Aug 08, 2022  
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin 
    
2021-2022 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Performance DMA


Overview


The Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance assumes a high level of performance skill and artistry, as well as a solid foundation in music studies.  The degree prepares the candidate not only for a continued professional and artistic career, but also for teaching in higher education. 

Students pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree do so with an emphasis in performance. Specific areas in which the D.M.A. may be earned are:

Bassoon Oboe Tuba
Clarinet Percussion Viola
Conducting Piano Violin
Euphonium Saxophone Violoncello
Flute String Bass Voice
Guitar Trombone  
Horn Trumpet  

Admission Requirements


Applications for admission to the Performance DMA program include requirements beyond those specified by the Graduate School.  These include the following:       

  • A master's degree
  • Pass a candidacy audition prior to admission into the School of Music.
  • A Statement of Purpose which includes a rationale for seeking an advanced degree and states the desired area of specialization.

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 .

A Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score is not required for admission to this program. 

Candidacy Audition

All students must audition for the appropriate area faculty (generally, taped or recorded auditions are not acceptable; however, some areas accept Skype, video recordings, or YouTube).  Early auditions are encouraged, and a high level of performance proficiency is expected. The audition must be deemed "satisfactory" before an applicant will be accepted into the School of Music. With the approval of the School of Music Graduate Committee, applicants completing the Master of Music degree in performance at USM may use their graduate recital in lieu of a candidacy audition. 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.

Repertory lists with representative works are available upon request. Write: [instrument] professor, School of Music, The University of Southern Mississippi, 118 College Drive #5081, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001.

String and Woodwind Performance:  For those majoring in string and woodwind performance, the audition must be at least 30 minutes in length and must include three works of contrasting style, preferably representing three different periods in music.

Brass Performance:  For those majoring in brass performance, the audition must be a full recital for the brass faculty.

Percussion Performance:  For those majoring in percussion performance, the audition should demonstrate proficiency on timpani, on mallet keyboards, and include a multiple- percussion piece.

Piano Performance: For those majoring in piano performance, the audition must be a full recital, memorized, and performed before the piano faculty. It must include three works of contrasting style, preferably representing three different periods in music (e.g., Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist, Contemporary). The faculty may select portions from the repertoire submitted. The piano area highly recommends the applicant discuss repertoire choices with a member of the piano faculty.

Voice Performance:  Voice performance applicants must demonstrate, by audition, (1) advanced vocal technique; (2) good diction in English, French, German, and Italian; and (3) good vocal quality and musicianship. The repertoire must be memorized and include a total of eight contrasting selections - two selections each in English, French, German, and Italian - and must include one but no more than two arias from an opera or oratorio, an Italian song or aria, a German Lied, a French Mélodie, and a song in English. A minimum of five pieces will be heard.  For International applicants (those outside of the U.S.) only, the voice faculty accepts preliminary auditions via "live" Skype or current YouTube upload.

Advisory committee

Early in the first term of full-time residence or before nine (9) hours of graduate credit have been earned, the student and the major professor select those faculty who will serve as the student's Advisory Committee.  Doctoral committees must include five members: 1) the major professor, 2) a second professor from the major area, 3) a third professor from the major area (or a substitute approved by the School of Music Director), 4) a representative from Music Theory, 5) a representative from Music History. Any deviation from this formula must be pre-approved in writing by the School of Music Director. The advisory committee must be appointed before taking the qualifying examination.

Various degree requirements are completed when the members of a student's Advisory Committee indicate their approval with a signed vote of at least 4-1.  These milestones include choice of repertoire for each recital, recital performances, the degree plan, grading each section of the qualifying and comprehensive exams, the dissertation prospectus, and the defended dissertation. 

  • In the only exception to this broad rule, the recital repertoire for a DMA student in conducting needs instead to be approved by the three members of the conducting faculty on the student's Advisory Committee.

Special Problems Courses (MUS 692, 792, MED 692, 792) 

Students cannot enroll in special problems courses without appropriate approval. Petitions requesting permission to enroll are available on the School of Music website at https://www.usm.edu/music/forms-0

Petitions must be submitted to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies by the end of SOAR open registration.  Special Problems courses demand a minimum of 45 hours work for each hour of credit earned.  It is expected that the result of any problem undertaken be available for faculty examination; copies of term papers, examinations, or compositions must be turned in to the Coordinator for this purpose.

Program Requirements and Academic Policies


Diagnostic Entrance Examinations 

All entering doctoral students are required to take a Diagnostic Entrance Examination in music theory and in music history & literature. The purposes of this examination are 1) to determine whether the student has foundation-level deficiencies that need to be addressed in order for her/him to be successful in doctoral-level courses on the qualifying examinations and on the comprehensive examinations; and 2) to provide information that will guide the student and his/her advisor in selecting useful and appropriate academic courses.  

