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Online Music Program Information

Core Courses

  • Four semesters of Music Theory
  • Four semesters of Aural Skills
  • Basic Conducting
  • World Music
  • Scoring and Arranging
  • Two semesters of Music History and Literature

Performance-Related Courses

  • Minimum of four semesters of applied instruction on a single instrument
  • Four semesters of ensembles
  • Two semesters of class piano

Electives

  • Twelve credits of electives.

Electives are used to further round out a student’s education, and allow them to personalize their degree experience. Electives are also used to help students prepare for their capstone experience.

Capstone Project

All VCSU students must complete a capstone project as a requirement for graduation. There are several options for music students:

  • Thesis: Students may elect to write a thesis on a musicological or theoretical topic of their choice, subject to approval by their advisor the department chair. Students choosing this route will take additional coursework in music theory or history as part of their elective credits.
  • Composition/Arrangement: Students may complete a composition or arrangement of suitable length and complexity, subject to approval by their advisor and the department chair. Students choosing this route will take additional coursework in theory, composition, and/or scoring and arranging as part of their elective credits.

Valley City State University offers certificate programs for students who wish to increase their learning in music and earn a credential to demonstrate their accomplishment, but do not want to commit to a full degree program. These programs include certificates in Piano Pedagogy and Composition.

Certificate in Piano Pedagogy

The Piano Pedagogy certificate is recommended for all intended and current piano studio instructors who seek the opportunity to enhance their musical and teaching skills for the betterment of their piano students. It is also designed to assist students in preparing for MTNA certification. An audition showing current piano performance ability is required for admission. Courses in this 13-credit program include:

  • MUS 109: Music Theory I
  • MUS 121: Aural Skills I
  • MUS 322: Music History II
  • MUS 378: Applied Pedagogy
  • MUS 379: Piano Pedagogy

Certificate in Composition

The Composition certificate program gives budding composers the theoretical knowledge and practical skills they need to start a career as a composer. It is recommended that students be proficient on a musical instrument, especially a harmonizing instrument (piano or guitar) before enrolling in this program. For more information, please contact Dr. Kyle Vanderburg, kyle.vanderburg@ndsu.edu. This 16-credit program includes the following courses:

  • MUS 109: Music Theory I
  • MUS 110: Music Theory II
  • MUS 201: Music Theory III
  • MUS 121: Aural Skills I
  • MUS 122: Aural Skills II
  • MUS 203: Aural Skills III
  • MUS 120: Composition
  • MUS 220: Composition

The application to VCSU Music and performance audition is required of all prospective majors, minors, and transfer students in music.

Entrance Audition

Online students are welcome to come to the VCSU campus to audition. Most students elect to submit a video audition instead of auditioning in person. Students electing to do so should upload and email a video recording of the audition performance and send to the Online Music Coordinator, Jessica Shuler. Please title this file “First Name Last Name Audition.”

  • Piano.   Two selections in contrasting styles, preferably from different eras. Repertoire equivalent to that described in the NFMC Junior Festivals Bulletin as Moderately Difficult II or higher. Memorization is not required but is preferred.
  • Instruments.   Two selections in contrasting styles, preferably from different eras. Repertoire equivalent to high school contest solos listed by the North Dakota (or other state) High School Activities Association, showing both technical and musical facility. Memorization is not required.
  • Voice.   Two selections in contrasting styles, preferably from different eras. Repertoire equivalent to high school contest solos listed by the North Dakota High School Activities Association. Memorization is not required but is preferred.