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 Aural Skills courses
MUTH 101 Aural Skills I
MUTH 201 Aural Skills II
MUTH 301 Aural Skills III
3) A sequence of of Music Theory courses
a) MUTH 191 Diatonic Music Theory
b) MUTH 291 Chromatic Music Theory
c) MUTH 391 Post-Tonal Music Theory
Together these aural skills and theory courses lead the student to mastery of theoretical concepts, linked directly to strengthening aural perception and sight-singing.
4) 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
5) 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.)
6) 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 (MUSC 490); or the student teaching internships for Music Education students (EDUC 499) also fulfills this requirement.
In addition to this common core, all majors take private lessons in some applied medium, and participate in faculty-led ensembles. Students also elect from a list of more specialized courses.