School of Music

MM in Pedagogy

The Masters in Performance / Pedagogy is for students who wish to prepare for, or are involved in a career in applied studio teaching. The program focuses on the development of teaching techniques and performance skills. Specific areas of pedagogy study include comparison of teaching methods and repertory. The program includes a supervised teaching internship.

This program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours and a minimum grade point average of 3.0. Credits
      MUS 510 Bibliography and Research in Music 3
      MUH 520 Seminar in Music History 3
      MUT 530 Seminar in Music Theory 3
      MUP 604 Applied Music, Secondary Area (4 semesters) 8
      MUS 695 Final Project: Thesis or Lecture-Recital 3
      MUS 521 Literature of the Major Instrument  
          Or, for vocal pedagogy majors:  
      MUS 522 Vocal Literature I or MUS 523 Vocal Literature II 2
Depending on area of study:  
      MUS 572 Vocal Pedagogy or  
      MUS 578 Pedagogy of the Major Instrument: Piano 1  2
Depending on area of study, one of the following:  
      MUS 584 Advanced Pedagogy - Voice or  
      MUS 579 Pedagogy of the Major Instrument: Piano 2 or  
      MUS 582 Advanced Pedagogy: Keyboard  2
      MUS 694 Internship – field application of applied teaching 3
      Electives – Any MUH, MUS, MUP, MUT or MUE 500 or 600 levelcourses 1


Information for Matriculated Students

Graduate Competency Exams

All incoming School of Music graduate students must pass competency exams in music theory/ear training and music history and literature prior to enrollment in MUS 530 Seminar in Music Theory and MUS 520 Seminar in Music History. These exams will be graded pass/fail. Each exam may be taken no more than three times. Students unable to pass after three attempts must withdraw from the program.

Special Requirements and Standards

All music graduate programs must be completed within six years from the date of matriculation.

Students must maintain a B average in all course work and must have no grade lower than B-. Students who receive grades lower than B- will be reviewed for retention in the graduate program.

Each program requires that students demonstrate mastery in their primary area of study. Students meet this requirement through the presentation of a lecture-recital or thesis. Consult the individual requirements below for more details.

The following conditions will apply to all recitals, lecture recitals, and thesis projects in pedagogy:

  • Required final project must be presented after successful completion of the comprehensive exams
  • Grading of the lecture-recital or thesis will be by a committee of at least two jurors. The jurors will be drawn from the graduate faculty.
  • The candidate must receive a grade of B or higher on the final project.
Final Project

Lecture-Recital: A 45 - 60 minute Lecture-Recital based on a topic of the student's discretion with approval of the applied teacher. A copy of the lecture-recital document must be submitted for review before the public presentation.


An extensive Thesis based on a pedagogy topic to be agreed on by the program director and student.

Note: The student in the Masters of Music Program / Pedagogy may elect to present a non-required Recital with the approval of the Applied teacher after the 3rd semester of study is achieved.

Transfer credit

Six graduate credits may be transferred to USM from another NASM-accredited college or university.

Admissions credit

Additionally no more than six graduate credits for work earned at USM in the five years prior to matriculation may be credited to the master's degree.


No residency is required for the pedagogy program.

Exit Requirements

Pedagogy majors must present a Final Project, a forty-five (45) to sixty (60) minute lecture recital or a thesis based on a pedagogical topic. The selection of an appropriate final project will be made in collaboration with the applied area teacher and program advisor.

In addition to the required Final Project and associated written documents, candidates will be required to complete a written or oral examination in which they will be prepared to discuss topics and answer questions in their field. The exit examination will be scheduled through the applied teacher and two other members of the graduate studies program within the School of Music.

Contact the USM Office of Graduate Admissions for an application and instructions. Visit Graduate Admissions online at:

Every applicant for admission must submit:

  • An application form.
  • The application fee.
  • Official transcripts of all previous college and university work.
  • An essay of 300-500 words on your professional goals
  • A professional résumé

In addition, applicants to the School of Music graduate program in pedagogy must fulfill the following requirements prior to enrollment:

  • A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent in music or music education
  • An audition (by invitation only; see details below).

Applicants in pedagogy must submit:

  • A complete repertoire list, specifying those works that have been performed
Music Audition

Once the Office of Graduate Admissions application is complete, the School of Music Graduate Studies Committee will review the materials and make a recommendation to the School's coordinator of graduate studies. The program advisor for the pedagogy area will contact applicants selected for an audition.

Each degree program has specific audition requirements outlined below. Acceptance into an area of study is exclusive to that area, and a separate application and audition is required for each area. Due to the intensive and individualized nature of a graduate program in music, admission in specific areas will be limited.

The audition will include:

  • A performance audition of at least 15 minutes of music containing repertoire that represents various music styles according to the discipline of the student's applied area.
  • A sight singing exam will be taken by all students at the time of audition, demonstrating the ability to sight sing a melody and clap, tap or recite a rhythm pattern at sight.

Additionally, vocalists must perform from memory in English, Italian, and one (1) other language.

Vocalists must demonstrate the ability to play at the piano: I, IV, V, I chord progressions in keys up to 3 sharps and flats.

Auditions for: Portland Youth Symphony Orchestras, Portland Youth Wind Ensemble, and Youth Choirs

USM Youth Ensembles

The USM Youth Ensembles invite young musicians and singers (ages 8-18) to audition for the following ensembles.

Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra
Portland Youth Wind Ensemble
Portland Youth Junior Orchestra
Portland Young Peoples String Consort
Southern Maine Youth Chorale
Southern Maine Children's Choir

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