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VanderCook College of Music

Applied Music Performance

What is the aim of the Applied Music Performance area of study?


VanderCook faculty maintains the perspective of being a music educator while studying performance. VanderCook students learn each family of instrument, allowing for instruction in percussion, piano, brass, wind, strings, choral and others.

Music performance starts long before students appear on stage. Applied music is crafted with core fundamentals that are precisely refined. Music comprehension, individualized music study, a collection of music knowledge and an understanding of how to rehearse and perform are all necessary elements of applied music fundamentals.

The applied music performance program is one of five areas required to be completed by all Bachelor of Music Education (BMEd), Bachelor of Music Education (Pre-Certification) (BMpc) and Bachelor of Music in Performance and Pedagogy (BMped) majors.

Declaring Your Performance Track

BMEd, BMpc and BMped candidates are required to declare a performance track prior to enrolling in applied music classes. Students may choose from an instrumental track or choral track, both of which include a comprehensive curriculum throughout degree work, but have slightly different credit hour requirements for the applied music performance program:

  1. 39 credit hours in applied music performance courses or equivalency for instrumental-track candidates is required.
  2. 41 credit hours in applied music performance courses or equivalency for choral-track candidates is required.

What are the types of applied music performance courses?

Music performance coursework is grouped into three categories by which students are required to achieve certain goals in each:

  1. Ensembles – Ensemble performance groups and their corresponding music performance classes include symphonic band, concert choir, philharmonic orchestra and chamber ensembles. These courses provide a setting in which candidates develop knowledge of musical repertoire, performance and rehearsal techniques.
  2. Applied Music Study – Individual music study provides an opportunity for the candidate to build musicianship upon applied music fundamentals and achieve a high level of personal accomplishment.
  3. Music Technique Courses – These courses are designed to provide the candidate with the basic skills needed to play a full range of brass, woodwind, string and percussion instruments (including piano) as well as the proper use of the voice.

Music Performer's Certificate

Students who earn a performer’s certificate are recognized for the skills they have achieved from rigorous study and rehearsal of the applied music curriculum. The music performance certificate process requires an application and certain criteria to be met. Students must show comprehension through a faculty panel assessment.

View Applied Music Performance Classes

Meet VanderCook’s Applied Music Performance Faculty

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The mission of VanderCook College of Music is to enrich the lives of present and future generations by developing uniquely skilled music teachers who exhibit strong character, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.

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