Jul 20, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog

School of Music

Kevin Haden, School Dean


Mission Statement

The School of Music at the University of the Arts prepares students to be innovators and leaders. Jazz and contemporary music serve as the nucleus of the School’s curriculum preparing students for careers as performers, composers, educators, and entrepreneurs. Faculty integrate traditional foundations and techniques with experimentation, improvisation, and originality to drive the School’s educational philosophy.


The School of Music is dedicated to the preparation and training of musicians for a career in music performance, composition, and music education. The student’s growth as a musician is the primary goal of the program. Additionally, the Music Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology program provides students with the broad skill sets and entrepreneurial spirit essential to creating their own specific career path within the music industry.

The music program is distinguished by its emphasis on American music idioms, such as jazz and contemporary music, and includes study in European and world traditions. The School’s mission of training professional musicians and educators of the highest caliber is maintained through a conservatory atmosphere, which stresses individualized training, a comprehensive curriculum that includes private lessons with master faculty, an abundance and diversity of ensembles and performance experiences, and a focus on information literacy and critical thinking in all curricular activity. Coursework for instrumental, vocal, and composition majors includes jazz improvisation, jazz theory and ear training, arranging, orchestration, basic piano and jazz piano, music and computer technology, recording engineering, music business, world music, and music histories (classical, jazz, rock, and other American styles & genres).

Performance opportunities play an important part in the student’s education by sharpening technical and improvisation skills and increasing the student’s command of repertoire and styles. The School’s numerous performance ensembles represent a wide range of styles and categories of jazz, American, classical, and world music. Students are involved in a rigorous schedule of performances, with over 150 concerts and recitals presented each year.

This contemporary curriculum is organized in three degree programs: the Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies, which prepares students for careers as music professionals in vocal or instrumental performance or composition; the Master of Arts in Teaching in Music Education, which prepares students for certification as music teachers for kindergarten through 12th grade; and the Master of Music in Jazz Studies, which is a finishing program for highly advanced students preparing for careers as performers or college-level instructors. A unique aspect of the undergraduate program allows students to select a Music Education minor or Jazz Master’s track that may enable them to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years.

The School of Music faculty is made up of experienced and practicing professionals, many of whom have attained international stature as performing and recording artists. This professional faculty is supplemented by a long list of guest artists and a regular series of workshops, master classes, and performances.

The Music Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) program at the University of the Arts offers courses in music business concepts and structures.  These courses are supplemented with topic-specific electives in fields such as Artist Management, Venue Management, Live Music Industry Operations, Recording Industry Operations, Legal Issues in the Music Industry and more.  This enables students to choose their path in specific niches of the industry.  Courses in Digital Marketing and Digital Distribution are also offered, which are designed to familiarize students with the undeniable role of media in today’s music industry.

The MBET program’s introductory-level audio recording classes are supplemented by production, mixing and mastering classes, and forums designed to get students working together in a studio environment.  The School of Music is committed to full exploration of a multitude of genres, techniques, and disciplines designed to inform its students of a wealth of approaches to production.  Additionally, the MBET program contains a rapidly expanding Audio Electronics division, which offers instruction in computer music programming, synthesizer development, circuit design, hardware hacking, and interactivity to provide students with the skills needed to create their own unique tools.

Founded in 1870 as the Philadelphia Musical Academy, which later merged with the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music, the School counts among its alumni some of the nation’s most accomplished musicians, including bassist Stanley Clarke, pianists Kenny Barron, Andre Watts, and Sumi Tonooka, vocalists Florence Quivar and Osceola Davis, drummer Gerry Brown, saxophonist Lew Tabackin, trombonist Robin Eubanks, composer Vincent Persichetti, and TV/film composers John Davis and Edd Kalehoff.  School of Music alumni can be found in Broadway theater orchestras, on the concert stage, and in studios world wide.

School Learning Outcomes

In addition to goals for individual programs, graduates of all programs in the School of Music will:

  • Demonstrate outstanding aural musicianship;
  • Demonstrate outstanding cognitive musicianship and theoretical knowledge;
  • Understand music in its historical and sociological context;
  • Express understanding of music in verbal and written form;
  • Be musically literate and technically proficient performers and composers;
  • Possess knowledge and experience in a diversity of musical styles and cultures;
  • Acquire the skills to use and integrate current technology in support of their musicianship;
  • Use all of the above as the basis for creative output.


