May 15, 2021  
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin 
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Performance (Collaborative Piano) DMA

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The Doctor of Musical Arts in Collaborative Piano focuses on repertoire preparation, technical control, collaborative awareness of balance, texture, musical flexibility, interpretation of text, and confidence in performance.  

Admission Requirements

Each student has final responsibility to ascertain that he or she has complied with all applicable catalog requirements for graduation.  Faculty and advisors assist students in developing their programs, but they cannot waive or vary degree requirements as these appear in the University Graduate Bulletin.  Students must read the Doctoral Degree Requirements  section of this Bulletin; that which follows pertains to School of Music practices and policies and it amplifies Bulletin statements. 

Admission to graduate study does not imply acceptance into the School of Music for doctoral-level study.  A maximum of nine (9) hours of graduate work earned before one has gained admission into the School of Music can be applied towards a degree.  To gain acceptance, the following expectations must be met:

  • DMA in Performance: possess a master's degree and pass a candidacy audition prior to or during the first term of full-time residence or before completing nine (9) hours of course work.
  • Take diagnostic entrance examinations before classes begin.  This applies to all doctoral students.
  • Statement of Purpose to include your area of specialization and your reasons for seeking an advanced degree.
  • Resumé
  • Three Letters of Recommendation

Please note: The Graduate Record Examination is waived for D.M.A. applicants.

Students who are unable to meet regular admission standards may be considered for conditional admission.  For details concerning conditional admission, see Admission Requirements and Procedures .

All other admission requirements specific to the D.M.A. apply to Collaborative Piano.

Candidacy Audition             

All students must audition for the appropriate area faculty. This audition must be deemed "Satisfactory" before one can be accepted into the School of Music (i.e. before completing nine (9) hours of graduate work).  Early auditions are encouraged, and a high level of performance proficiency is expected.

In lieu of a candidacy audition, with the approval of the School of Music Graduate Committee, students who will complete the Master of Music degree in Performance at USM may use their graduate recital. The appropriate faculty must attend the recital, and the printed program must state the total purpose of the concert, (e.g., "This recital is given in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Music in Performance, and it also serves as an audition for acceptance into the Doctor of Musical Arts curriculum in the School of Music.") The student must begin doctoral study within one year of this audition. 

Pre-screening Requirements for DMA Collaborative Piano Performance

  • Two contrasting movements from a standard duo sonata for piano and instrument:

e.g. Beethoven, Brahms, Prokofiev, Franck, Schumann, Poulenc, Mozart

  • Two contrasting art songs from the German, French, or English vocal repertoire:

e.g. Schumann, Schubert, Duparc, Fauré, Barber, Vaughn Williams

DMA in Collaborative Piano Performance Live Audition

A complete standard instrumental sonata for piano and strings, winds or brass. Prokofiev, Franck, e.g. Brahms, Beethoven

  1. The first movement from a Mozart orchestral reduction.  Choose one from the following:
  • Violin:        K.216 in G major, K.218 in D major, or K.219 in A major
  •  Flute:         K. 313/285c in G major
  • Oboe:          K. 314/271k in C major
  • Clarinet:      K. 622 in A major
  • Bassoon:     K. 191 in Bb major

    2. Prepare 2 songs in each language, German, French and English (Total six songs). Below is a sample of the types of songs to include for you audition.They can include these selections, but you may also prepare your own.We will select two for you to perform at your audition.


J. Brahms  Meine Liebe ist grün or Wie melodien zieht es mir
F. Schubert Gretchen am Spinnrade or Im Frühling
R. Schumann Mondnacht or Widmung


H. Duparc Extase or Chanson Triste
C. Debussy Il pleure dans mon coeur or C'est l'extase
G. Fauré Mandoline or Notre amour


S. Barber The Desire for Hermitage or The Monk and his Cat
A. Copland Heart! We Will Forget Him!
R. Vaughan Williams The Vagabond or The Roadside Fire

Program Requirements and Academic Policies

Recital Requirements

Four recitals will be required in addition to the candidacy audition. Three will be a combination of vocal and instrumental repertoire. The fourth will be a lecture recital accompanied by a lecture document (approx. 30 pages in length).  In order to ensure a holistic approach to collaborative piano, recital repertoire will be an equal representation of instrumental, vocal and orchestral reduction repertoire.

As a general rule, not more than one doctoral recital may be presented by a candidate during any academic term, or more than two during any nine-month period.  Rare exceptions will be permitted, but under rigidly-controlled procedures. See the Graduate Coordinator for details.

Language Requirement

Satisfactory competence in English and German, French, or Italian is required for candidacy and must be approved by the Advisory Committee.  Competence in a foreign language can be demonstrated by:
a) completing two semesters (6 hours) of a graduate-level course in French or German or Italian      in reading for research with a grade of B- or higher at a previous institution.
b) completing two semesters (6 hours) of a graduate-level course in German or French or Italian in reading for research with a grade of B- or higher at The University of Southern Mississippi.
c) completing the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) test in French or German.  The CLEP can be taken at many sites. Students must obtain a minimum score on the total test in one of the languages as follows: French 43; German 39.

Satisfactory performance on language exams, administered by the USM School of Social Science and Global Studies, also is acceptable.  Others may be required by the major professor and the graduate advisory committee.  Students may transfer these hours from an accredited institution upon admission, provided that the most advanced of the courses was taken within the last six calendar years.

Course Requirements (60-84 hrs.)

The remainder of the course work will be guided by the counsel of the major professor and Graduate Advisory Committee. Curricular choices may be determined by several factors, including the student's performance on the qualifying examination and entrance audition, and the student's interests and/or professional goals. The following additional minimum distribution of graduate courses (including master's degree work) is required.



At least 18 hours of coursework must be at the 600 level or higher.  Graduate students must receive a grade of B- or better in any class for it to count toward graduation requirements. A cumulative 3.0 GPA is required for graduation. 

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