School of Performing Arts

School of Performing Arts-Music, Theatre, and Dance

Roland Dille Center for the Arts 102, (218) 477-2101
Monte Grise and Craig Ellingson
Director of Theatre: Craig Ellingson
Faculty: Laurie Blunsom, Patrick Carriere, Allen Carter, Jenny Dufault, Craig Ellingson, Ricky Greenwell, Monte Grise, Terrie Manno, Erynn Millard, Tom Strait, Kenyon Williams
Staff: Elizabeth Evert-Karnes, James Stenger

Music Degree Programs

The Bachelor of Arts in Music is designed for the student who seeks a general focus on music within a broadly based liberal arts framework. It is a flexible degree allowing a variety of interest concentrations. It is sometimes combined with a major in another area such as English, History, or Psychology.

The Bachelor of Science in Commercial Music covers its content area through performance, composition and theoretical study as well as related areas such as music business and technology.

The Bachelor of Science in Music Education is designed for the student who will pursue a career in public school teaching. Students specialize in vocal or instrumental music education.

New Students
Students entering a major program in music should show a strong sensitivity to music and have a desire to communicate it to others. Entering students are assumed to have acquired basic music reading ability and performance experience in school groups and/or as soloists. Those lacking such background may have to complete additional preparation, which may extend the time for program completion and graduation.

Transfer Students
Students transferring from music programs in other institutions will be evaluated upon entrance for advanced placement in their chosen degree program.

Primary Performance Medium
All music major programs require students to choose a primary performance medium. The number of required credits of performance study with this medium and the level of proficiency to attain varies with each program. All music majors will be enrolled in lessons on their instrument/voice every semester they are in residence with the following exceptions:

  • Music Education majors must complete their recital requirement before student teaching.
  • All students must enroll for lessons in the semester they do a recital even if all lesson requirements have been met.

Piano Requirements
All major programs have a requirement for piano study. The number of required credits and level of proficiency to attain varies with each program. Upon entry to the music program, students are evaluated and placed in a piano course appropriate to their skill level. Credits for Class Piano I and II (MUS 150A and MUS 150B) do not count as piano performance study. Credits for Class Piano III and IV (MUS 150C and MUS 150D and MUS 151) are counted toward piano performance requirements.

Piano Proficiency
All Bachelor of Science in Music Education students are required to pass a piano proficiency examination demonstrating prescribed keyboard skills. These examinations are offered at the end of each semester. Students usually take the exam after two years of piano performance study. Bachelor of Science in Commercial Music majors must pass MUS 151 (Basic Commercial Keyboard) in fulfillment of the piano proficient requirements. Bachelor of Arts majors must pass a piano proficiency exam if piano is their primary instrument. Students should see the Piano Proficiency Handbook for more information on piano proficiency requirements.

Guitar Proficiency
All Music Education majors are required to pass a proficiency exam demonstrating basic guitar techniques. Successful completion of the course MUS 117, Guitar for Non-Majors, will satisfy the proficiency. Students with prior guitar experience may wish to be tested individually and be exempt from the class requirement.

Upper-Level Performance Study
Performance and composition study areas indicate levels of proficiency through the course numbers. The 100 and 200 levels are lower-division courses; the 300 and 400 levels are upper-division courses and indicate advanced skills and knowledge of repertoire. The course levels do not necessarily correspond with the year of enrollment. The Performance Study instructors have guidelines suggesting appropriate literature and skills for each level.

Advancement to the upper-division level is required for students in the Bachelor of Science in Music - Performance emphasis and Music Education programs and must be attained prior to presenting any recital required by the program. Enrollment in upper-division levels is allowed after a jury evaluation and recommendation. These evaluations take place at specified times each semester. Performance majors usually apply for upper-division level after fall semester of the sophomore year. Music Education majors normally apply after spring semester of the sophomore year. The jury may deny advancement to upper-division level and recommend further study after which the student may reapply for upper-division status.

Bachelor of Science Music Education majors are required to present a half recital in their primary performance area normally given during the student’s senior year. Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance are required to present a full recital, normally given during the student's senior year. All recitals are prepared with the help of the applied instructor. Procedures for presenting recitals are available in the Music Department Office.

Differential Tuition
Differential tuition is charged for all music courses, except for Liberal Arts and Sciences Curriculum courses. This is in addition to the normal tuition fee.

Ensemble Participation
It is assumed that all music majors will participate in an ensemble every semester until all the requirements for their music program have been completed.

Grade Policy
Students must earn a grade of “C-“ or better in any course which is a part of the required curriculum for their major program including the related requirements that are not music courses.

Students earning a grade of D+ or lower in MUS 107A (Music Theory I) are required to enroll for MUS 110 (Musicianship) in the subsequent spring semester, should they wish to remain music majors. Upon successful completion of MUS 110 (C- or better), students may recommence their core coursework by retaking MUS 107A the following fall semester.

Concert Attendance Requirement
All full-time music majors are required to attend a certain number of concerts, recitals, and departmental events per semester.

Theatre Arts
The Minnesota State University Moorhead Theatre Arts is dedicated to two primary goals. The first is to provide our students with high-caliber training in theatre that prepares them to create theatre of any kind at any level. The second is to provide the Red River Valley area with a multifaceted, high-quality theatrical experience. These goals interweave to provide entertainment and education to those on both sides of the curtain.

Theatre Arts at MSUM is production oriented with students involved in construction, costuming, lighting, sound, and make-up, as well as performing, stage directing, and publicity. Students may pursue one or more emphases including Acting, Musical Theatre, Dance, and Theatre Technology and Design.

The faculty and students in Theatre Arts are linked together by a common focus on the creation and analysis of messages that powerfully affect their chosen audience. Theatre Arts provides a challenging, contemporary, relevant curriculum within the context of the liberal arts that prepares our graduates to become contributing and ethical citizens in a diverse, global community. We promote creativity, critical thinking, and lifelong discovery through courses that integrate theory and history with practice and application.