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Music and Dance

Music and Dance | Courses | Faculty


273 Fine Arts Center

Degrees: Bachelor of Music
Bachelor of Arts

Contact: Admissions Director
Office: 273 FAC
Phone: (413) 545-2227

Chair of Department: Professor Jeff Cox. Professors Cohen, W. Hill, Holmes, J. Jenkins, Karpinski, Laura Klock, Lynn Klock, Macchia, May, Parks, Shank, Sussman; Associate Professor Brown; Assistant Professors Auerbach, Lehmberg, Miller; Senior Lecturer II Stoia; Senior Lecturers Berlin, Hite, M. Jenkins, Jensen-Hole, Krueger, Marcelletti, Smar, Walt; Lecturers Chang, Eisenstein, Lockwood, Schween.

The Field

The Department of Music offers diverse areas of concentration for students who wish to obtain a professional degree in the field. The department also offers a Music Minor, and has a number of music courses for non-music majors including Music Theory, Music Appreciation, Jazz History, African-American Music, American Popular Music and The Lively Arts. In addition, nearly twenty vocal and instrumental ensembles are available to University students through an audition procedure held during the first week of each semester. Contact the Music Office, tel. (413) 545-2227, for audition information.

The Major

The Music major can lead to the Bachelor of Music or the Bachelor of Arts. The B.Mus. is an intensive, professionally oriented degree. The B.A. has a less intensive curriculum, designed as part of a liberal arts education experience rather than as preparation for a professional career in music. Students wishing to pursue either degree must audition. Audition dates and requirements are available from the Admissions Director.

Common Core Requirements

Both the B.Mus. and the B.A. programs require the following core courses:

Theory I through V (112, 113, 212, 213, 312)
Aural Skills I through IV (114, 115, 214, 215)
Music Literature (101)
Music History (300, 301, 392M)
Applied Lessons (MUSIC APP 117, 217, 317)

Bachelor of Music
In addition to the common core, the B.Mus. requires the following:

Piano: MUSIC 130-133 Class Piano I-IV
Conducting: MUSIC 325 Basic Conducting

Applied Music (private study) throughout the curriculum

Completion of a concentration: There are five concentration areas in the B.Mus. program; each requires special courses. A list of requirements for each is available in the Music Office.

Foreign Language: B.Mus. students are not subject to the requirements of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. However, some B.Mus. concentrations include a two-semester foreign language requirement.


Performance—Twenty-eight hours of applied lessons, and the performance of junior and senior recitals are required. This concentration prepares students for careers as professional musicians. Graduates may also teach privately or go on to further study to prepare for performing careers and/or teaching at the college level. Music performance is the most restricted of all music fields. Full-time career opportunities are highly competitive.

Music History—The study of music history as a profession requires advanced music history courses and a senior thesis. The program prepares students for graduate work in musicology. Advanced degrees in these areas are required for college-level teaching.

Theory/Composition—This concentration is primarily concerned with theoretical and composition techniques of Western classical music. The program prepares students for graduate work in theory and/or composition. Those holding advanced degrees in theory or composition often teach at the college level or compose in the private sector.

Music Education—Students complete courses in psychology, music education methods, instrumental techniques, and student teaching. Students must earn a grade of C or higher in approved professional courses. The curriculum prepares students for Initial Licensure to teach music in the public schools’ grades PreK-12. Admission to and completion of the concentration require passing scores on the Massachusetts Tests of Educator Licensure (MTEL).

Jazz and African-American Music—A jazz performance program requires junior and senior recitals, plus courses that include jazz history, African-American music, jazz arranging and composition, jazz theory and improvisation, instrument- and voice-related classes, and applied lessons. Students also participate in a broad range of performance styles and ensembles, which is of great use when entering professional careers. As in all performance areas, full-time opportunities are highly competitive.

Bachelor of Arts
In addition to completing the common core, students pursuing a B.A. with a major in Music must complete the requirements of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, including a foreign language through the intermediate level.