Masterclasses in the School of Music are scheduled at least two times each semester. Guest artists teach an array of topics that are supplemental and supportive to the major coursework. Attendance and participation are required as part of the grade in the major


The number of hours of unexcused absences permitted per semester in the School of Music may not exceed the number of credits per course, i.e., in a three-credit course, no more than three hours of unexcused absences are permitted; in a two-credit course, no more than two hours of unexcused absences are permitted, etc.


The School of Music is located in the Merriam Theater building at 250 South Broad Street. Facilities include fully equipped music studios, practice rooms, two class piano laboratories, a digital drum lab, and classrooms. The School’s MIDI and Recording Studio is a recording and music technology facility, with a complete 32-input recording studio, MIDI and computer labs, computer and synthesizer workstation labs, and an audio-for-video dubbing and editing lab. Most practice rooms are equipped with acoustic pianos, plasma monitors, LCD projectors and sound systems. A suite of fully equipped percussion and drum set studios is available for student practice. In addition, the entire campus is equipped with Wi-Fi.

The University’s historic Merriam Theater, Gershman Building, Arts Bank, and the 200-seat recital hall in the Ellen and Ronald Caplan Center for the Performing Arts, are used for student and faculty performances. The Music Library contains books, manuscripts, journals, scores, records, tapes, and compact discs, as well as listening and viewing facilities, a music education information center, and access to the Internet for students.

Graduation Requirements

In addition to the general CPA requirements for graduation, the following must be fulfilled:

Undergraduate Requirements:

BM in Jazz Vocal Performance, Jazz Instrumental Peformance, or Jazz Composition: Senior Recital

  1. Performance majors must present a satisfactory graduation recital before the public (satisfactory performance to be determined by majority vote of a faculty jury).
  2. Composition majors must submit a satisfactory substantial work in the Senior year, to be publicly performed, adjudicated by the Composition faculty. The performance of an acceptable work(s) constitutes satisfaction of the Recital Requirement.
  3. The recital must include musical selections as stipulated by the faculty and must conform to School of Music recital requirements and public performance policy and guidelines (see Senior Recital).

BS in Music Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology: Senior Project

With the help of a faculty advisor, MBET students will select a project of particular relevance and interest. Each student must propose and implement a plan to create a substantial senior project as the capstone to his or her undergraduate education, which will be presented to, and evaluated by a faculty panel.

Undergraduate Requirements:

Exit Requirements for the MAT in Music Education

Successful completion of all course and related requirements shall lead to the granting of the Master of Arts in Teaching with a major in Music Education, provided that an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher is maintained. However, approval of the MAT in Music Education Committee is required for recommendation for teacher certification. It should be noted also that the initial Instructional I Certificate cannot be issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education unless PDE testing requirements have been met.

Exit Requirements for the Master of Music in Jazz Studies

All MM students must complete a satisfactory graduate project and a graduate recital in order to meet the degree requirements for completion of the Master of Music.

The recital must include musical selections as stipulated by the major teacher and department and must conform to the guidelines as stated in the school policy governing Senior recitals.

All MM candidates are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.0.

Major Lessons

Attendance at lessons

Students must attend all private lessons as scheduled except in the case of illness or emergency. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the teacher if he/she is unable to keep the appointment time. Failure to give at least 24-hours prior notice may result in forfeiture of the lesson. A maximum of three lessons per semester will be made up in the case of excused absences.

  • Lessons missed because of unexcused absences will not be made up.
  • Lessons missed due to the teacher’s absence will be rescheduled and made up by the teacher or his/her designee.
  • Unless circumstances render it impossible, “make-up” lessons for the fall semester are to be completed prior to the spring semester; “makeup” lessons for the spring must be completed by June 15.
  • Normally, students are entitled to 28 one-hour lessons during the academic year (14 per semester).

Lessons during the summer term

With permission of the Dean of the School of Music a student may enroll in Applied Music Instruction to be taken during the summer session. Consultation with the Director is required to ensure that the correct level of instruction can be made available. Students may enroll in Applied Music Lessons in the summer to retake a previously failed semester with the intention of progressing forward. If the lesson has a jury component, the jury must be completed with results reported no later than the third day of the fall semester. Students who fail the same level jury more than once or fail a total of more than one jury during his/her matriculation at the University, will be recommended for dismissal in accordance with Academic Review and Department Policies published elsewhere in this Catalog.

Change of Major Teacher

Students who wish to petition for a change of major teacher must:

  • Request a meeting with the School of Music admin team
  • State reasons for requesting a change of teacher.
  • Obtain the signed approval of the present and the requested teacher.
  • Obtain the signed approval of the department chair.
  • Obtain the signed approval of the Dean of the School of Music.

