Degree Requirements - Keyboard - MM Organ Perf. Sacred Music Emphasis

The Visser-Rowland Organ in Bates Recital Hall

Degree Requirements


MM • Organ Performance, Sacred Music Emphasis


The two-year Master of Music (M.M.) degree in Music Performance trains students as informed artist-performers. In addition to demonstrating technical mastery of their instrument or voice, students are expected to exhibit a thorough understanding of the theoretical, pedagogical, and historical aspects of the major, as well as a knowledge of the literature of their performance area.


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Degree Requirements

The M.M. in Organ Performance, Emphasis in Sacred Music, requires 33 hours of registered coursework, a comprehensive examination, and a recital.

Major Coursework

Major Coursework for the M.M. in Organ Performance, Emphasis in Sacred Music
Hours Course Number Course Title/Description
8 ORG 480  Graduate Performance (2 semesters) 

MUS 698RA and 
MUS 698RB 

Master’s Recital (2 semesters) 
The recital may be performed at any time during the third or fourth semester. 

3 MUS 387L  Appropriate topics related to organ or choral literature 
2 MUS 180G  Improvisation (non-jazz, 2 semesters) 

A comprehensive examination is required of all master’s degree candidates, usually in the final semester. 

Supporting Work 

Supporting Coursework for the M.M. in Organ Performance, Emphasis in Sacred Music
Hours Course Number Course Title/Description
3 MUS 388T  Analytical Techniques 
2 ENS 180E  Problems in Performance Practice (vocal ensembles, 2 semesters) 
2 CON 280C  Choral Conducting 
2 MUS 286S 

Advanced Service Planning & Playing OR 
Music in Worship: Service Planning/Playing 


Semester hours chosen from the following: 

MUS 178C, Independent Study: Performance 
MUS 180E, Problems in Performance Practice (vocal ensembles) 
MUS 380, Advanced Studies in the History of Music 
MUS 286/286J, Topics in the History of Sacred Music 
MUS 387L Topics in Music Literature 


Master’s Recital 

Students must perform a public degree recital in their second year.  

Find recital scheduling procedures on the Butler School Operations website. 


Master’s and doctoral piano and organ students must perform a short and long jury during the first year of study; the student can choose which jury to perform in either semester. Students should provide a “jury sheet” for the faculty with repertory they have prepared.

Postponements are allowed for extenuating circumstances (injury, death in the family, etc.).  No-shows are considered a failure. Postponed juries will be rescheduled within the first 12 class days of the following semester.

Semester grades for applied lessons are comprised of the following:

50% grade from studio teacher

50% jury grade from keyboard faculty other than studio teacher


Jury Repertoire Guidelines
Short Jury Repertoire
(15 minutes)
Long Jury Repertoire
(25 minutes)
Prepare 30 minutes of music.
Repertoire for pianists may include a concerto;
organists may include a collaborative work.
Prepare 40 minutes of
solo piano or organ music.

Find more information about this semester's juries, including FDFJ forms and deadlines. 



Advising & Registration

For information about course registration, deadlines, adding and dropping courses and other policies, visit the Graduate School Academic & Registration Policies webpage.

Students who wish to take an independent study course need to fill out a Consent Form. Once the faculty member and Graduate Coordinator have approved your request, the bar to register for the course will be lifted.

To be eligible for fellowships, scholarships and assistantships, graduate students are required to be enrolled full-time (at least 9 hours).

All international students are also required to be enrolled full-time during each long semester, regardless of whether they receive funding from the Butler School of Music.

Transferring Coursework

A new master’s student may petition to transfer up to six credits of graduate level coursework completed at another institution, subject to approval by both the Butler School of Music Graduate Studies Committee chair and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Detailed transfer regulations and forms for master’s students are maintained by the Graduate School.



Graduation Timeline

Semester-by-Semester Overview

Prior to 1st semester

  • All students must take the diagnostic examinations in music history and music theory. Additional diagnostic exams are administered for students in composition, voice, jazz and music theory.

Semester 3

  • Registration for the following if required – MUS 698RA, 698A.
  • M.M. Piano Performance students take their group comprehensive exam.
  • With the approval of their studio teacher, some performance area students may perform their thesis recital.

Semester 4

  • Students must submit a completed M.M. degree check form to verify their completion of coursework.
  • Students must apply to graduate – check graduate school website for deadline.
  • Registration for the following if required – MUS 698RB, 698B, 398M.
  • M.M. String students take their group comprehensive exam.
  • All other students take individual comprehensive exams as arranged by their studio teacher (for performance area students) or their supervising professor (for academic area students).
  • Most performance area students perform their thesis recital.
  • M.M. Music & Human Learning – Non-Thesis Track complete their master’s project.
  • M.M. Music Theory, M.M. Music & Human Learning – Thesis Track and M.M. Composition students complete their master’s thesis or master’s report and submit it to the Graduate School.
  • M.M. Ethnomusicology and M.M. Musicology students complete their master’s report and submit it to the Graduate School.



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