Music Teaching and Learning

Master of Music – Community Music (MM)

Applicants are encouraged to submit all materials by November 1 to allow greater time for faculty review. Any application not complete by December 1 may be removed from consideration.

Application Deadline: December 1

Preferred qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Music (or equivalent coursework to include applied music study, music ensemble performance, music history, music theory, conducting, music electives)
  • Minimum of two years teaching in a community-based music program

Applicants must submit the USC application for Graduate Admission, Thornton’s SlideRoom Application Form, and various other items. Details follow.

Thornton SlideRoom Application form

Applicants to the MM in Community Music must include the following items as part of Thornton’s SlideRoom Application:

  1. Resume
  2. Statement of objectives addressing why the candidate is interested in this degree and why Thornton might be a good fit
  3. Scholarly Writing Sample
  4. Teaching video – a video recording of the applicant teaching in a community music setting, for the purpose of evaluating teaching skills and level of experience. The video recording should be approximately 15 minutes in length. 
  5. Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended. Unofficial transcripts must be issued by the registrar’s office of each institution. Documents printed from an on-line student system will not be accepted. Please note that official transcripts must also be submitted to the USC Graduate Admission office following the guidelines here.
  6. GRE Scores. Minimum score requirements and other related information can be found here.
  7. TOEFL or IELTS scores are required from International applicants for whom English is a second language. Please include your scores on the application form where indicated, and be sure that an official score report is sent to USC’s Graduate Admission office by the application deadline. Minimum test score requirements and other relevant information can be found here.
  8. The faculty may contact applicants to set up an interview. Interviews may not be conducted every year, and all applicants may not be interviewed. Interviews can be conducted via phone, skype or in person, depending on the applicant’s location and availability. Applicants will be contacted if the faculty determine an interview is warranted.

USC Application for Graduate Admission

The following items must be submitted as part of the USC Graduate Application:

  1. Letters of recommendation – Applicants must upload three letters of recommendation within USC Graduate Application. Instructions are included in the on-line application form. Letters should speak to musicianship and potential as a teacher and community music leader/administrator
  2. Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended. Unofficial transcripts must be issued by the registrar’s office of each institution. Documents printed from an on-line student system will not be accepted. Remember to have official transcripts submitted following the procedure outlined above.

Note – It is not necessary to complete the “Supporting Information” section in the USC Graduate Application. We prefer that you upload a detailed resume and statement of purpose as well as the digital profile mentioned above via SlideRoom instead. You will still need to click through the “Supporting Information” section, and “opt-out” of submitting information there.


 
 

Master of Music – Contemporary Practice (MM)

Applicants are encouraged to submit all materials by November 1 to allow greater time for faculty review. Any application not complete by December 1 may be removed from consideration.

Application Deadline: December 1


Preferred qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Music (BM), or equivalent coursework to include applied music study, music ensemble performance, music history, music theory, conducting, music electives.

Following admission, and as soon as possible during the degree program, admitted students must complete the following:

  • Music Graduate Entrance Exams (MGEE) administered prior to the first semester of study at Thornton.
  • CBEST (California Basic Education Skills Test)
  • CSET (California Subject Examination for Teachers) for music
  • edTPA (Teaching Performance Assessment)

Applicants must submit the USC application for Graduate Admission, Thornton’s SlideRoom Application Form, and various other items. Details follow.

Thornton SlideRoom Application form

Applicants to the MM in Contemporary Teaching Practice must include the following items as part of the SlideRoom Application:

  1. Resume
  2. Statement of objectives addressing why the candidate is interested in this degree and why Thornton might be a good fit
  3. Scholarly Writing Sample
  4. Teaching video – video recording segments for the purpose of evaluating the applicant’s teaching skills and level of experience. The video recording should be approximately 15 minutes in length and, if possible, include different teaching settings that might reflect a variety of musical styles.
  5. Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended. Unofficial transcripts must be issued by the registrar’s office of each institution. Documents printed from an on-line student system will not be accepted. Please note that official transcripts must also be submitted to the USC Graduate Admission office following the guidelines here.
  6. GRE Scores. Minimum score requirements and other related information can be found here.
  7. TOEFL or IELTS scores are required from International applicants for whom English is a second language. Please include your scores on the application form where indicated, and be sure that an official score report is sent to USC’s Graduate Admission office by the application deadline. Minimum test score requirements and other relevant information can be found here.
  8. Optional: Candidates are encouraged to include examples of creative work in music such as music scores, audio or video recordings, or other work products that show a variety of musical styles including concert and vernacular music.
  9. The faculty may contact applicants to set up an interview. Interviews may not be conducted every year, and all applicants may not be interviewed. Interviews can be conducted via phone, skype or in person, depending on the applicant’s location and availability. Applicants will be contacted if the faculty determine an interview is warranted.