Such changes are not usually affected in mid-semester. If the change is approved during the semester, in addition to the process stated above, the student must also drop and add the appropriate instructors’ section number in Student Self-Service prior to the end of the semester’s Drop/Add period..

The School requires that every student must change applied major teachers following the fourth semester of study with a particular teacher. Students are given the option of requesting a specific teacher, or the Department Chair can appoint one. This policy reaffirms the consistency of high quality of instruction in each applied area, and ensures a diversity of teaching and learning perspectives in the major.

Jury Examinations

All first-, second-, and third-year performance and composition majors must take a jury examination in their applied area upon the completion of the second, fourth, and sixth semesters of applied study. This usually occurs in May during the week of or immediately following classroom examinations. However, students who began their matriculation in midyear, transferred from another institution, or have failed their jury in a prior year may be scheduled to take the examination in December.

Students are evaluated in comparison to the Minimum Applied Jury Requirements in their major. A list of these requirements is given to each student by his/her major teacher at the beginning of each year. The jury consists of at least two faculty members in addition to the major teacher (who may be present but may not grade). The jury examination is graded Pass/Fail, but also includes areas of optional letter grading evaluation.

Failure in any single “Pass/Fail” aspect of the jury examination constitutes a failure (F) in the entire jury examination. A student who fails the jury fails the entire semester in the applied major; this jury examination may not be retaken until the following semester. A grade of F will appear on the student’s transcript for the major lessons, and the student will receive no credit for the semester’s work in major lessons. The student must repeat the failed semester of applied study and retake the jury examination at the completion of the next semester. A student who fails the same semester jury examination more than once or who fails a total of more than one jury examination during his/her matriculation at the University may be recommended for dismissal.

The requirements that are tested in the jury examination are those that have been established, by a departmental faculty committee, to be the minimum set of skills and knowledge necessary for successful completion of applied study. Requirements are established for each year of study and are considered cumulative: e.g., a jury examination of a second-year student may include requirements from the first year.

It is possible for a student to pass the jury examination and yet receive a failing grade in the applied lessons, due to the different grading and evaluation criteria for each. However, a student who fails the jury will receive a failure in the applied lessons.

Senior or Graduate Recital

All students petitioning to graduate in music performance and composition majors must present a Senior Recital. Students who are intending to present a senior recital must attend the senior recital meeting, scheduled in early fall semester.
 All Recials must run at a maximum length of 50 minutes, and a minimum length of 40 minutes. Recital repertoire must be approved by your major lesson teacher at least 6 weeks prior to the recital. 

Every student is responsible for creating a recital program that must be submitted to the School of Music administrator at least 1 week prior to the recital. Programs must also be sent to major lesson teachers and department heads at this time. A list of your recital equipment needs must be sent to the Master Sound Engineer at least 2 weeks prior to the recital. Students will be given a list of equipment available to them, additional equipment must be approved by the master sound engineer.

 Posters are not required, however, if a student chooses to create a poster, the finalized .PDF of the poster(s) must be approved by the school of music office at least 1 week prior to the date the posters will go up. Appropriate concert attire is required of both the recitalist and their ensemble. UArts faculty may not perform in the recital, with the exception of accompanists. 

Different departments require additional guidelines a student must adhere to; contact your department head for more information. Please refer also the the Senior Recital Guidelines document for more information (Senior Recital Guidelines)

School of Music Ensemble Policy

Undergraduate and graduate performance majors are required to participate in ensembles during their time at the University. For specific ensemble requirements, consult with your respective department head. Students from outside the School of Music are eligible and encouraged to audition for placement into ensembles.  
Enrollment in most school ensembles is assigned for the entire academic year. In order to enroll in any ensemble for credit, students must leave one credit free per ensemble.

 The Ensemble Coordinator may assign any student to any ensemble. If a student agrees to take an ensemble for no credit they are expected to give full participation and attendance for the entire semester. If an ensemble director deems that a student has not given full participation,1 the student may be asked to leave the ensemble and withdraw from the course. Students are often given printed music during ensemble rehearsals, and are responsible for returning it as directed. Failure to do so on-time and in good condition may result in the assessment of fines and the withholding of grades. 

Professional Standards of Behavior

Students are required to maintain high standards of professionalism in studio, classroom, rehearsal, and performance commitments. Failure to follow directions and absence from or lateness to rehearsals, performances, and related activities may result in Academic Censure, including lowering of grades, course failure, removal from the class or ensemble, or suspension.


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