The Music BA: Performance Track
An audition is required for entrance into the BA in Music with a focus in music performance. You may find audition information here.
The Music Department offers major study in:
Voice, Piano, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Saxophone, Bassoon, Trumpet, Horn, Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Guitar, or Percussion.
All majors, regardless of track, begin with a shared set of basic requirements that balance training in musicianship with methods for critical inquiry and exploration of the musical world. Students selecting the Music Performance Track receive private lessons and coaching sessions throughout the program, leading to junior and senior recitals.
For a detailed list of program requirements, including program learning outcomes and course descriptions, please see the College Bulletin.
- MUSC 139 - Piano I Credit(s): 1
- MUSC 140 - Piano II Credit(s): 1
- MUSC 189 - Elements of Music Theory Credit(s): 3
- MUSC 256 - Elements of Diatonic Harmony and Polyphony or MUSC 258 - Elements of Jazz Harmony Credit(s): 3
Critical History & Methods
- MUSC 226 - Music History I: Music and the European City, 1685-1803 Credit(s): 3
- MUSC 227 - Music History II: Key Figures in Music History, Beethoven to Beyoncé Credit(s): 3
- MUSC 236 - Thinking Through Music I Credit(s): 3
- MUSC 315 - Analytical Methods Credit(s): 3
- MUSC 327 - Thinking Through Music II Credit(s): 3
- MUSC 331-339 Seminar in Musicology Credit(s): 3
Two semesters (4 credits total) of one of the following:
- MUSC 350 - Piano for the Performance Option Credit(s): 2 *
- MUSC 351 - Voice for the Performance Option Credit(s): 2*
- MUSC 352 - Woodwinds for the Performance Option Credit(s): 2*
- MUSC 353 - Brass for the Performance Option Credit(s): 2*
- MUSC 354 - Strings for the Performance Option Credit(s): 2*
- MUSC 355 - Percussion for the Performance Option Credit(s): 2*
An additional two semesters of one of the following:
- MUSC 450 - Piano for the Performance Option Credit(s): 2
- MUSC 451 - Voice for the Performance Option Credit(s): 2
- MUSC 452 - Woodwinds for the Performance Option Credit(s): 2
- MUSC 453 - Brass for the Performance Option Credit(s): 2
- MUSC 454 - Strings for the Performance Option Credit(s): 2
Recitals, Juries, & Public Performance
- MUSC 359 - Junior Recital Credit(s): 1
- MUSC 459 - Senior Recital Credit(s): 2
- Eight semesters (8 credits) of either MUSC 160 Choral Organization or MUSC 165 Instrumental Organization (see note below**)
Total: 45 credits
In addition students must participate in:
- A Jury examination each semester in the Music Performance Option;
- Performance on a Friday Afternoon Recital (FAR) each semester in the Music Performance Option or in some other public, faculty-sponsored event approved by the principal instructor.
*Prerequisite of two semesters of applied study at the 200 level or equivalent
**Ensemble Requirement: Participation in the following specified performance organizations each semester in the Music Performance Option (NOTE: a maximum of eight credits may be applied to the degree)
- Music Performance Option-Piano: a MUSC 160 or MUSC 165 organization, or an equivalent activity approved by the Piano Coordinator and participation in weekly Piano Seminar;
- Music Performance Option-Voice: a MUSC 160 organization (placement by audition and participation in weekly Voice Seminar;
- Music Performance Option-Woodwind, Brass, or Percussion: MUSC 165 Chamber Symphony, Wind Ensemble, or Jazz Ensemble (placement by audition) and participation in weekly Instrumental Seminar;
- Music Performance Option-String: MUSC 165 Symphony Orchestra and participation in weekly Instrumental Seminar. A maximum of eight credits may be applied to the degree.
The BA curriculum in Music with a focus in Music Performance centers on three broad learning areas: musicianship; studio instruction and technique; and public performance. Each area contributes to the achievement of specific learning outcomes.
The first year centers around a year-long course in musicianship, with students receiving instruction in basic solfège, written harmony, keyboard, and aural skills. In addition to written mastery of all music theoretical rudiments, learning outcomes for the first-year musicianship course focus on the development of skills necessary for creative expression in music. These include a conceptual understanding of the rudiments of music theory, including scales, keys, and chords; an ability to sing and transcribe diatonic melodies as well as those that modulate to closely related keys; and an ability to provide a written three- or four-part harmonization of a diatonic melody or bass, as well as those that modulate to closely related and relative keys, making appropriate use of standard cadential and sequential patterns.
- Studio Instruction and the Development of Technique
Studio Instruction and the Development of Technique
The center of Geneseo's curriculum in music performance is one-on-one studio instruction with a private teacher. With their teacher, students learn proper technique on their instrument or voice, studying appropriate repertory depending on each student's background and individual learning goals. Yet just as crucially, through studio instruction, students also learn correct practice technique needed for developing a disciplined, methodical approach to learning repertory. Each student focusing in music performance receives one hour of private tuition on their instrument or in voice every week, as well as one hour of weekly studio class or seminar instruction. In addition, vocalists meet each week with one of the department's vocal coaches, while instrumentalists meet regularly with the instrumental accompanist in preparation for recital performance.
- Recitals and Public Presentation
Recitals and Public Presentation
An equally important part of music study involves learning how to take everything learned in the studio and apply it in performance and other forms of public presentation. Students at Geneseo have extensive opportunities to perform both on and off campus. In addition to frequent ensemble performances, each student focusing in music performance participates in the department's Friday Afternoon Recital Series each semester. All junior's present a 30-minute recital while seniors present an hour-long solo recital. Advanced students participate in the department's annual honors recital competition as well as in the department's concerto competition for an opportunity to perform as soloists with the Geneseo Symphony Orchestra. For these and other opportunities, students learn how to approach a performance as a matter of its own technique, learning how to deal with issues of anxiety, learning good habits leading up to a recital and good habits of presentation when reciting, how to engage an audience, and more.