Because of the specific nature of music theory and composition studies, a separate application is required in order to enter the B.M. Music Theory or B.M. Music Composition degree programs.  Typically, it is recommended that you enter UMSL as a music major in another degree program (B.M. in Performance, B.A. in Music, etc.), and then wait until you have completed Theory and Aural Training I-IV before officially applying for either Theory/Composition major.  This will allow you enough time to develop a strong foundation in music theory before attempting to declare it as a major.

 

For entrance into the B.M. in Composition program, we ask that you submit the following to Dr. Barbara Harbach:

1)      A composition portfolio of scores for 3-4 original pieces with varying instrumentation (e.g., solo piano; string quartet; saxophone and piano; jazz ensemble; etc.).  Please include recordings of these pieces, if possible (computer-generated MIDI recordings are acceptable). 

2)      Documentation that demonstrates your skill in music theory (see below).

 

For entrance into the B.M. in Theory program, we ask that you submit the following to Dr. Zachary Cairns:

1)      A writing sample.  Ideally, this would be a writing assignment on an analytical (music) topic (perhaps a paper written for one of your Theory classes), but it could also be a paper written for a non-music class – whatever you feel best demonstrates your ability to present a well articulated argument.

2)      Documentation that demonstrates your skill in music theory (see below).

 

For each degree program, we ask that you provide some documentation that demonstrates your skill in music theory.  This could take any number of forms.  For example:

1)      A copy of your transcript/degree audit that shows you have maintained at least a B average in your music theory classes.

2)      A letter of recommendation from someone who has helped you study music theory.

3)      A personal statement describing your previous study of music theory.