Mission Statement

solo singer in front of chorusThe central mission of the Division of Music in the School of Performing Arts is to provide for the education of undergraduate and graduate students majoring in music, as well as that of interested students from the University at large. Through the integration of academics and performance, the division furthers the knowledge and appreciation of music on campus, throughout the state, in the region, and beyond. Primarily, the Division offers the future and present music educators of our state and region degree programs at the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels. Teaching, service and creative activity are therefore principally focused on the professional degree programs that serve the music education community. In order to further assist our students to attain the goals to which they aspire, we provide the Bachelor of Music degree in performance and the Bachelor of Arts degree. Our Master of Music degree in Music Education with optional emphasis in Conducting serves a vital function for the reaccreditation and promotion of public school music teachers in Maine and in the region. We also offer the Master of Music degree in Performance, providing an additional option for the professional musicians and music educators who seek admission to our School.

The faculty and students of the Division of Music serve as an educational and cultural resource. Our musical and pedagogical skills are available and visible through performance, composition, publication, continuing education efforts and consultation, which keep us actively connected with that population from which our students come and to which they return.

The Music Division is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), and works with the UMaine College of Education and Human Development with NCATE and CAEP accreditation.

Learn more about hearing health for musicians.

Entrance Requirements for all Music Degree Programs

In addition to meeting the University’s admission standards, applicants to music degree programs must demonstrate musical ability in performance on their major instruments or voice before a jury of the music faculty. Applicants must perform and pass a music audition before the University can review applications for admission to music degree programs. Space is limited in these majors and students need to apply and audition early. To ensure full consideration for admission and scholarships, current students may schedule an audition and apply no later than February 1st for the fall semester. Auditions are arranged through the Music Division office. To schedule an audition, please email or call 207.581.4703.

Music Theory is a significant component of all our undergraduate degree programs. Learn more about our Music Theory program, requirements and expectations.

Undergraduate Degrees

BA Music

This program is designed for the study of music within a strong liberal arts curriculum. It offers broad coverage of the field of music with emphasis upon the study of the history and theory of music. It furnishes an appropriate background for prospective candidates for advanced degrees who are preparing for non-performance centered careers. It does not qualify the graduate for certification as a public school music teacher.

BM Music Education

This is a four-year professional degree for students who intend to make music a career whether as a public school teacher or supervisor of music. The degree provides for many professional opportunities and serves also as preparation for graduate study in music. Upon satisfactory completion of the music education course of study, the student is certified to teach music at both the elementary and secondary levels.

This program will prepare students to be eligible for licensure within the State of Maine. Visit the UMS State Authorization & Licensure page to learn more about the licensure requirements in other states and territories, in addition to the contact information needed to inquire further into the licensure requirements associated with this program.

BM Performance

The Bachelor of Music Degree in Performance is designed to assist the music student to prepare for a career in music performance. The degree is offered for the following applied areas: standard orchestral and band instruments, piano, voice, classical guitar, and pipe organ. Emphasis is placed on performance with supporting studies in music theory, music history and the liberal arts.


Graduate Degrees

Master of Music

The Division of Music offers graduate studies leading to the Master of Music degree with majors in Music Education (with optional emphasis in conducting), and Performance. These majors are fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. Individualized curricula are designed to meet students’ interests and needs while offering a balanced program of academic and professional courses.




Minor in Music (18 credits)

The minor in music is designed to give the student a significant educational experience in the musical arts. An audition is not required for admission, however auditions are required for studio instruction and some performing ensembles. A non-music major fee structure applies.

The requirements for the Minor in Music are as follows:

  • Music Theory and Literature — 6 credits:  MUY 101 – Fundamentals of Music, 3 cr.  (Note:  For  qualified students, either MUY 310 or MUY 410 could be substituted for this requirement) MUL 202 – The Art of Listening to Music:  Historical Survey, 3 cr.
  • Music History — 2 credits: MUH 2XX (any 200-level Music History course), or: HTY 484 – History of Jazz, or: WST 250, Women in Music, usually sec. 860.  (Note:  If the student wishes to take BOTH HTY 484 and WGS 250, 3 of the credit hours would count toward electives)
  • Music Performance4 credits total, any combination of:  MUO XXX (performance ensembles), and/or: MUS XXX (private lessons — extra fee required), and/or: MUE 2XX (voice/ins. classes for mus. ed. majors)
  • Music Electives6 credits total, consisting of courses with any MU prefix (MUE XXX, MUH XXX, MUL XXX, MUO XXX, MUP XXX, MUS XXX, and/or MUY XXX), to be selected in consultation with music minor faculty.  HTY 484 and WGS 250 (Women in Music) are also acceptable MU as music electives.

No grade lower than a C- will be accepted for any course which constitutes a portion of the minor.

Minor in Jazz Studies (19 credits)

The Minor in Jazz Studies is designed to offer students a significant and in-depth experience with jazz, designated an American National Treasure by the 100th U.S. Congress in 1987.

In addition to a total absence of instrument specificity, the performance and study of jazz allows individuals to access a nearly limitless repertory. For musicians whose available solo repertory is quite limited, this opens the door to a lifetime of personal creativity and participation with music in general and jazz in particular.

The focus of this program is the study of jazz through the art of improvisation, that is, spontaneous musical composition. In addition, highly specific arranging skills (for piano and one other instrument only), as well as sufficient piano skills for the performance of the arrangements created in the coursework, are part of the materials to be covered. The overall purpose is for the students to develop integrated skills in jazz theory, composition, and performance which will allow them to continue to be involved in this music throughout their future musical lives.

Students who elect this program must play a musical instrument of some description in “C,” “Bb,” “Eb,” or “C bass clef” only, that is capable of single-note pitches and a full chromatic scale in tempered tuning. Unpitched percussion is not among these, but percussionists can participate in the coursework on mallet instruments. Vocalists as well will need to play a pitched musical instrument that meets the criteria outlined above. Pianists will need their own portable keyboards.

The requirements for the Minor in Jazz Studies are as follows:

  • MUY 310 Jazz Improvisation 3 cr.
  • MUY 311 Jazz Improvisation, II 3 cr.
  • MUY 410 Chamber Jazz Arranging and Piano, I 3 cr.
  • MUY 411 Chamber Jazz Arranging and Piano, II 3 cr.
  • HTY 484 History of Jazz 3 cr.
  • Performing Organizations (see below): 4 cr.
    • A maximum of 2 credits of Jazz Ensemble (MUO 143), with the remainder in Chamber Jazz Ensemble
    • (MUO 155); or 4 credits of Chamber Jazz Ensemble
    • (MUO 155) _________

No grade lower than a C- will be accepted for any course which constitutes a portion of the minor.