meters, scales, intervals and harmonic function.

C. Goals for all graduates in Music Education:

a) Ability to perform on major instrument or voice type with technical facility and expressive impact, both as a soloist and as an ensemble member.

b) Ability to sight read with accuracy on major instrument or voice type.

c) Ability to perform on a basic level on all instruments used in school instrumental music programs.

d) Basic proficiency in sight-singing.

e) Proficiency in aural skills, including the ability to identify basic tonalities, meters, scales, intervals and harmonic function.

f) Ability to conduct with clarity and proper style.

g) Ability to lead rehearsals efficiently with good problem-solving skills.

h) Knowledge of orchestration and arranging techniques.

i) Knowledge of important repertoire for school ensembles.

j) Ability to write and implement music lesson plans in accordance with principles of child development, towards clear student competencies.

k) Ability to express a coherent and persuasive philosophy of music education

For Bachelor of Arts in Music – specific music competencies:

Musicianship Competencies

Students holding undergraduate liberal arts degrees must have:

  1. The ability to hear, identify, and work conceptually with the elements of music such as rhythm, melody, harmony, structure, timbre, texture.
  2. An understanding of and the ability to read and realize musical notation.
  3. An understanding of compositional processes, aesthetic properties of style, and the ways these shape and are shaped by artistic and cultural forces.
  4. An acquaintance with a wide selection of musical literature, the principal eras, genres, and cultural sources.
  5. The ability to develop and defend musical judgments.

Performance and Music Electives Competencies

Students holding undergraduate liberal arts degrees must develop:

  1. Ability in performing areas at levels consistent with the goals and objectives of the specific liberal arts degree program being followed.
  2. Understanding of procedures for realizing a variety of musical styles.
  3. Knowledge and/or skills in one or more areas of music beyond basic musicianship appropriate to the individual’s needs and interests, and consistent with the purposes of the specific liberal arts degree program being followed.

For Bachelor of Music – particularly for Music Education:


A. Common Body of Knowledge and Skills

1. Performance. Students must acquire:

a. Technical skills requisite for artistic self-expression in at least one major performance area at a level appropriate for the particular music concentration.

b. An overview understanding of the repertory in their major performance area and the ability to perform from a cross-section of that repertory.

c. The ability to read at sight with fluency demonstrating both general musicianship and, in the major performance area, a level of skill relevant to professional standards appropriate for the particular music concentration.

d. Knowledge and skills sufficient to work as a leader and in collaboration on matters of musical interpretation. Rehearsal and conducting skills are required as appropriate to the particular music concentration.

e. Keyboard competency.

f. Growth in artistry, technical skills, collaborative competence and knowledge of repertory through regular ensemble experiences. Ensembles should be varied both in size and nature. Normally, performance study and ensemble experience continue throughout the baccalaureate program.

2. Musicianship Skills and Analysis. Students must acquire:

a. An understanding of the common elements and organizational patterns of music and their interaction, the ability to employ this understanding in aural, verbal, and visual analyses, and the ability to take aural dictation.

b. Sufficient understanding of and capability with musical forms, processes, and structures to use this knowledge and skill in compositional, performance, analytical, scholarly, and pedagogical applications according to the requisites of their specializations.

c. The ability to place music in historical, cultural, and stylistic contexts.

3. Composition and Improvisation. Students must acquire a rudimentary capacity to create derivative or original music both extemporaneously and in written form; for example, the imitation of various musical styles, improvisation on pre-existing materials, the creation of original compositions, experimentation with various sound sources, and manipulating the common elements in non-traditional ways.

4. History and Repertory. Students must acquire basic knowledge of music history and repertories through the present time, including study and experience of musical language and achievement in addition to that of the primary culture encompassing the area of specialization.

5. Technology. Students must acquire the ability to use technologies current to their area of specialization.

6. Synthesis. While synthesis is a lifetime process, by the end of undergraduate study students must be able to work on musical problems by combining, as appropriate to the issue, their capabilities in performance; aural, verbal, and visual analysis; composition and improvisation; history and repertory; and technology.

B. Results. Upon completion of any specific professional undergraduate degree program:

1. Students must demonstrate achievement of professional, entry-level competence in the major area, including significant technical mastery, capability to produce work and solve professional problems independently, and a coherent set of artistic/intellectual goals that are evident in their work. A senior project or presentation in the major area is required in many concentrations, and strongly recommended for all others.

2. Students are expected to have the ability to form and defend value judgments about music, and to communicate musical ideas, concepts, and requirements to professionals and laypersons related to the practice of the major field.

Theatre Division

all graduates in Theatre programs will have achieved

a) Basic performance proficiency in one of the following areas: acting; directing; design; or theatre technology.

b) Basic familiarity with the major historical plays and playwrights.

c) Basic familiarity with current plays and playwrights.

d) Basic familiarity with theatre practitioners from all of the historical periods, including contemporary theatre.

e) Basic knowledge of the history and theory of performance, including styles and approaches to production.

f) Basic knowledge of current developments in the field, including styles and approaches to production.

g) Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing to practitioners and non-practitioners about performance with an understanding of the basic vocabulary of production.

h) Awareness that performance is fundamental to all human behavior for the pursuit of knowledge and self-renewal.

i) Awareness that performance is evident in every culture and that understanding a specific culture’s performance traditions leads to a deeper and richer understanding of our own, as well as to a deeper understanding of human development.

B. Graduates in the performance areas of acting, directing, design, and technology will have achieved:


a) Ability to analyze and perform characters in both historical and contemporary plays.

b) Ability to analyze and perform characters in plays in a range of styles, including dramatic, comic, historical, musical, and non-Western.

c) Ability to understand the play’s structure and goals, the character’s intention in each scene and in the entire play, the obstacles that a character is up against, and all of the emotional and mental attributes in a building a characterization.


a) Ability to mount a basic theatrical production in a variety of styles.

b) Ability to analyze the script, develop a concept, create a production book, and organizing a work schedule.

c) Ability to communicate the concept to the designers and technicians,

d) Ability to effectively cast and work with the performers and production crew, and coordinate all of the elements into a final production, as well as to assess the final outcome.


a) Ability to analyze an historical or contemporary play and render a design concept that would be carried through in a theatrical production. The design would include all of the areas of production: setting, lights, sound, props, costumes, and makeup.

b) Ability to render the design either by hand drawing, model construction, or computer.

c) Ability to create production plots for set, lighting, sound, props, costumes, and makeup.

d) Ability to communicate the design to the director, cast, and production crew.


a) Ability to serve in a technical position on a theatrical production in one of the areas demanding a specific skill, including the areas of set, lighting, sound, props, costumes, and makeup.

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Contact Information

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
100 Stevens Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: (207) 581-1954
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469
A Member of the University of Maine System