Regardless of what they specialize in, all music majors study a common core of rigorous courses in music fundamentals, theory, history, technology, and aural and keyboard skills.
1) Music technology skills
MUTC 100 Technology for Musicians is an introduction to notational tools, sound reinforcement, recording, sequencing, video capture/editing, and music-specific web design and social media.
2) A sequence of Music Theory courses, each with corresponding ear-training laboratories.
a) MUTH 191 Diatonic Music Theory with MUTH 192 Diatonic Music Theory Skills
b) MUTH 291 Chromatic Music Theory with MUTH 292 Chromatic Music Theory Skills
c) MUTH 391 Post-Tonal Music Theory with MUTH 392 Post-Tonal Music Theory Skills
Together these courses lead the student to mastery of theoretical concepts, linked directly to strengthening aural perception and sight-singing.
3) A sequence of Music History courses
The music history curriculum at UMW is designed for students to explore the significance of the context in which different musics originated:
a) MUHL 375 Music History I: Genre and Form considers how musical works relate to each other within a tradition
b) MUHL 376 Music History II: Narratives and Ideologies considers how certain figures have been privileged at the expense of others, how developments in technology have been directly connected with stylistic change, and how money always talks in music history
4) Keyboard skills
Music majors are required some facility at the piano: a proficiency examination is required of all majors, but is flexible enough to address the various skills that different students may need. (An appendix offers some repertoire suggestions and other useful information.)
5) Capstone seminar
All music majors reconvene in their senior year so that each may complete a required special project that relates to their specialized focus. This is undertaken in a seminar format (MUTH 490).