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M.A. in Music

The Master of Arts in Music degree program at Cal State East Bay is a full-time, two-year program designed to meet the needs of recent university graduates, music teachers and performers, veterans, and adult learners, among others. Students graduate from our program with a broad and thorough musical training focused on increasing musicianship, critical and creative thinking, and professional insights in preparation for careers in performance, teaching, composing and arranging, administration, and research.

Upon entering the program, students select one of eight different areas of emphasis to focus their studies, including choral music, composition, jazz studies, music education, music history, music theory, performance, and world music. Students in each area have the opportunity to study with leading performers, composers, and scholars and to partake in the musical and cultural richness of the San Francisco Bay Area. Emphasis is placed upon maintaining small class sizes and close student-to-teacher interactions. The program also provides flexibility for students wishing to explore questions or topics outside of their area of emphasis but relevant to their career goals and aspirations.

The graduate curriculum in music is shaped by the faculty's view that a well prepared musician, teacher, and scholar has a wide base of knowledge in the sub-disciplines of music. As such, all students complete coursework in historical, ethnomusicological, pedagogical, and analytical studies as part of their overall graduate requirements.

Students graduating with an M.A. in Music from Cal State East Bay will be able to:

  • Demonstrate mastery of core skills within their primary area of emphasis, i.e. performance, composition, research, analysis, conducting, or teaching
  • Apply critical and creative thinking and analytical reasoning to address complex challenges in music creation, performance, and research
  • Work collaboratively and respectfully with other musicians in a performance context
  • Integrate musical ideas, methods, theory, and practice, and communicate them to others clearly and persuasively, in classroom and performance settings.

Core Requirements [15 Units]

  • Seminar in Research Methodology [3 Units]
  • Analysis of Musical Styles I [3 Units]
  • Seminar in Music of the Twentieth & Twenty-First Centuries [3 Units]
  • Seminar in Asian Music and Culture [3 Units]
  • Teaching Music in Higher Education [3 Units]

Path Requirements [6 Units]

Electives [6 Units]

Capstone Project [3 Units] 

For course descriptions and more detailed information please visit the Music Department M.A. University Catalog page.

Areas of Emphasis within the M.A. in Music

Instrumental/Vocal Performance
Jazz Studies
Choral Music
Music Education
Composition / Music Technology
Music Theory
Musicology / Ethnomusicology

HOW TO APPLY

The M.A. in Music application deadline has been extended to May 15, 2019.

  1. Step One: Apply to the CSUEB via Cal State Apply. You will be asked to submit transcript and other application documents through this website. The GRE is not required for admission to the graduate program at Cal State East Bay.
    1. Make sure you visit the CSUEB Graduate Admissions page for specific university requirements. 
    2. Prospective international applicants should also visit the University's International Student Admissions page and start the application process as soon as possible.
  2. Step Two: Complete the Music Department Application (below) and submit the following documents directly to the Department of Music:
    1. Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Résumé
    2. Two (2) references. These references should be teachers or colleagues who can assess your readiness to undertake graduate study. You will be asked to submit their contact information in the form below, and we will reach out to them directly.
    3. A Statement of Purpose (2-3 pages) describing your objectives for pursuing a graduate degree in music, as well as your short and long term goals.
    4. Evidence of your abilities in the area of emphasis you wish to pursue as a graduate student. See tab below for more information.

Areas of Emphasis that require in-person auditions:

Instrumentalists: Prepare an audition that includes at least two representative works from the applicant's Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Music senior recital or comparable repertory. Three or four pieces drawn from multiple style periods are expected. 

Pianists: Representative works from the applicant's Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Music senior recital or comparable repertory. Three or four pieces drawn from multiple style periods are expected, including a complete sonata by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, or contemporaries. Memorization is required. Sight-reading will also be evaluated.

Vocalists: Prepare an audition that includes each of the following: a Baroque aria (sacred or secular); a song by a German Romantic composer; a song by Debussy, Ravel, Fauré, Poulenc, Duparc, or Chausson; a song composed after 1950; and an operatic aria in Italian. The audition will last a maximum of twenty minutes and all of the music is expected to be performed from memory.

Jazz Studies: Prepare an audition that includes: (a) a blues melody and solo on 3-5 choruses; and (b) the melody and solo on 1-2 choruses of either a song from the Great American Songbook (e.g. “Stella,” “All The Things You Are,” “Like Some In Love,” etc.) or a jazz standard (e.g. “Moments Notice,” “Stablemates,” “Along Came Betty,” etc.).

Areas of Emphasis that require online submission of materials:

Choral Music: Submit a video recording (or link) featuring at least 15 minutes of a rehearsal with a choral ensemble. You may optionally include a video of a concert performance in addition to the rehearsal video. Final candidates will be invited to campus to audition with one of the Cal State East Bay choral ensembles.

Music Education: Submit a copy of your California Teaching Credential and portfolio evidence of a minimum of two years full time teaching at the K-12 grade levels, or a minimum of three years full time teaching at the K-12 grade levels without the Credential.

Composition and/or Music Technology: Submit scores (PDF format) of 3-4 representative compositions for various combinations of instruments and voices, preferably with an audio recording of the works. In the case of electronic music, submit a PDF page in which you list the titles of the pieces, software used, and a brief description of the composition process.

Music Theory: Submit a research paper on a topic of music theory or an analysis, with commentary, of a substantial musical composition. Your submission should display your ability to clearly discuss analytical or theoretical issues.

Music History or Ethnomusicology: Submit a research paper on a topic of music history or ethnomusicology. Your submission should display your ability to write thoughtfully and with clarity about issues in music.

Graduate Department Application Form

Use this uploader to upload the following materials:

  1. Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Résumé
  2. A Statement of Purpose (2-3 pages) describing your objectives for pursuing a graduate degree in music, as well as your short and long term goals.

You may upload multiple files at once. 

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