Diagnostic Examinations are administered on campus in fall, spring, and summer each Thursday and/or Friday preceding the first day of classes or as announced by the Coordinator of Graduate Studies.  Newly admitted students should always see the Coordinator for the most up-to-date information.

Students who do not pass the history diagnostic exam must enroll in MUS 630.  Students who do not pass the theory diagnostic exam must enroll in MUS 620. These courses must be included within the first two semesters of graduate work.  Exceptions to this requirement may be granted for the summer semester only and will be considered on an individual basis.  Undergraduate music theory and/or history courses may be required as prerequisites to further study in graduate music theory or history.  Students who do not pass the music theory review, or the history review (or required undergraduate courses) will not be allowed to enroll in further study in music history or music theory unless the grade of "B-" or better is earned in the required prerequisite course(s).  

MUS 620 , MUS 630  and undergraduate courses will not be counted toward hours earned for the Doctoral degree.

Students with deficiencies may be required to take additional course work beyond the minimum required in the degree program.

Qualifying Examinations

All doctoral students are required to complete a qualifying examination consisting of three written components (music theory, music history, and the student's major area).  This examination must be completed before the beginning of the second semester of full-time doctoral study.  Part-time students must complete this examination at the end of the third semester of enrollment. The purpose of the qualifying examination is to determine if, after a semester of doctoral coursework (which may include review courses) and of independent study, the student is academically qualified to proceed with doctoral study. The exam will guide the advisory committee in planning the student's program.

The area emphasis portion of the qualifying examination (e.g., conducting, music performance, etc.) will be graded by those members of the student's committee representing the emphasis area, followed by the other members of the committee.  The music theory and history portions will be graded by theory and history faculty, respectively, followed by the other members of the student's committee.

The exact dates of the examinations are determined by the Coordinator of Graduate Studies.  The dates are publicized as soon as the University's Academic Calendar is available.  Students must register for the exam at least two months in advance with the Coordinator of Graduate Studies.

Note:  See the School of Music D.M.A. Handbook for further details. 

Comprehensive Examinations

At the completion of all coursework and examinations, the doctoral student is required to take a written comprehensive examination.  DMA candidates take a written comprehensive examination in the student's area of specialization, music theory, and music history.  Doctoral students should consult their major professor and the Coordinator of Graduate Studies regarding comprehensive examination policies beyond those listed in this Bulletin.

Generally, doctoral comprehensive exams are given during same time period as the Qualifying examinations.  The exact dates of the examinations are determined by the Coordinator of Graduate Studies. The dates are publicized as soon as the University's Academic Calendar is available.  Students must register for the exam two months in advance at the School of Music office.

Note:  See the School of Music D.M.A. Handbook for further details. 

Requirement in Either Foreign Language or Specialized Research Tool

For most of our DMA students, satisfactory competence in English and also German, French, Italian or other foreign language specifically approved by a given student's Advisory Committee is required for candidacy.  Competence in a foreign language can be demonstrated by:

  1. having already completed three semesters (9 hours) of an undergraduate-level language course with a grade of B- or higher.
  2. completing two semesters (6 hours) of graduate-level coursework in German, French, Italian in reading for research with a grade of C or higher.
  3. Other languages determined to be particularly useful for a given student's research are also acceptable, following the same certification path.
  4. 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 for any language accepted for this requirement can also serve this purpose.  
  5. Students may fulfill the proficiency requirement for one language if they have completed an undergraduate major or a Master's degree in a foreign language at any time.

Other languages may be required by the major professor and the graduate advisory committee instead of those listed above.  Students may fulfill their foreign language requirement through having done the course work described above at another accredited institution, provided that the most advanced of the courses was taken within the last eight calendar years.

Exceptions: In most but not all DMA programs students whose native language is not English may fulfill the language requirement by presenting the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL, minimum score of 71), the IELTS exam (minimum score of 4.0), or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) examination. Alternatively, the foreign language requirement will be considered fulfilled if such a student has earned a degree at an accredited U. S. college or university (or at an accredited English-speaking university elsewhere). Additionally, students who have completed a high school, undergraduate, or Master's degree (regardless of major) where the language of instruction was not the student's first language, for example an English-speaking American student who has completed a degree where the language of instruction is French, the foreign language requirement will be considered to be fulfilled if a transcript, or official letter attesting to the language of instruction is submitted as part of the student's university application.

Research Tools: In certain cases, a student's research will require advanced competence in research methods or technology.  Most of these students will be in the DMA in Conducting program. Such students may, with the written consent of their advisor and committee, fulfill this requirement by taking at least two courses from among the following (totaling at least 6 hours).  This is not an exhaustive list. Other courses may fulfill the requirement with the approval of the student's advisory committee and the Director of the School of Music.

