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 are as follows:

  • Music Theory and Literature 6 credits:  MUY 101 – Fundamentals of Music, 3 cr. (Note:  For qualified students, MUY XXX could be substituted for this requirement); MUL 202 – The Art of Listening to Music:  Historical Survey, 3 cr.
  • Music History2 credits: MUH 2XX (any 200-level Music History course), or: MUH 150 – History of Jazz
  • 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.
GPA requirements to earn minor: Students graduating with a minor in a CLAS field must earn a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better in the courses in the minor field that are credited toward completion of the minor. No grade lower than a C- will be accepted for any course which constitutes a portion of the minor.
Other requirements:  A minimum of 9 credit hours must be completed at the University of Maine.

Minor in Jazz Studies (19 credits)

The Minor in Jazz Studies offers students an in-depth experience with jazz, which was designated an American National Treasure by the 100th U.S. Congress in 1987. The Objective is for the students to develop skills in jazz theory, composition, and performance, which will allow them to continue to be involved in this music throughout their musical lives.

The program is centered on the study of jazz through the art of improvisation, or spontaneous musical composition. Rather than simply learning about jazz and improvisation, students will spend their time practicing and developing listening skills and instrumental skills, so that they can comfortably improvise in various jazz styles in a solo or group setting. Multiple public performances are built into the required courses. In addition, highly specific arranging and keyboard skills are developed and used as part of the materials to be covered.

Students who elect this program must play a musical instrument pitched in C, Bb, or Eb, capable of single-note pitches and a full chromatic scale. Vocalists and percussionists will need to play an instrument that meets these criteria as well, although there are also opportunities to sing and play drum set.

Requirements (as of August 2017—19 credits total):


MUY 111 Elementary Harmony I (2 credits, Fall semesters)

MUY 112 Elementary Harmony II (2 credits, Spring semesters)

MUP 205 Piano I (1 credit, Fall semesters)

MUP 206 Piano II (1 credit, Spring semesters)

Upper level courses

MUY 310 Jazz Theory Fundamentals (3 credits, Fall semesters-even years)

plus one of the following:

MUY 311 Jazz Improvisation (3 credits, Spring semesters-odd years)

MUY 410 Jazz Arranging (3 credits, Fall semesters-odd years)

MUY 411 Jazz Piano (3 credits, Spring semesters-even years)

Performance Organizations (at least 2 credits)

MUO 143 Jazz Ensemble (by audition) (1 credit, each semester)


MUO 155 Chamber Jazz Ensemble (1 credit, each semester)


MUS 150 History of Jazz (3 credits, Spring semester-even years)

Electives (at least 2 credits):

MUS 210 Applied lessons (2 credits, each semester)

MUS 201 Applied lessons (1 credit, each semester)

MUO 143 Jazz Ensemble (1 credit, each semester)

MUO 155 Chamber Jazz Ensemble (1 credit, each semester)

MUY 113 Elem. SS and Ear Training I (2 credits, Fall semesters)

MUY 114 Elem. SS and Ear Training II (2 credits, Spring semesters)

Sample Curriculum:

First Year



MUY 111

MUY 112
MUP 205

MUP 206

Second Year



MUY 310

MUS 150


Third Year



MUY 410


Entering Skills for the Minor in Jazz Studies

The Minor in Jazz Studies at the University of Maine is designed for the general university student as well as for music majors. However, to avoid frustration you should make sure you have some general skills prior to enrolling in the minor:

Reading Skills. Entering students must be prepared to develop sufficient reading skills in both treble and bass clefs to participate in the theory courses, piano courses, and ensembles etc… If there is any doubt, contact Dan Barrett at dan.barrett@maine.edu for assistance and/or clarification.

Music writing skills. The Minor in Jazz Studies involves a substantial amount of music arranging and writing, and students will be expected to write legibly, using established notation practices. Using music notation software is encouraged, but you will also need to be able to write out musical ideas by hand.

Instrumental skills. It is important to be able to negotiate a standard musical instrument of any sort (all band and orchestral instruments, keyboard instrument of all types, guitar, electric bass, and pitched percussion are all acceptable, for example) well enough to participate fully with the materials used in the classes.

Piano/keyboard skills. While great keyboard facility is not required for students entering the minor, the ability to read chords and melodies on the piano, in both treble and bass clefs will be necessary for participation in MUY 310 and MUY 411. MUP 205 and 206 can help with this.