The Bachelor of Music degree program at the Peabody Conservatory is designed to offer gifted students the training to prepare themselves for careers in performance, composition, computer music, music education, recording arts, and related areas of professional activity.
Students applying for the Bachelor of Music degree program present transcripts, test scores, and recommendations before playing an audition. The details of this process may be found at the Admissions website. Students applying for the Bachelor of Music degree program should meet the following criteria:
- The student must be a graduate of an accredited high school or present evidence of equivalent study.
- General admission requirements as listed for specific degrees and programs are identical for all applicants. However, immigration regulations, varying educational backgrounds, and financial considerations make special procedures necessary in order to help meet the needs of individual students. The detailed instructions sent to each applicant should be studied with utmost care.
BM Curricular Components
Matriculating first-year students will satisfy between 131 and 161 credits in four years through passing grades, transfer credits, or onsite placement exams. Undergraduate students must be enrolled as full-time students for eight semesters and are required to remain enrolled in one-hour major lessons for all eight semesters.
The applied level of transfer students is determined by faculty and set at the end of the first year of study. Once set, the transfer student must be enrolled as a full-time student in one-hour major lessons until the conclusion of his or her adjusted final year.
Undergraduate students must enroll in major lessons through their last semester of the degree time frame (eight semesters for freshmen and the determined number for transfer students).
Juries and Recitals
The progress of each student is measured by the major department each year. Advancement and assessment are accomplished by an annual departmental examination (a “jury”). Every performance major must play a departmental jury for credit by the end of each school year. Students majoring in Composition, Computer Music, and Music for New Media students participate in weekly seminars with the entire Composition Department that provide ongoing departmental evaluation for each student.
|109||The freshman or 109 jury is considered an advising aid to the student and his or her teacher in planning the following year’s study.|
|209||The purpose of the 209 jury taken at the end of the sophomore year (fourth semester or credit hour equivalent) is to assess the student’s overall progress and to determine whether or not he or she should continue in the chosen curriculum. On the basis of this jury and the student’s overall academic record, the jury committee makes recommendations for the student’s remaining years of undergraduate study.|
|309||The 309 jury is taken at the end of the junior year and is considered an advising aid to the student and his or her teacher in planning the final year of study, including the senior recital. Students in the departments of violin, viola, guitar, and jazz performance are required to play a “junior” recital at the end of the third year of study. This junior recital takes the place of, and is recorded with the same course number as, the 309 jury. Departments that require a junior recital may also require students to appear for technical examination and/or a demonstration of orchestral excerpts during the regular jury period.|
A student who does not play a jury at the end of each academic year or does not earn at least a B- in a jury is not considered to be in good academic standing and will need to replay the jury in the following fall semester.
A graduation recital or comparable capstone project is required of all degree candidates.
All undergraduate students majoring in orchestral instruments must participate in Large Ensemble each semester of enrollment for major study as assigned. Large Ensemble auditions are held during Orientation Week. All Voice and Organ BM candidates have a six-semester choral requirement. For Voice majors, performance of a major opera role may qualify for Large Ensemble credit. All other non-orchestral BM candidates have a choral obligation as stipulated in their specific degree requirements. Ensemble credits beyond those required cannot be counted as elective credit. The regulations for performing in large ensembles, which are set by the Ensembles Office, may be found at the Ensemble Office website.
String and Percussion majors are required to enroll in four semesters of Chamber Music. Woodwind and Brass majors have a two-semester small ensemble requirement. A minimum of 10 certified coaching hours and a performance must be completed in order to earn credit. After completing the sight-reading course in the freshman year, Piano majors fulfill Accompanying and Chamber Music requirements specified in the curriculum.
All undergraduates complete the Breakthrough Curriculum. Matriculating BM students take Exploring Arts Careers. In the third year of study, students take Building a Brand and Portfolio and Pitching Your Creative Idea. The culmination of study is the preparation and presentation of a pitch, adjudicated by a panel of faculty and guests that also serves as an entry in a real competition for funding and project support to implement a residency at one of Peabody's partner institutions.
With the exception of students in jazz performance, all undergraduate music students have a three-year requirement for Music Theory. The Music Theory program consists of four to six consecutive semesters of courses: Music Theory 1 through Music Theory 6. Students are strongly encouraged to complete all Music Theory requirements in the first three years of study. Simultaneous enrollment in more than one Music Theory course is not permitted except with the express permission of the Chair of Music Theory and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. Entering students who are not strong in the fundamentals of music (i.e., rhythm, meter, scales, intervals, keys, triads, and inversions) are encouraged to review their preparatory work during the months prior to the beginning of the academic year. Those who are not able to show proficiency in these areas on the placement exam will be placed in an intensive section. Advanced placement in Music Theory is possible.
