BM – Bachelor of Music

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 "Competencies Common to All Professional Baccalaureate Degrees in Music and to All Undergraduate Degrees Leading to Teacher Certification" (NASM Handbook) define the program competencies for the Bachelor of Music Education and Bachelor of Music degree programs at MSU.

A. Performance

Students must acquire:

  1. Technical skills requisite for artistic self-expression in at least one major performance area at a level appropriate for the particular music concentration.
  2. An overview understanding of the repertory in their major performance area and the ability to perform from a cross section of that repertory.
  3. The ability to read music at sight with fluency.
  4. Knowledge and skills sufficient to work as a leader and in collaboration on matters of musical interpretation. Rehearsal and conducting skills are required as appropriate to the particular music concentration.
  5. Keyboard competency. Experiences in secondary performance areas are recommended.
  6. Growth in artistry, technical skills, collaborative competence and knowledge of repertory through regular ensemble experiences. Ensembles should be varied both in size and nature.
  7. Performance study and ensemble experiences that normally continue throughout the baccalaureate program.

B. Aural Skills and Analysis

Students must acquire:

  1. An understanding of the common elements and organizational patterns of music and their interaction and the ability to employ this understanding in aural, verbal and visual analyses.
  2. Sufficient understanding of musical forms, processes and structures to use this knowledge in compositional, performance, scholarly, pedagogical and historical contexts, according to the requisites of their specialization.
  3. The ability to place music in historical, cultural and stylistic contexts.

C. Composition and Improvisation

Students must acquire:

  1. Rudimentary capacity to create derivative or original music both extemporaneously and in written form.
  2. The ability to compose, improvise, or both at a basic level in one or more musical languages; for example, the imitation of various musical styles, improvisation on pre-existing materials, the creation of original compositions, experimentation with various sound sources, and manipulating the common elements in nontraditional ways.

D. History and Repertory

Students must acquire:

  1. A basic knowledge of music history through the present time.
  2. An acquaintance with repertories beyond the area of specialization. All students must be exposed to a large and varied body of music through study and attendance at recitals, concerts, opera and musical theatre productions, and other performances.

E. Technology

Students must acquire:

  1. A basic overview understanding of how technology serves the field of music as a whole.
  2. Working knowledge of the technological developments applicable to their area of specialization.

F. Synthesis

While synthesis is a lifetime process, by the end of undergraduate study students should be:

  1. Working independently on a variety of musical problems by combining their capabilities in performance; aural, verbal, and visual analysis; composition and improvisation; and history and repertory.
  2. Forming and defending value judgments about music.
  3. Acquiring the tools to work with a comprehensive repertory, including music from various cultures of the world and music of their own time.
  4. Understanding basic interrelationships and interdependencies among the various professions and activities that constitute the musical enterprise.


  1. Survey of Graduates
  2. Performance Recitals
  3. Exit Interview
  4. Senior Capstone Course

See: BM: Collaborative Piano Track, BM: Jazz Studies Track, BM: Keyboard Track, BM: Orchestral Strings Track, BM: Percussion Track, BM: Voice, BM: Woodwind, Brasswind Track