USC Application for Graduate Admission

The following items must be submitted as part of the USC Graduate Application:

  1. Letters of recommendation – Applicants must upload at least three letters of recommendation within USC Graduate Application. Instructions are included in the on-line application form.
  2. Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you have attended. Unofficial transcripts must be issued by the registrar’s office of each institution. Documents printed from an on-line student system will not be accepted. Remember to have official transcripts submitted following the procedure outlined above.

Note – It is not necessary to complete the “Supporting Information” section in the USC Graduate Application. We prefer that you upload a detailed resume and statement of purpose as well as the digital profile mentioned above via SlideRoom instead. You will still need to click through the “Supporting Information” section, and “opt-out” of submitting information there.


 
 

Master of Music – Music Teaching & Learning (MM)
Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

All applicants to the MM and DMA in Music Teaching & Learning are required to submit 3 letters of recommendation (see the USC online application for instructions on how to submit).

The Master of Music program provides music educators with courses that will rigorously improve their scholarship, research, and practice in the field. We welcome applications from national and international students. In addition, we aim to accommodate local students who wish to maintain their full-time teaching jobs, offering alternative schedules, such as classes in the evenings and summers. The degree offers a seamless transition into the DMA in Music Teaching & Learning, with credit being applied for most courses taken at the Master level. For further information on applications, contact Thornton Admissions at uscmusic@usc.edu or (213) 740-8986 or (800) 872-2213. For additional information on the program, contact Dr. Susan Helfter, Chair of Music Teaching & Learning, at helfter@usc.edu or (213) 740-3129.

The Doctor of Musical Arts in music education at USC equips future college and university professors to train music teachers who can meet the challenges of increasingly diverse and technologically-proficient communities, while being able to rigorously participate in the public debate on the value and roles of music and music education. Students have the opportunity to intern with university professors in music education methodology classes, including and going beyond traditional models and formal public school education. Scholarship skills are rigorously developed through studies in music education research, history, philosophy, sociology and psychology. Students will acquire writing and design skills for a wide range of multimedia publications, while being able to pursue a choice of research activities or cutting-edge creative work that will enable them to lead our profession to new heights. In addition, students have the opportunity to minor in two additional fields within or outside of music. We welcome applications from national and international students. In addition, we aim to accommodate local students who wish to maintain their full-time teaching jobs, offering alternative schedules, such as classes in the evenings and summers. For further information on applications, contact Thornton Admissions at uscmusic@usc.edu or (213) 740-8986 or (800) 872-2213. For additional information on the program, contact Dr. Susan Helfter, Chair of Music Teaching & Learning, at helfter@usc.edu.

Applicants to the MM or DMA in Music Teaching & Learning will include a statement of objectives, curriculum vitae and a scholarly writing sample (which should consist of a literature review or research report in the music education field) to be uploaded to the Thornton SlideRoom portal. The curriculum vitae should list musical, professional and academic experience, including job descriptions regarding 2 years of teaching experience for MM applicants or 3 years of teaching experience for DMA applicants (whether private, public or studio teaching) and particulars of a Bachelor and/or Master of Music in Music Teaching & Learning or equivalent.

Music Teaching & Learning applicants also will upload a video recording of the applicant teaching for the purpose of evaluating the applicant’s teaching skills and level of experience. The video recording should be approximately 15 minutes in length. Recordings will not be accepted via mail or email for this program. Recordings must be submitted online through the “Fall SlideRoom portal” by the December 1st deadline. (Applicants are encouraged to submit all materials by November 1 to allow greater time for faculty review.) Any application not complete by December 1 may be removed from consideration.

For instructions on how to access the SlideRoom portal to submit your recording click HERE

Important notes:

  • GRE scores are required for both the MM in Music Teaching & Learning and the DMA in Music Teaching & Learning.
  • DMA applicants are required to submit a “Personal Introductory Video” as part of their SlideRoom Portfolio. For detailed instructions click here.