Ear-training and Sight-singing classes are closely coordinated with the Music Theory curriculum. Students are strongly encouraged to complete all Ear-training requirements during the first two years of study. Students who are not able to show proficiency on Ear-training placement exams will be placed into an intensive section. Note: students who are placed into a Perfect Pitch section are exempt from the second year of Ear-training.
Keyboard Studies classes are coordinated with the Music Theory and Ear-training curriculum. Students are strongly encouraged to complete all Keyboard Studies requirements during the first two years of study. Placement is determined by individual auditions.
All undergraduate music students are required to take a three-semester sequence of Musicology courses: History of Music 1, History of Music 2, History of Music 3, and an elective seminar. Students must complete the first semester of the Liberal Arts Core curriculum (Core I) before starting the sequence or be in their third year of study. Students may not enroll in more than one musicology survey course per semester, although students may enroll concurrently in their final survey course and an elective. Music Education majors follow a specific sequence of courses designed to accommodate Music Education coursework. Transfer credits in Musicology are considered for approval by the Chair of Musicology and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs on a case-by-case basis. Jazz majors pursue a concurrent curriculum in the history of Jazz.
Depending on their major, music students are required to fulfill 22-32 credits of Liberal Arts courses, beginning with a two-year Core Curriculum (12 credits). The majority of students will take the Core Curriculum in their first two years of study. Some students may be placed in Writing Intensive for their first year and begin the Core Curriculum in their second year. Some students may petition to have Homewood Liberal Arts courses substitute for Core credit. Recording Arts students should see the Recording Arts specific program requirements for their variation of this curriculum.
Humanities Core Curriculum
- PY.260.115 Core 1: Analytical Thinking and Writing (3 credits, fall)
- PY.260.216 Core 2: Writing and Research Methods (3 credits, spring)
- PY.260.359 Core 3: Critical Methods (3 credits, fall)
- PY.260.360 Core 4: Art, Culture, and Society (3 credits, spring)
English as a Second Language (ESL)
Peabody offers intensive English as a Second Language (ESL) courses. Matriculating international students will be tested to determine their level of English proficiency and placed into the ESL curriculum if appropriate. Some Peabody courses require successful completion of ESL courses as a prerequisite. ESL 1 does not count toward fulfillment of degree requirements, and the grades earned are not calculated in the student’s GPA; however, the hours are counted as part of the course load for tuition and full-time enrollment determination.
Critical Writing Intensive and ESL Writing Intensive
PY.260.021 ESL Writing Intensive is a yearlong course designed for international students who are new to writing in English. PY.260.023 Critical Writing Intensive-PY.260.024 Critical Writing Intensive is a yearlong course to prepare students for college-level writing. Both Writing Intensive courses involve close coordination with faculty members teaching the Core Curriculum and fulfill Liberal Arts electives.
Liberal Arts Electives
Upon completion of the first year of the Liberal Arts Core or by the third year of study, students begin to take Liberal Arts elective courses. At least one of these courses (or three credits) must be a class at the .300 level. Students may fulfil Liberal Arts electives by taking coursework on the Homewood campus.
Friday Noon: 30 Recital Series
Undergraduate music students must compete two credits of concert attendance: a half-credit in each of four semesters.
- Students enrolled in PY.360.501 Friday Noon:30 Recital Series and PY.360.502 Friday Noon:30 Recital Series must attend a specified number of Friday Noon:30 recitals.
- Students enrolled in PY.360.503 Friday Noon:30 (Alt Project) and PY.360.504 Friday Noon:30 (Alt Project) must attend a specified number of events each semester, which may include Friday Noon:30 recitals, student performances, or appropriate events in the community.
- Upon completing the two-year requirement, undergraduate students may take additional semesters of the Friday Noon:30 Recital Series for general elective credit.
The Registrar is the teacher of record for both the Friday Noon:30 Recital Series and the Friday Noon:30 Alternate Project.
Unless otherwise specified, the term elective means class elective. Additional lessons and ensembles do not count as electives. Questions about the appropriateness of all other courses for elective credit should be directed to the Registrar and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
Graduate students in the MM and DMA programs have priority seating in Music Theory and Musicology graduate seminars, as do undergraduates with additional requirements (such as those in the five-year BM/MM program). In general, undergraduate students may only enroll in graduate seminars for elective credit under the following conditions:
- For seminars in Music Theory, students must have successfully completed Theory 1, 2, 3, and 4.
- For seminars in Musicology, students must have successfully completed at least two of the three History of Music survey courses and take the third simultaneously with the seminar.
Even after obtaining the permission of the faculty member, undergraduate students may still be removed from graduate seminar rosters, depending on the needs of the graduate population.