The Minor

Admission to the program leading to the Minor in Music Performance is by audition only. The following courses are required:

Theory I and II (112 and 113)
Aural Skills I and II (114 and 115)
Music Literature (101)
Applied Lessons (two semesters each of 117 and 217)
Ensembles (conducted)

Contact the Music Office for further information, tel. (413) 545-2227.


(A Five College Department)

11 Totman

Degree: Bachelor of Fine Arts
Bachelor of Arts

Contact: Peggy Schwartz, Coordinator of Dance
Office: 11 Totman
Phone: (413) 545-6064

Coordinator: Professor Peggy Schwartz. Associate Professor Brown; Assistant Professor Sabas-Gower; Lecturers Arslanian, Dennis; Adjunct Faculty Devi.

Five College Dance Faculty: Chair: Professor Daphne Lowell. Professors Coleman, Freedman, Nordstrom, Waltner, Woodson; Associate Professors Blum, C. Flachs, R. Flachs, C.V. Hill; Lecturer Middleton; Guest Artists Mejia, Raff; Visiting Assistant Professor Nicoli.

The Field

The program is intended to prepare the student in both the technical and theoretical aspects of dance for either performance careers or graduate study in dance. At the same time the dance major provides elective opportunities for study in other subject areas.

The Major

The Dance major, leading to either the B.F.A. or B.A. degree, includes study in ballet, modern dance, and jazz techniques, as well as courses in dance theory. Guest artists visit campus regularly for master classes. In addition, dance majors may spend one semester in New York City (or any major dance city) as a part of the university’s Internship Program. Three major concerts are produced each year, and the University Dancers tour annually during January intersession. Some courses are offered on campuses other than the university as part of the Five College Dance Department coordinated curriculum.

Dance Courses Offered:

Technique Courses:
Modern Dance I-VI
Ballet I-VI
Jazz I-VI

Theory Courses:
Dance and Culture
20th Century Dance History
Dance Education
Composition I, II, III
Scientific Foundations of Dance I
Senior Project
Rhythmic Analysis from a Dancer’s Perspective
Dance Group I, II, III, IV
University Dancers
Laban Movement Analysis I

The Five College Dance Department

The educational and artistic mission of the Five College Dance Department is to champion the imaginative, expressive powers of human movement. The curriculum emphasizes in-depth study of a broad spectrum of dance as an art form, including technical, creative, historical, cultural, and scientific perspectives. Students are encouraged to balance performance and creative studies with a comprehensive understanding of the historical and cultural contexts of different dance traditions. They may shape their major studies in either traditional or interdisciplinary ways—reflecting the wide range of career options and new directions of the contemporary field.

The Five College Dance Department combines the programs of Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The faculty operates as a consortium, coordinating curricula, performances, and services. The Five College Dance Department supports a variety of philosophical approaches to dance and provides an opportunity for students to experience a wide spectrum of performance styles and techniques. Course offerings are coordinated among the campuses to facilitate registration, interchange, and student travel; students may take a dance course on any of the five campuses and receive credit at the home institution.

Note: Five College course lists, specifying times, locations and new course updates, are available two weeks prior to preregistration at both the Dance Office, 11 Totman, and at the Five College Dance Department Office, located in the Music and Dance Building at Hampshire College as well as on line at:

Career Opportunities

The B.F.A. degree program prepares students to seek careers as performing artists. The B.A. degree program provides a liberal arts background, allowing students to combine studies in dance with other fields of interest. Both programs prepare students to seek entrance into graduate school. Graduate school is required for those wishing careers in dance therapy, dance science, dance history/aesthetics, and those wishing to teach at a college or university. Dance criticism and dance journalism may or may not require further graduate study. Those interested in this field need to develop journalistic skills as well as an understanding of dance history, philosophy, technique, and choreography.


Music and Dance | Courses | Faculty