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Music Overview


Performer • Private Music Instructor/Coach • Church Organist/Pianist/Vocalist • Production Music Director • Arranger/Composer/Song-Writer • PreK-12 Music Teacher • Ensemble Conductor/Director • Studio Musician


The Marygrove Department of Music offers undergraduate programs designed to prepare students for professional careers in the field of music. It also provides introductory music courses for students majoring in other disciplines. The music department strives to help its students develop: competence in music by connecting musical knowledge to active performance practices; commitment through the discipline required to develop each musical talent; and compassion through an awareness of the uniqueness of each musical gift and the impact it may have on others.

We strive to provide talented and motivated students with a challenging and supportive music program. With our small class size, students enjoy intensive, interactive engagement with Marygrove faculty and peers, as well as guest artists and lecturers who visit our campus. We are committed to helping our students achieve excellence by learning to integrate musical knowledge and skills into their own unique musical gifts—so that each student may become a well-informed and expressive musician. In addition to a high quality musical education and performing arts environment, the Marygrove Department of Music also strives to provide students with opportunities to develop crucial professional, critical thinking, leadership, and communication skills for lifelong learning.

Objectives towards these goals:

  • Teaching excellence among the faculty; and encouragement for excellence among the students.
  • Integration of music subjects (i.e., theory, history, and performance) into musical practices so that each
  • Emphasis on connecting students to performance opportunities (studio classes, departmental recitals,
  • Emphasis on active attendance and participation in workshops, master classes and concerts held both on the
  • Infusion of cultural and musical diversity throughout the curriculum.
  • Exploration of musicianship as leadership, self-expression, civic awareness, and community engagement
  • Commitment to authentic and reflective assessment practices.
  • Student understands the multi-dimensionality inherent in comprehensive musicianship.

Marygrove campus, and around the metro-Detroit area.

Our department facilities are located in the renovated west wing of the Madame Cadillac building, and include a beautiful, stained-glass Recital Hall; an electronic keyboard lab; a Mac computer lab; a smart classroom; a music lounge, and a peer-mentoring study room. Performances may also take place in Denk Chapman Hall, which houses a historic 1891 Steinway Grand; the elegant Alumnae Hall; the 400-seat Marygrove Theatre; and Sacred Heart Chapel, which features a 1928 three-manual 40 rank Casavant pipe organ.


The Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music is designed for students who wish to have a major in music which allows for a broader experience in the liberal arts. In the B.A. program, you will take approximately 60 credits in music-related courses, which allows for approximately 20 credits in other liberal arts studies. Often, students will combine a complimentary second interest into their BA of Music degree (e.g. dance, theatre, psychology, education, religious studies, literature). Due to the integrated nature of the discipline, a minor is optional, but not required for Bachelor of Arts students with a music major.

The Bachelor of Music degree is a highly specialized program requiring approximately 74-80 credit hours in music. In this program, students engage in coursework, rehearsals and performance opportunities to develop the skills, discipline, and understanding essential for a professional musician. As a Bachelor of Music student, you may select from these areas of concentration: performance in voice, piano, or organ; music education; sacred music with a choral, organ, or piano emphasis; and piano pedagogy. Due to the integrated nature of the discipline, a minor is optional, but not required for Bachelor of Music students.

The Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts is an individualized, interdisciplinary major across three departments; dance, music, and theatre. The Minor in Performing Arts provides an opportunity to experience the performing arts in a larger, collective sense Please see the PERFORMING ARTS section of this catalogue for details.

The Minor in Music is available for students majoring in other college disciplines. Students may pursue a music minor to develop knowledge and skills that complement their major area of study, or to simply enhance their own understanding and enjoyment of music in their lives. If you minor in music, you will take a minimum of 24 credit hours that combine comprehensive music courses (e.g. music theory, history) with specialized study in performance (e.g. private lessons, ensembles).

The Minor in Fine Arts, a 24-hour group minor, is selected from at least three of the following areas: art, art history, music, theatre, and dance, and provides you with the opportunity to experience the arts in a larger, collective sense. It works well with the humanities, modern languages, history, and a major in any of the arts.

The Certificate in Sacred Music develops skills and knowledge which prepare students to be effective professionals in the field of church music. An audition is required for acceptance into the program. If proficiency is demonstrated at the audition, the Department of Music may waive certain course requirements. Completion of the certificate program is based on specific proficiency levels.


Some degree of talent and prior experience is typically required for admission into a specialized arts degree, such as music. Students then enhance musical abilities through development of professional, technical and artistic skills, and knowledge gained through the coursework, coaching, master classes, rehearsals, and performances within the degree curriculum. With the amount of time and dedication required, a music degree may not be for everyone. Our goal is to help our future graduates succeed as practitioners in their careers after graduation. It is the combination of talent and hard work, which makes the difference in developing professional musicianship.

