Degrees Offered

The Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance offers curricula leading to the Bachelor of Arts in music, Bachelor of Music, Bachelor of Music Education, certificate in piano pedagogy, Bachelor of Arts in theatre, Bachelor of Science in theatre, and the Bachelor of Arts in dance. Minors in music, theatre and dance are also offered. These degree programs provide personalized attention, career building opportunities, and professional and extensive training in the various idioms of music, theatre, and dance. In the context of a broad liberal education that fosters critical thinking, creative problem solving, and cultural understanding, these degree programs prepare students well to answer the call of rewarding careers in music, theatre, and dance.

All Music and Dance degrees require an audition. Please see the specific program for details.

Music Degrees Offered

The B.A. degree in Music provides a course of study for students interested in a liberal arts degree with a major in music. This degree, with its foreign language component, offers an appropriate background for prospective advanced-degree candidates who are preparing for careers in composition, technology, music history, music theory, jazz studies, library science, or independent studio teaching. It also works well for students who want to study music but are aiming at careers in other fields, and for students with double majors. There is sufficient flexibility within the B.A. to provide an opportunity for acquisition of those skills that are necessary in the current technological environment. The culmination event of the B.A. is a senior project planned and carried out with the help of a faculty advisor. Students electing a B.A. in music must complete a minimum of 41 credit hours in music, planned with the approval of a faculty advisor in the department.

Grand Valley State University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

Admission

In addition to formal admission to Grand Valley, each applicant wanting to major or minor in music is required to arrange for a personal audition with the music department. When considerable geographical distance or extreme hardship prevents a personal audition, the applicant may, with the permission of the department, submit an audio recording of an appropriate performance. Entering freshmen and transfer students will be required to take a theory placement exam on audition day.  A student with two or more years of piano experience will also be required to take a keyboard musicianship placement exam. Audition appointments should be made at least one month in advance. Recommended audition repertoire and an application can be found at www.gvsu.edu/music/.

Course Catalog: B.A. in Music Student Learning Outcomes: Music, B.A. Apply

The Bachelor of Music degree in Performance is a professional degree program. Although GVSU's required general education curriculum (for all degree programs) forms part of the BM in Performance curriculum and provides a sound liberal arts context for professional study, the main emphasis is on music performance. Designed for students who demonstrate exceptional ability and a particular interest in concentrating on performance at the undergraduate level, it is chosen often as preparation for graduate-level performance study in a master's or doctoral degree program. Professional performance and/or college-level teaching may be the primary goal.

Instruction in piano, harpsichord, organ, voice, guitar, harp, string, woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments is normally available. Students admitted to this program must complete a minimum of 84 credit hours in music, depending on track (vocal or instrumental) and initial keyboard placement. BM students must fulfill department concert attendance expectations, attend music major meetings, complete keyboard musicianship requirements, and perform a faculty-approved half-recital during the junior year and a full recital in the senior year. Before the junior year, students in this degree program also take appropriate literature and pedagogy courses. While students interested in composition or jazz often elect the BA degree course of study, BM students with abilities in composition and/or jazz studies have the opportunity to develop these skills as a secondary area within the BM program as well.

Grand Valley State University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

Admission

In addition to formal admission to Grand Valley, each applicant wanting to major or minor in music is required to arrange for a personal audition with the music department. When considerable geographical distance or extreme hardship prevents a personal audition, the applicant may, with the permission of the department, submit an audio recording of an appropriate performance. Entering freshmen and transfer students will be required to take a theory placement exam on audition day.  A student with two or more years of piano experience will also be required to take a keyboard musicianship placement exam. Audition appointments should be made at least one month in advance. Recommended audition repertoire and an application can be found at www.gvsu.edu/music/.

Course Catalog: Bachelor of Music Student Learning Outcomes: Music, B.M. Apply


A Comprehensive Program
The Bachelor of Music Education degree is a professional degree program. Substantial training in music combines with professional music education study and collaboration with the GVSU College of Education. The program enables students to meet certification requirements for teaching music in Michigan elementary and public schools. The program has two tracks, vocal/choral and instrumental, both of which result in K-12 Music Certification.

