Doctor of Musical Arts Core Curriculum

All Shepherd School doctoral students are required to take certain courses in common. In most cases, only doctoral students can enroll in them. There are eight for performance majors and six for composers.

MUSI 523 - Bibliography and Research Methods
The Bibliography course is usually taken during the first year of study and is taught by the music
librarian. It introduces students to the resources necessary to do research for both their musicology courses and for their doctoral document. If a student has taken an equivalent course during their Master’s degree, it is possible to substitute that class for this one.

MUSI 611 - Classroom Pedagogy
The Classroom Pedagogy is always taken in the first year of study. It focuses on the strategies and materials available for the teaching of college level courses in Theory, Aural Skills, Music Fundamentals, and Music Appreciation. Students gain practical experience by teaching several classes during the semester, and the class functions as a placement audition for the teaching that each student will do in their second and third years.

MUSI 711 – Analytic Techniques
Analytic Techniques is usually taken in the first or second year of study. It is an advanced theory class specifically designed to help prepare students for the Music Theory Comprehensive Examination. Its primary emphasis is on reductive theory and set theory. Students are expected to have had introductory classes in these topics; this class gives them an opportunity to do their own analyses of both tonal and post-tonal music, and to present their findings to the rest of the class.

MUSI 733 - Doctoral Seminar I: Career Skills
The Career Skills seminar is usually taken during the first year of courses. It focuses on two major topics: the digital world, and preparation for academic jobs. For the former, students are taught about recording, editing, and producing recorded media, as well as learning about the differences between performing a recital and making a recording. Each student gets to experience a variety of roles in the recording process: performer or composer for at least one piece, recording engineer on a second piece, and the producer of a third piece. For the college job application process, each student creates a cover letter and CV and undergoes mock academic interviews with Shepherd School professors.

MUSI 735  - Doctoral Seminar II: Repertory
The Repertory Seminar is offered every two years. Several Shepherd School faculty members offer presentations on repertory and programming, and the students apply this information to their own class presentations and projects. Within this framework students are introduced to important pieces from repertories other than their own, and are encouraged to think about programming in innovative and imaginative ways.

MUSI 736 - Repertory for Doctoral Students (performance majors only)
The Repertory for Doctoral Students class is for performance majors only, and is taken with the major teacher. It can be taken at any time. It focuses on repertory that supplements the music learned in their regular lessons. Each faculty member structures the class as they deem appropriate.

MUSI 738 - Individual Project
The Individual Project is taken during the third year of courses. Each student, with the advice of any Shepherd School faculty member, submits a proposal for an independent project to the Graduate Studies Committee for approval. The topic is the student’s choice, and should be something in which they have a special interest. Once approved, they do the project in one semester, with supervision from the faculty member only as necessary. Projects from past years have included: teaching composition in a local high school; performing outreach recitals; making a CD with thematic repertory, complete with liner notes and cover art; making a video about the collaborative process of commissioning, composing, and performing a new work; organizing and hosting a series of house concerts.

MUSI 739 - Pedagogy for Doctoral Students (performance majors only)
The Pedagogy for Doctoral Students class is also only for performance majors, and is always taken in the first year of study. It is taken individually with the major teacher, except for pianists, who take it as a group. Its focus is on the teaching of college level students, and although each teacher structures the class differently, in nearly every case, students are given opportunities to work with younger members of their studio and to occasionally lead the studio class.