The Music Department provides the highest level of training for artists and scholars to develop the skills needed for a variety of careers in music. This comprehensive education allows our students to develop as creative, engaged, highly skilled, curious, well-prepared, and innovative contributors to the field of music.
Students work closely with our distinguished faculty, who boast careers of international prominence. Our performance faculty includes acclaimed soloists and chamber musicians, as well as members of the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York City and American Ballet Theater Orchestras, American Symphony, and other ensembles throughout the New York City area and beyond. The members of our award-winning composition faculty work in all genres, including those that integrate multimedia and new technologies. Our internationally renowned faculty in musicology, music theory, and music education help students to hone their skills in research and teaching, preparing them for lives as scholars and educators.
Conservatory Training at a Big Ten University
The unique nature of Mason Gross enables students to have the advantages of a professionally oriented conservatory program and also benefit from the many resources of a large university. Each student receives personalized attention in a supportive community. At the undergraduate level, this means that students obtain a truly holistic musical education, achieving the highest levels of their craft even as they learn to think about music in broad, humanistic terms. At the graduate level, students in prepare for careers at the highest professional levels. Private lessons in performance and composition allow students to hone their craft at the highest levels. Academic courses include both scholars and practitioners, giving students a truly interdisciplinary perspective. Our DMA and PhD students have gone on to careers in orchestras and to academic positions at renowned universities and conservatories around the world.
The undergraduate curriculum centers on individual private lessons, large ensemble performance in orchestras and wind bands, small ensemble performance in chamber music ensembles, a rigorous music theory and ear training sequence, a variety of courses in music history and ethnomusicology, conducting courses, and a large offering of liberal arts/general education courses. Undergraduate music education students have pre-professional training in preparation for teaching certification. Additional performance opportunities are for students to perform in new music, early music, and laptop ensembles.
The graduate curricula are more specialized, preparing students for careers as highly-trained professional artists, scholars, and teachers. Each degree program is designed to suit the needs of the field. At the same time, the varied experiences that students have in classrooms, studios, and rehearsals halls mean that they emerge as versatile and flexible, ready to adapt to new ways of thinking in the arts and academy.
Guest Artists, Lecturers, and Master Classes
The Music Department benefits from its proximity to major centers of performance and numerous other universities and conservatories, regularly bringing guest artists and lecturers to campus to offer master classes, workshops, and presentations to meet the needs of students in each of our degree programs. Our undergraduate students benefit from a weekly “Music Assembly,” where master classes, guest lectures, and other seminars take place in a supportive and nurturing environment.