The Core Music Program
Musical training at GVSU emphasizes solo and ensemble performance for all students. The core program also includes music theory, aural perception, music history, and keyboard musicianship courses.

Music Methods
Choral teaching method experiences are acquired in class and in observation and tutoring of public school students. In addition to basic methods, students in the vocal/choral emphasis are afforded the unusual opportunity to work with developing singers from local public schools as part of a newly created course, "Teaching the Developing Voice."

Instrumental music education students are given extensive training in an eight-semester sequence of voice and brass, woodwind, string, percussion instruments. Skills are further developed in the conducting class lab band/orchestra.

Beyond general teaching methods, B.M.E. instrumental students study the tenets of marching band techniques both in the classroom and on the field.

Keyboard Musicianship
An intensive keyboard musicianship curriculum and state-of-the-art piano lab enable students with all entering keyboard backgrounds to develop functional keyboard skills essential for music teaching success. Private study is encouraged and offered beyond the four-semester sequence of group study.

Professional Preparation
Students receive extensive field experience in a one-year practicum, consisting of one semester of half-day teacher assisting and one semester of full-day student teaching. Classes and seminars taken concurrently with the practicum allow students to continually identify and address issues crucial to effective music teaching.

NAfME
A collegiate chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) is an active student organization in the Music Department. Service work, professional development, and music education advocacy are the group's primary missions.

Questions about the Music Education program at Grand Valley State University can be directed to: Charles Norris, Coordinator of Music Education, at (616) 331-3385 or e-mail norrisc@gvsu.edu and Beth Gibbs, Associate Professor of Music Education, at (616) 331-2837 or e-mail gibbsb@gvsu.edu.

Teachable Minor
Students interested in a second area of certification are encouraged to contact the CLAS Advising Center (616-331-8585). An additional teachable minor would require up to one year of extra course work in that area. College of Education requirements would count for both teachable areas, with pre-service teaching distributed between certification areas.

Grand Valley State University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

Admission

In addition to formal admission to Grand Valley, each applicant wanting to major or minor in music is required to arrange for a personal audition with the music department. When considerable geographical distance or extreme hardship prevents a personal audition, the applicant may, with the permission of the department, submit an audio recording of an appropriate performance. Entering freshmen and transfer students will be required to take a theory placement exam on audition day.  A student with two or more years of piano experience will also be required to take a keyboard musicianship placement exam. Audition appointments should be made at least one month in advance. Recommended audition repertoire and an application can be found at www.gvsu.edu/music/.

Course Catalog: Bachelor of Music Education Student Learning Outcomes: Music, B.M.E. Apply

The music minor program is designed for students with previous training in music seeking non-music degrees who desire to increase their knowledge of music or further develop their skills in music. Students study music theory, aural perception, music history, keyboard musicianship, and a music elective. In addition, students take applied lessons and participate in major ensembles. Instruction in piano, harpsichord, organ, voice, guitar, harp, strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion instruments is normally available. Students are admitted to this program through audition and must complete a minimum of 27 credit hours in music courses.

Grand Valley State University is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music.

Admission

In addition to formal admission to Grand Valley, each applicant wanting to major or minor in music is required to arrange for a personal audition with the music department. When considerable geographical distance or extreme hardship prevents a personal audition, the applicant may, with the permission of the department, submit an audio recording of an appropriate performance. Entering freshmen and transfer students will be required to take a theory placement exam on audition day.  A student with two or more years of piano experience will also be required to take a keyboard musicianship placement exam.* Audition appointments should be made at least one month in advance. Recommended audition repertoire and an application can be found at www.gvsu.edu/music/.