            MED 825          Seminar in Music Education
            MED 629          Music Education Research Designs (fall semester)
            MED 701          Quantitative Research in Music Education
            MED 702          Qualitative Research in Music Education
            REF 600           Foundations of Educational Studies and Research
            REF 601           Educational Research: Interpretation and Applications
            REF 602           Introduction to Educational Statistics
            REF 761           Quantitative Analysis I (REF 602 pre-requisite)
            REF 730           Qualitative Research in the Social Sciences I
            REF 704           Epistemology in Social Sciences
            REF 889           The Dissertation Process
            Technology       Graduate level technology course

 

Program-Specific Special Language Requirements

Voice Performance:  The student's transcript(s) must show grades of B- or better in at least one course in diction for singers and in two years of foreign language: German, French, or Italian (may include any combination of those languages). Students lacking these will be required to pass such courses in addition to the requirements for the degree. In lieu of coursework, satisfactory performance on language exams, administered by the USM School of Social Science and Global Studies, is acceptable.

Collaborative Piano Performance:  Satisfactory competence in English is required.  In addition, competence in either German, French, or Italian is required for candidacy and must be approved by the Advisory Committee.  Competence in these three languages 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.

a) having already completed three semesters (9 hours) of an undergraduate-level language course with a grade of B- or higher.
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. 

Other languages may be required by the major professor and the graduate advisory committee instead of those listed above.  Students may transfer these hours from an accredited institution upon admission, provided that the most advanced of the courses was taken within the last eight calendar years.

Jury Requirements/Final Examinations for Doctoral Students

DMA Performance students must perform a jury for the appropriate applied faculty. All other doctoral students must perform a final examination for the applied teacher.  See School of Music DMA Handbook for further details.

Ensemble Participation for DMA Students

All full-time DMA students are required to participate in a major ensemble during their first four semesters. Major ensembles in the School of Music for graduate students are Southern Chorale, Concert Choir, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds, Opera, Orchestra, and Jazz Band. A maximum of two (2) hours of graduate credit earned from ensemble work may be counted toward a degree. The ensemble in which one participates will be determined by the student's major applied area and area of interest. This major ensemble policy does not apply to graduate guitar or piano majors.

Continuous Enrollment Requirement

Doctoral students are expected to enroll continuously after they have taken required coursework until they complete their degree using the following guidelines.

  • Students must enroll for a minimum of one (1) credit hour of Dissertation MUS 898  each fall and spring semester until the student graduates.
  • The semester the student defends their dissertation they must enroll in one (1) credit hour of Dissertation (MUS 898 ).
  • Students must register for at least one (1) hour of MUS 898  the next semester if they have not deposited their dissertation in the Graduate School.

If a student does not successfully defend their dissertation by stated Graduate School deadlines, they will be required to enroll for one (1) credit hour of MUS 898  the following semester.

Failure to enroll for the appropriate hours will result in the student being discontinued from USM and require that the student reapply for admission to the program.

Residency Requirements

Minimum residency requirements are set by the Graduate School as either two successive semesters with a minimum of twelve (12) hours each or three successive semesters with a minimum of nine (9) hours each.

DMA in ALL Performance Area (Except Piano)

The D.M.A. Performance degree is offered in the following areas.

Bassoon Oboe Tuba
Clarinet Percussion Viola
Conducting Piano Violin
Euphonium Saxophone Violoncello
Flute String Bass Voice
Guitar Trombone  
Horn Trumpet  

All DMA candidates must complete a research capstone in the form of either a Dissertation or a Doctoral Project.

Dissertation or Doctoral Project

DISSERTATION OPTION:

Candidates choosing this option will write a document that makes an original and significant contribution to the knowledge of their field; it must give evidence of the candidate's ability to make a scholarly investigation of limited scope. The primary purpose of this document is to demonstrate the candidate's capacity to work independently and to produce scholarship that meets professional standards. The dissertation should include at least 11,000 words of prose, in addition to the front matter, appendices, musical examples, and bibliography.

All dissertation candidates must:

  • enroll in twelve (12) hours (cumulative) of MUS 898 Dissertation with their advisor to supervise their research.
  • defend their prospectus before their advisory committee. (This must occur in a different semester from the defense of the completed written project.)
  • defend their dissertation before their advisory committee. (The advisory committee must have been given at least three weeks to review and respond to the dissertation document before it is defended. The candidate must receive written permission to proceed from the committee prior to scheduling a defense.)
  • submit the appropriate approval form (Thesis, Dissertation, or Doctoral Project Proposal Approval Form) to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies.

DOCTORAL PROJECT OPTION:

Candidates choosing this option will write a research document and present a public lecture recital on a topic endorsed by the candidate's committee. (Note: It is not necessary that the student register for this lecture recital; it is simply a part of the Doctoral Project requirement). 

