Master of Arts in Music

  • 12.01.2015


The Master of Arts in Music degree is intended to allow talented musicians, who have completed an undergraduate degree in music and to pursue intensive graduate studies in performance. The Master of Arts in Music degree is offered with applied concentrations on piano, organ, voice, orchestral instruments, composition, and choral conducting, and church music.


Students who graduate from the Master of Arts in Music will:

  • develop exceptional skills in and knowledge of piano, organ, voice, instrument, composition, choral conducting, or church music.

  • be held to a professional standard of technical ability, artistry, and difficulty.

  • be prepared to continue their musical education at the doctoral level.

  • be prepared for a professional career in music, as both performer and teacher.

Admissions to the Department of Music

Admission for graduate studies in the School of Music is contingent upon formal application and an audition in a performance area (piano, organ, voice, instrument, composition, or conducting). The graduate studies program requires that all applicants have a Bachelor’s degree in Music. Prior to acceptance to the graduate music degree program, the applicant is required to complete an application to the School of Music and to present an audition in their principal area of concentration, and to demonstrate a musical background sufficient for the understanding of advanced musicianship studies. In addition, interviews are required of church music majors. Auditions and interviews are conducted by School of Music faculty. Applicants may schedule auditions and interviews by contacting the office of the School of Music.

D. Components and Requirements

(1) Audition Requirements:

works of J. S. Bach and a romantic or a modern composition of the student's choice,

  1. Piano Audition requires performance of three memorized pieces from three contrasting stylistic periods
  2. Organ Audition requires performance of a major work of J. S. Bach and a romantic or a modern composition of the student’s choice
  3. Voice Audition requires performance of four songs from memory, one in each of the following languages: French, German, English, and Italian
  4. Instruments Auditions require performance of at least two compositions of contrasting styles drawn from the standard solo repertoire of the student’s selected instrument

Composition major must submit scores and tapes of a recital for the bachelor's degree in composition to the head of School of Music.

Choral Conducting major applicants must submit concert programs and an audio/video recording of at least thirty minutes of music that provides examples of the applicant’s conducting ability. The applicant will be asked to rehearse and conduct a university chorus. Following the conducting audition, applicants will be interviewed by the admissions committee. The interview will include questions concerning the literature rehearsed, rehearsal techniques, repertoire, and personal goals.

(2) Diagnostic Examinations:

At the time of the audition, the applicant will be required to take diagnostic examinations in functional keyboard skills and music theory. The results of these two examinations will be factors in considering admission to the program. One week prior to the start of the applicant’s first semester of study, the applicant will take a music history diagnostic examination, covering the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Twentieth Century periods. The results of the test will be used for advisement, and may require remediation.

(3) General Requirements:

To qualify for the Master of Arts in Music degree programs, a graduate student must achieve a grade point average at least 3.0. Successful completion of graduate course requires a grade of “B” or higher.

(4) University Core (2 courses, 6 credits):

GCU requires all non-theology major students (BABM, BAM, MBA & MAM) to take two University Core courses (6 credits) during their course of study. Music majors may choose two of the following courses:

  • OT501 The Introduction to the Old Testament

  • NT501 The Introduction to the New Testament

  •  TH501 Systematic Theology I

  • CH501 History of Christianity

MAM with church music majors must complete all 4 courses (12 credits) of the University Core.

(5) Requirements for Graduations:

To qualify for the MAMUS degree, a student must successfully complete the required course work, give a successful recital in the student’s area of concentration, and successfully complete comprehensive oral examinations coordinated by the director of graduate studies and evaluated by a three-person faculty committee. All students need to complete 48 total credits, including University Core plus WS501 Institutional Requirement.

(6) Institutional Requirement:

GCU requires all students to attend WS501 Institutional Requirement (chapel) every semester through graduation. Students will receive a Pass/Fail grade on Institutional Requirement.

The curriculum is available in the catalog on page 169, you can download it here