Music Major – Bachelor of Arts

Program Competencies

As an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), Morehead State University adheres to and complies with the standards of the association. NASM "Standards for the Liberal Arts Degree with a Major in Music" (NASM Handbook) define the program competencies for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Music at MSU.

A. General Education

The principal goals of general education in undergraduate liberal arts programs with a major in music are:

  1. The ability to think, speak and write clearly and effectively. Students who earn liberal arts degrees must be able to communicate with precision, cogency and force.
  2. An informed acquaintance with the mathematical and experimental methods of the physical and biological sciences with the main forms of analysis and the historical and quantitative techniques needed for investigating the workings and developments of modern society.
  3. An ability to address culture and history from a variety of perspectives.
  4. Understanding of and experience in thinking about moral and ethical problems.
  5. The ability to respect, understand and evaluate work in a variety of disciplines.
  6. The capacity to explain and defend one's views effectively and rationally.
  7. Understanding of and experience in art forms other than music.

B. Musicianship

Musicianship studies appropriate to the liberal arts degree must produce:

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

C. Performance and Music Electives Instruction in the performing medium, participation in large and small ensembles, and experience in solo performance develop these competencies.

Performance studies appropriate to the liberal arts degree should produce:

  1. Ability in performing areas appropriate to the student's needs and interests.
  2. Ability to sight-read music.
  3. An understanding for procedures for realizing a variety of musical styles.


  1. Survey of Graduates

  2. Major Field Exam

  3. Performance Recitals

  4. Exit Interview

Program Requirements

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Music provides for the study of music within a liberal arts curriculum. The program is suitable for preparing for careers in music other than performance and certified teaching in the schools. Bachelor of Arts degree in Music majors are required to enroll in and participate in activities of the University Chorus, Concert Choir, Concert Band, Symphony Band, Marching Band, or Orchestra (enrollment in a concert or choral ensemble is determined by audition). Voice majors are required, upon successful audition, to enroll in and participate in all activities of the Concert Choir. Students with an unsuccessful audition for Concert Choir enroll in the University Chorus. Woodwind, brasswind and percussion majors are required to enroll in and participate in all activities of the Concert Band, Symphony Band, or Marching Band. Those students who perform in the Marching Band on an instrument other than their principal applied instrument must also participate in the Concert or Symphony bands each fall semester (enrollment in a concert band is determined by audition).

General Education

MUSW 499CSenior Project


General Education courses


Total Credit Hours:36

The senior project course is an option for music BA students only. This course involves a performance component as well as a component involving the student’s academic interests. This project is required to have writing and presentation activities. The performance and academic components can be related. The project is to be developed by the student and his/her private applied teacher. Approval required from appropriate area performance faculty.

Refer to the General Education section for a complete listing of general education requirements for the University.

Major Requirements

Music Major Requirements

MUSE 215Microcomputers and Music


MUSH 171Global Perspectives in Music


MUSH 361History of Music I


MUSH 362History of Music II


MUSP 2XXPrivate Applied


MUSP 4XXPrivate Applied - Major Instrument


MUST 131Music Theory I


MUST 132Music Theory II


MUST 133Music Reading I


MUST 135Music Reading II


MUST 233Music Reading III


MUST 234Music Reading IV


MUST 236Music Theory III


MUST 237Music Theory IV


Total Credit Hours:40

Choose four credits from one area:
Bands, Choirs,  Traditional Music/Guitar, Orchestras, Keyboard, Jazz
MUSM 3XX(any ensemble)


Total Credit Hours:4
To fulfill the MUSM ensemble requirements above, the student must choose the area most applicable to the primary instrument and fulfill all four credits from that area.
Class Piano Electives
MUSG 123Class Piano I


MUSG 124Class Piano II


MUSG 223Class Piano III


MUSG 224Class Piano IV


Total Credit Hours:4

One credit-hour per course.

Performance and Recital Requirements
MUSM 200Student Recital


MUSM 400Student Recital


MUSP 200Performance Class


MUSP 400Performance Class



All majors must also include a minor or additional major. See Terms to Know.
Total Credit Hours:21

General Electives

Chosen from 300+ level

General electives


Total Credit Hours:15


  1. Successful completion of private applied upper division assessment required to register for MUSP 400-level courses.
  2. MUSG 123, MUSG 124, MUSG 223, MUSG 224: All students take the class piano proficiency exam upon entering this program. A recommendation for class piano placement is given by the screening faculty. If any student is recommended for placement in any section of class piano other than MUSG 123 Class Piano I, they must complete the examination(s) for credit coordinated by the MSU Testing Center. Students successfully completing the exam will be given a passing grade of “K” for each level that they test out of. The completion of the courses by exam will also appear on the student’s official program evaluation and transcripts.

Total Credit Hours: 120