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Music Research Requirement

The faculty of the School of Music is committed to providing our graduate students with the best possible education.  We recognize and acknowledge the required courses comprise an excellent academic foundation.  We also recognize the importance of musical performance as a strong training ground for future teachers, orchestra members, conductors, singers, pianists, guitarists, etc.  However, since many of our students aspire to higher degrees, well paying and important jobs both in and out of the performing world, it is also important that our graduate students have practical and public experience in conducting and presenting research.  Critical thinking, research techniques, academic curiosity and public speaking skills are essential for careers in all fields.
"The critical thinking skills that you learn as part of the research process will serve you well in becoming a consumer of information and a better citizen of the world.  Your ability to speak with authority about your work will enable you to be heard by others and improve the world in which we live."  (Dr. Scott Higgins, Dean, Graduate School)

Therefore, graduate students enrolled in all degree programs in the School of Music will continue to showcase creative work regularly through their ensemble/solo performances, but will in addition present some research once before graduation.  This requirement is listed on each of the curriculum check sheets.  In order to successfully complete the research requirement:

  • Students must have a faculty sponsor(s) to oversee the quality and assist with the arrangements of the project.
  • Students must fill out a Research Requirement Proposal and acquire all required faculty signatures before presenting the project.  A copy of the form must be placed in the student’s official file.
  • Final project must be documented and copies must be on file in the student’s official file.  (Projects may take a variety of forms:  paper, DVD, CD, Official programs, etc.)

Here is a partial list of potential research/presentation opportunities:

  • Participation in the Graduate Research Symposium
  • Present research as a class requirement in a public forum
  • Do a presentation for NCMEA, or MENC or some other appropriate organization
  • Present part of their capstone project
  • Lecture/performance based upon part of their masters recital
  • Presentation for Regional/State or National organization
  • Publish an article or assist in the publication of an article
  • Conduct data gathering research which is published
  • Jointly perform/arrange/compose and demonstrate in a public venue (other than a recital) outside of Western, such as a guest presentation at a nearby university or public place
  • Be the “master” in a master class helping students with a work you have researched 
  • Service Learning Project/presentation



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