Jul 15, 2024  
2020-2021 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Music

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Faculty and Fields of Interest

Full-Time Faculty

Ronnie Sherwin (Chairperson) conducting, history, music education

royal hartigan ethnomusicology, world music

Andrew J McWain jazz piano, jazz studies, music theory

Jing Wang composition, electronic music, music theory

Adjunct Faculty

Jamie Eckert percussion, percussion methods, percussion ensembles

Bonnie Harlow cello

Joyce Harrington saxophone

Catherine Holland jazz voice

Emmalee Holmes-Hicks violin, viola

David Janssen piano

William Kingsland trombone, euphonium, tuba

Patricia Marshall clarinet

Tracy McGinnis bassoon

Edwin Milham music

David Rufino horn

Mariellen Sears flute

Michael Monte woodwind methods

Tobias Monte brass methods, conducting, trumpet, wind ensemble

Christopher Poudrier drum set, ensembles

Will Riley classical guitar, music skills

James Robitaille jazz guitar, ensembles

Tianxu Zhou classical voice, vocal ensembles, opera workshop


Music offers a Bachelor of Arts in Music, a 120 credit four-year program of study, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in Music Education, a 126 credit program of study leading to Music Education Licensure. The department is grounded in a vision of music making that fosters an understanding of its theoretical, historical and cultural contexts. 

The Music program offers a comprehensive major that includes a core of music theory, technology, history, musicianship, performance and global studies. Students can gain additional focus through upper division courses offered in world music, jazz, music technology and music education. The program provides broad experience through performance and work with faculty, guest artists and composers, as well as a focus on culturally-diverse music.

The Music Education program is for those students wishing to earn a license to teach music at the elementary and/or secondary levels.  The program emphasizes the broad range of skills and competencies required for effective music instruction and it includes supervised field experiences and student teaching.  The Music Education program is approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Entrance to the Major

All candidates must pass an entrance audition and take a theory placement exam to determine their potential and background in music. Candidates are expected to have facility on their instrument and to have preparation in the fundamental concepts of music theory.

The Department of Music offers a minor in music that can be coupled with many majors offered at the university.  Additional information is available about the music minor in the catalog or by calling the department office at 508-999-8568.

Musical expression is a key to understanding culture in both the contemporary world and past civilizations. As university music educators in a culturally-diverse world and nation, we have a mission to help our students achieve cultural, social and personal fluency among peoples, in order that they may effectively understand and function within our global village.

Other Requirements and Information

Minimum Acceptable Course Grades

The Music Department requires a grade of C (2.000) or higher in each music course taken to fulfill music major or minor requirements. Music Education Licensure students are required to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75. (A GPA of 2.5 will qualify for probationary status.)

Performance juries are an assessment of individual student musicianship and are vital components toward determining the musical progress through the Bachelor of Arts/Music Degree program.  They demonstrate the result of student work in applied studio instruction. Students seeking the Bachelor of Arts in Music and the Minor in Music are required to complete yearly performance juries. With the exception of students in the vocal studios or in special cases as approved by the Chair, one unaccompanied solo piece must be performed at the jury evaluation. This piece must be selected with the explicit approval of the applied studio instructor. Students are allowed to perform juries in an ensemble setting. 

A faculty jury will assess each student performance near the conclusion of each academic year. The panel will:    

  •       Determine the level of performance as presented by the student
  •       Grade the performance pass/fail
  •       Submit a written evaluation to be included in the official file of the student

Normally, performance jury is not required after the successful completion the senior recital.  However, if the final recital is completed in the junior year, a senior year performance jury must be completed.

Students who fail the juried exam will be subject to departmental probation and review by the Music faculty. Probation may be lifted by a successful juried performance during the following semester. Students who fail two consecutive juries will be dismissed from the program. Students are required to perform at the appropriate level of competence as established by the music faculty and may perform required recitals only after attaining appropriate jury levels.

Senior Capstone Project

Each student is required to complete a senior project (0 credits) prior to graduation within a course taken in the senior year. This should take a form relevant to the course of study (performance, recital, composition, research document/thesis) and be selected in consultation with a faculty advisor.

Study Abroad

Students are encouraged to pursue fieldwork study and research abroad in a culture relevant to the area of concentration. This work may fulfill specific course requirements with prior approval. All study abroad should be planned in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor and the music department chairperson.

Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes in Music and Music Education Licensure are aligned with the National Association of Schools of Music, with the national and state standards in music education, and with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s professional standards for licensure. Upon successful completion of the degree requirements in Music, students will demonstrate:

  • The ability to hear, identify, and work conceptually with the elements of music such as rhythm, melody, harmony, structure, timbre, texture, and to use this knowledge to develop and defend musical judgments
  • The ability to read, realize, and perform a variety of musical styles from a variety of written systems (both Western and Non-Western) at a level commensurate with a B.A. in Music (as identified by jury rubrics and departmental handbook)
  • Articulate and demonstrate compositional processes, aesthetic style properties, and artistic and cultural influence
  • Working knowledge of a wide selection of literature, periods, genres, cultural sources, and performance practices
  • Ability in performing areas at levels consistent with the goals and objectives of a Bachelor of Arts degree program (as identified in jury rubrics and departmental handbook)

In addition to those above, students seeking licensure will also demonstrate:

  • Knowledge of content, methodologies, philosophies, materials, technologies, and curriculum development in music education and the ability to share these and articulate logical rationales for music as a basic component of general education
  • The ability to work within specific education systems, promote music-appropriate scheduling, maintain positive relationships with social and ethnic groups, and be empathetic with students and colleagues of differing backgrounds
  • The ability to evaluate ideas, methods, and policies in the arts, the humanities, and in arts education for their impact on the musical and cultural development of students
  • Functional conducting, arranging, and performance abilities in keyboard, voice and instruments (appropriate to the student’s teaching specialization) necessary to meet the needs and abilities of individuals, school performing-groups, and classrooms in a variety of settings
  • The ability to apply analytical and historical knowledge to curriculum development, lesson planning, and daily classroom and performance activities

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