Step 1: Entry into the Program

If you have been admitted to the College and wish to major in music, you must contact the music department to arrange for an interview and informal audition with the music department faculty. A formal audition for the full music faculty is only required for students who wish to be considered for a Talent Scholarship [see below].

At your informal audition, you will meet with a Marygrove music faculty member and discuss your course of study. You will be evaluated on current proficiency with your instrument of choice (e.g. voice, piano, organ, guitar), and for your future potential in musical, technical and performance achievement. You may also be given a music theory placement test to examine your current abilities in reading, writing and analysis of musical structure, and to determine which theory course would be most appropriate for you. If you have piano experience, you may also choose to demonstrate your abilities at this time. The informal audition also gives prospective students an opportunity to ask questions and see if a Marygrove music degree is right for them.

Step 2: Prep Standing

Once a student has been admitted to the College and the music program, he/she enters a three step assessment process utilized for students to enter and progress through the music program. For students who have a strong background in music, but require additional formal music training or music reading skills prior to the core music curriculum, we offer a First-Year Intensive Program. These are preparatory classes which assist incoming students with the foundations of music reading and technical skills required for the core music curriculum. Some of these courses do not count towards the degree. A music faculty advisor will help determine which of the First-Year Intensive Courses would be beneficial to you and will create a preliminary plan-of-work for you. Students have a limited time to complete these requirements—please contact a department chair for details.

First-Year Intensive Course Requirements may include:

  • MUS 100A Class Piano I
  • MUS 101,102 Fundamentals of Music I, II
  • MUS 105 Encounters with Music
  • MUS 106A Voice Class
  • MUS 204A, 204B Foundations in Ringing I, II
  • MUS 110-111 Private lessons in your major instrument

These courses are proficiency-based and must each be completed with no grade less than a B. Completion of the course work with B- grades may not grant admission to pre-major status. Students may be required to demonstrate skills learned and/or to complete additional coursework prior to acceptance to pre-major standing. If the faculty determines a student lacks significant improvement in musical skills and knowledge, or commitment to the field, he/she may not be allowed to continue in the major.

Step 3: Pre-Major Standing

To maintain Pre-Major Standing, a student must:

  • Maintain an overall grade point average of 2.7 (with no course grade less than a B-)
  • Successfully complete a performance jury for each semester of private applied study
  • Actively attend and/or perform in studio classes, recitals, master classes, workshops and concerts, and collaborative performances with outside musical groups. 

Upon completion of departmental requirements for Pre-Major Standing, students may apply for official major standing in their selected degree program. Acceptance will be determined following: an evaluation of completed music course work, assessment of sight-reading ability, demonstration of technical and expression proficiency on applied instrument, and a personal career goal statement. If the faculty determines a student has not developed a certain level musical skills and knowledge, or does not demonstrate commitment to the field, he/she may not be allowed to continue in the major.

Step 4: Major Standing

To maintain Major Standing, a student must:

  • Maintain an overall grade point average of 2.7 (with no course grade less than a B-)
  • Successful completion of juries for each semester of private applied study
  • Active attendance and/or performance in studio classes, recitals, master classes, workshops and collaborative performances with outside musical groups. 

Once a student has been approved for major standing, he/she may begin preparations for development of the capstone project (MUS 496). Students should speak to their advisor for specific information on the capstone.


Distinguished Student Awards

These are awarded to students with a minimum grade point average of 2.7, who demonstrate outstanding talent in music. Interested students must complete the Distinguished Music Student Award application and schedule a formal audition and interview with the music department. Awards are given on the recommenda­tion of the music faculty.

Talent Awards

Scholarships are available to incoming students, both first-time and transfer. They may be renewed for up to five years for first-time students, and up to three years for transfer students (provided departmental requirements are maintained – see music department handbook for details). Scholarship awards are based on an audition and interview, which must be completed prior to the first semester of classes. For details, or to schedule an audition, please contact department co-chair, Tara Sievers-Hunt at Tsievers7525@marygrove or (313) 927-1312

Academic Performance

Only classes with a grade of C or better can be applied to the fulfilment of a music major. Students must also have a 2.7 GPA in their major coursework to earn a degree with a music major.

Professional Experience

Seniors majoring in music may earn credit for work done in music outside of class in such areas as accompanying, church choir conducting, organ playing in church, piano teaching, etc. under the course title Guided Field Experience. (This course is similar to the Cooperative Education Program.)

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