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The Bachelor of Music Degree

Areas of Concentration  (Scroll down for descriptions and SUBPLANS/recommended courses of study)

Detailed webpages:

Core Requirements for Bachelor of Music concentrations (except JAAMS, see below)

  • Music Theory - 5 semesters
  • Aural Skills (Ear Training) - 4 semesters
  • Music Literature - 1 semester
  • Music History - 3 semesters
  • Applied Music (Private study) - Throughout the curriculum
  • Ensembles - Throughout the curriculum
  • Class Piano - 4 semesters
  • Conducting - 1 semester

Core Requirements for Bachelor of Music, Jazz & African-American Music Studies concentration

  • Music Theory - 3 semesters
  • Aural Skills (Ear Training) - 4 semesters (3 + 1 Jazz Aural Skills)
  • Jazz Theory and Improvisation - 5 semesters
  • African American Music History
  • Jazz History - 1 semester
  • Music History - 2 semesters
  • Applied Music (Private study) - Throughout the curriculum
  • Ensembles - Throughout the curriculum
  • Class Piano - 3 semesters (2 + 1 Jazz)
  • Jazz Pedagogy - 1 semester

Bachelor of Music Concentration Descriptions

All include Core Requirements as listed above.

Jazz & African-American Music Studies (JAAMS):  Jazz Studies webpage
Director: Professor Jeffrey W. Holmes, jwholmes@music.umass.edu, (413) 545-6046

A jazz performance program which 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.

Music Education:   Music Ed webpage
Coordinator: Professor Lisa Lehmberg, lehmberg@umass.edu

Students complete courses in music education methods, instrumental techniques, and student teaching (see * below for jazz restriction). 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. Completion of the concentration requires passing scores on the Massachusetts Tests of Educator Licensure (MTEL).

* Applicants who wish to pursue a Music Education degree must audition, be accepted for and complete seven semesters of classical applied lessons on their major instrument/voice. The Music Education degree track is not currently available to undergraduate students auditioning as Jazz majors or minors. However, it may be possible to pursue Music Education and Jazz degrees separately; for more information, please consult with the Coordinators and Admissions Director.


Music Performance:    Music Performance webpage
Focuses on intensive private study, including junior and senior recitals, with the intent of preparing students to enter the performance arena. Graduates may also teach privately and/or do further study to prepare for college level teaching.


Composition:   Composition webpage
Composition Requirements

Salvatore Macchia, (413) 545-3306, Composition coordinator

Primarily concerned with theoretical foundations and analysis, and composition techniques, of Western classical music. Prepares students for graduate work in theory or composition.
Link to Admissions Requirements for Composition - Undergraduate (pdf file).


List of Instruments/Voice

Private Lessons (only as part of music degree programs) are offered in:

Saxophone (Classical or Jazz)
Trumpet (Classical or Jazz)
Horn (French horn)
Trombone (Classical or Jazz)


Percussion (Classical or Jazz)
String Bass (Classical or Jazz)
Piano (Classical or Jazz)
Voice (Classical or Jazz)
Guitar (Jazz only)

In some cases, students may be accepted into the Jazz program on instruments other than those listed above for Jazz. Please contact the Jazz Program Director Jeffrey W. Holmes, jwholmes@music.umass.edu, 413-545-6046 if you have questions.