Course Catalog: Music Minor Apply


The Piano Pedagogy Certificate (in the Department of Music and Dance at Grand Valley State University) will enable undergraduate piano majors and area piano teachers to focus on the skills necessary for successful piano teaching. Students learn how to teach beginner, intermediate, and early–advanced students.  They learn how to teach pre-college students as well as music majors who take keyboard as their secondary instrument.  They learn how to teach correct technique, how to develop musicianship and good sight-reading skills, how to select, level, perform, and teach repertoire, how to practice efficiently, and how to motivate.  Students learn about the most important competitions and festivals in the state as well as in the nation.   The requirements for National Certification are covered in the last semester of piano pedagogy.

This certification provides teachers with theoretical knowledge and practical experiences in accordance with state and national piano teaching guidelines. The piano pedagogy coursework includes guided teaching experiences. Students completing the Piano Pedagogy Certification will have a record of this accomplishment appear on their academic transcript, and a certificate for their piano studio.

To gain entrance into the program, an interview with the Piano Pedagogy professor and the performance of one memorized intermediate-level piano work will take place.

Course Catalog: Piano Pedagogy Certificate Student Learning Outcomes: Piano Pedagogy Certificate

 

 

Theatre Degrees Offered

The theatre program provides quality student centered education and performance experiences within Grand Valley State University’s liberal education environment. The theatre program enables students to fully explore their potential as productive, literate, articulate, humane, and culturally engaged members of a global public through a close study of theatre theory and practice. Students so educated are able to bring highly developed aesthetic and critical skills, flexibility, and creativity to a wide range of graduate school and career opportunities.

Students may use the major as a preparation for graduate or professional work; the required courses provide basic training in essential theatre areas, and students planning to pursue more advanced work should take well-chosen electives in areas designed to increase specific skills. All theatre majors are required to participate in university theatre productions as actors, designers, production technicians and managers; academic credit is given for all such involvement. The program also supports students pursuing regional, national, and international internships as managers, publicists, technicians, and production assistants with major professional theaters and arts organizations. Theatre courses from overseas schools can substitute for GVSU theatre requirements for those students pursuing international studies.

Course Catalog: Theatre, BA/BS Theatre, BA/BS

 

Minors must complete 20 hours of theatre coursework. Minors must complete one course in the design/tech/management area, one in the theatre studies area, and one in the performance area. Most of these select courses also serve as prerequisite courses for more advanced theatre study. Minors must complete additional courses in any theatre area to fulfill the 20 hours minimum credit requirement.

Course Catalog: Minor in Theatre

Dance Degrees Offered

The B.A. in dance provides students extensive training to develop and refine techniques in various idioms of dance. Students develop their abilities through a wide range of courses combining practical and theoretical skills that emphasize critical thought and growth as an artist. The department encourages collaboration across disciplines and provides opportunities to explore innovative areas in dance history, theory, dance and technology, choreography, pedagogy, anatomy and physiology, and production. We highlight performance opportunities in the work of world-renowned guest artists, maintain currency in the dance community at large, and graduate informed members of the dance community. Class sizes are small and offer each student individual attention from dance faculty.

Admission

Participation in the dance program is by audition only. Audition information can be found at gvsu.edu/dance. When considerable geographical distance prevents a personal audition, the applicant may, with the permission of the program, submit a DVD or link to online video containing ballet barre and center classroom work and modern or jazz center classroom work along with a resume. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of individual talent and potential, and are renewable annually if performance and academic standards are maintained. Auditions will consist of a ballet technique class, a modern technique class, performance of a short solo, and meeting with the faculty.

Course Catalog: B.A. in Dance Student Learning Outcomes Apply

For those students interested in continuing their dance training on a less intense course, we offer the Dance Minor. A student choosing to minor in dance must complete a minimum of 23 credit hours in dance. 

Admission

Participation in the dance program is by audition only. An audition schedule and application form can be found at www.gvsu.edu/dance/. When considerable geographical distance prevents a personal audition, the applicant may, with the permission of the program, submit a DVD or link to online video containing ballet barre and center classroom work and modern or jazz center classroom work along with a resume. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of individual talent and potential, and are renewable annually if performance and academic standards are maintained. Auditions will consist of a ballet technique class, a modern technique class, performance of a short solo, and meeting with the faculty.

Course Catalog: Dance Minor Apply



Page last modified June 25, 2019