Indicators of Achievement

The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), our accreditation and standards organization, recognizes a body of knowledge and skills common to all baccalaureate degrees in music. This core includes:

  • Performance
  • Musicianship Skills and Analysis
  • Composition and Improvisation
  • History and Repertory
  • Technology
  • Synthesis

Student Learning Outcomes for the Music Major

  1. Performance skills
    • Technical skills requisite for artistic self-expression in at least one major performance area
    • An overview understanding of the repertory in the major performance area
    • The ability to read at sight with fluency
    • Rehearsal and conducting skills
    • Keyboard competency
  2. Musicianship skills and analysis
    • An understanding of the common elements and organizational patterns of music and their interaction, the ability to employ this understanding in aural, verbal, and visual analyses
    • The ability to take aural dictation
    • Sufficient understanding of and capability with musical forms, processes, and structures to use this knowledge and skill in compositional, performance, analytical, scholarly, and pedagogical applications according to the requisites of their specializations
    • The ability to place music in historical, cultural, and stylistic contexts
  3. Composition and Improvisation
    • Sufficient understanding of the tools necessary to create music both extemporaneously and in written form
    • The ability to demonstrate a basic command of compositional process and design
    • The ability to demonstrate a basic command of creative improvisational process
    • The ability to engage in the process of realizing composed and improvised work through collaborative performance
  4. History and Repertory
    • A thorough knowledge of the output of significant composers from each major musical period including the present
    • An understanding of the stylistic traits of each period including principal characteristics of major composers and significant musical genres of each era
    • An understanding of the culture of each musical period—i.e. the political, social and artistic contexts in which music was created
    • A knowledge of the primary sources of music historical writing, critical commentary and analysis
  5. Technology
    • The ability to use technologies current to their area of specialization
    • The ability to use contemporary music notation software
  6. Synthesis
    • The ability, by the end of undergraduate study, to work on musical problems by combining, as appropriate to each situation, their capabilities in performance; aural and visual analysis; composition and improvisation; history and repertory; and technology
Willamette University

Music Department

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
503-370-6260 FAX

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