Although the written research document has a more limited scope than the traditional dissertation, it must constitute an original and significant contribution to the knowledge of their field.  That document should contain at least 6,000 words of prose, in addition to the front matter, appendices as necessary, musical examples, and a bibliography. 

 

It is understood that the script of the lecture recital will cover essentially the same ground as the accompanying research document but be modified for oral delivery under the guidance of the committee chair.  The public lecture recital must be 50-60 minutes in length and be divided roughly equally between performance and lecture.  Both the performance and lecture portions must be delivered by the candidate.  If a committee member cannot be present at the lecture recital, a video recording of the entire lecture recital must be provided by the candidate. 

All doctoral project candidates must:

  • enroll in twelve (12) hours (cumulative) of MUS 898 Dissertation with their advisor to supervise their research;
  • submit the appropriate approval form (Thesis, Dissertation, or Doctoral Project Proposal Approval Form) to the Coordinator of Graduate Studies;
  • defend their doctoral project prospectus before their advisory committee at least two  semesters before the lecture recital;
  • submit the final doctoral project document to members of their advisory committee at least one semester prior to the lecture recital. Members of the committee will have this time to review and comment on the doctoral project document before the lecture. The candidate agrees to make necessary changes in the document that are required by the committee in advance of the lecture recital. Candidates must receive written permission to proceed from all committee members prior to scheduling the lecture recital;
  • present a lecture recital

Recitals

All DMA Performance areas (except piano) require three recitals. One must be a solo recital, one must be either a full-length recital of chamber music or another solo recital, and the third chosen from the following options:

              (a) Performance of a concerto with orchestra/band
              (b) Performance of a major role in an opera
              (c) Performance of a major role in an oratorio
              (d) A full-length recital of chamber music
              (e) A solo recital
              (f) A lecture recital  (only available for Dissertation Option)      

Note: The Doctoral Project Option requires a lecture recital as part of the Doctoral Project. However, the student does not have to register separately for this recital as it is a part of the Doctoral Project Option.

 

D.M.A. in Piano Performance

All DMA candidates must complete a research capstone in the form of either a Dissertation or a Doctoral Project.

Dissertation or Doctoral Project

DISSERTATION OPTION

A. 3 recitals: 

  1. Solo recital
  2. Choice of Concerto, Chamber, or Solo Recital
  3. Lecture-recital*

B. Written Component: DMA Document of min. 50 pages (including examples, but without the front matter and appendices)

​* The lecture-recital may be (but is not required to be) on a topic related to the DMA Thesis/Document.

 

DOCTORAL PROJECT OPTION

A. 4 recitals: 

  1. First solo recital with program notes (properly documented and referenced, under the guidance of the applied professor)
  2. Second solo recital with program notes (properly documented and referenced, under the guidance of the applied professor)
  3. A choice of: either ​a concerto or ​a chamber recital with program notes (properly documented and referenced, under the guidance of the applied professor)
  4. Lecture-recital (with a properly cited paper and references that could either be the script for the lecture-recital or be modified for oral delivery under the guidance of the ​applied professor)

     

The committee must meet and approve the cited paper (whether it be the proposed script or the research document that will be later modified for oral delivery), including required edits, at least one semester prior to the performance of the lecture recital.

The public lecture-recital must be 50-60 minutes in length and be divided roughly equally between performance and lecture.  Both the performance and lecture portions must be delivered by the candidate.  If a committee member cannot be present at the lecture-recital, a video recording of the entire lecture recital must be provided by the candidate. 

Candidates choosing this option will write on a topic endorsed by the candidate's committee.  The topic approval (prospectus defense) should take place two semesters prior to the intended date of the lecture-recital.

 B. Written Component: The above-mentioned program notes and lecture-recital paper serve as the written component of the Doctoral Project.

Course Requirements (60- 84 hours)


  • MUS 500  - Writing About Music (3 hrs)
  • MUS 702 - Bibliography for Music Research (3 hrs) 
  • MUS 731 - Seminar in Performance Practice (3hrs)
  • MUS 898  – Dissertation (12 hrs)    

Remaining coursework will be determined in light of the student's qualifying examination, entrance audition, his or her interests or professional goals, and the counsel of the major professor and Graduate Advisory Committee. In planning this program, the following minimum distribution of graduate courses (including master's degree work) is required:

  • (30) semester hours in performance music studio study and recitals
  • (9) semester hours in music history (survey courses and/or MUS 571 ),
  • (3) semester hours in music literature (MUS 531  and/or courses with the word "literature" in the title)
  • (9) semester hours in music theory

The remainder of the program comes from approved electives, which may include six (6) semester hours in a cognate field of study.  (Cognates require 12 hours above the primary course requirements.)  A 3.0 G.P.A. is required for graduation.  To meet graduation requirements, no grade below a "C" is acceptable in any coursework attempted.  No more than two (2) grades of "C+" or "C" across six (6) credit hours is allowable in any coursework attempted.