Earn your DMA in Percussion

Learn about pursuing your Doctor of Musical Arts in Percussion at the University of Iowa School of Music. 

Graduate percussion auditions

The purpose of the graduate audition is to demonstrate your musical interests and abilities. Be sure to choose repertoire that is meaningful to you, distinguishes you as a musician, and represents your personal musical style. Graduate study in percussion at the University of Iowa is designed to help you find and/or develop your unique musical voice, to become a curious musical scholar, and to find your place in the modern musical landscape.

Auditioning for the Graduate Program in Percussion at the university requires a pre-screening of candidates. Prospective graduate students should be in touch with Dan Moore prior to submitting links to pre-screening videos.

At a minimum, the pre-screen should include three examples of mallet performances in contrasting styles (including both 2- and 4-mallet works), concert snare drum, and multi-percussion. Other desirable components include examples of chamber music, jazz, and world music performances as well as examples of conducting/coaching of ensembles, original compositions/arrangements, or examples of writing for marching percussion.

After passing the pre-screen, prospective graduate students are advised to come to campus for a live performance audition and interview. Prospective Teaching Assistants must interview in person. 

Live auditions should include performances from the pre-screen videos as well as at least one work not included in the pre-screening. Orchestral Excerpts are not required for pre-screening or on-campus auditions.

Requirements and program planning

Download course checklist

Requirements and program planning

  • Introduction to Graduate Study in Music (MUS:5300), 2 semester hours
  • Seminar in Music Research (MUS:7140), 2 semester hours

      Review of Undergraduate Theory (MUS:5200): Required of all graduate students who do not pass the advisory examination in music theory. It must be taken before completing 6 semester hours from the following list of theory courses. This course does not count toward graduate degree requirements.

      Students exempt from MUS:5200 through the advisory examination in music theory must complete 6 semester hours from the following:

      • Counterpoint Before 1600 (MUS:4200), 3 semester hours
      • Counterpoint After 1600 (MUS:4201), 3 semester hours
      • Jazz Theory (MUS:4730), 3 semester hours
      • Tonal Analysis (MUS:5235), 3 semester hours
      • Non-Tonal Analysis (MUS:5236), 3 semester hours
      • Analysis of Popular Music (MUS:5237), 3 semester hours
      • Special Topics in Theory and Analysis (MUS:5240), 3 semester hours
      • History of Ideas in Music (MUS:6210), 3 semester hours
      • Theoretical Approaches to Music (MUS:6211), 3 semester hours
      • Theory Pedagogy (MUS:6215), 3 semester hours
      • Advanced Tonal Theory and Analysis (MUS:6250), 3 semester hours
      • Advanced Non-Tonal Theory and Analysis (MUS:6251), 3 semester hours
      • Advanced Theory and Analysis of Popular Music (MUS:6252), 3 semester hours

      Select from the music history courses in the following list. Only one 4000-level course (taken at the University of Iowa or equivalent transferred in from another institution) may count toward the 6 semester hours required:

      • Music and Gender (MUS:4320), 3 semester hours
      • Medieval and Renaissance Music (MUS:4325), 3 semester hours
      • Baroque Music (MUS:4330), 3 semester hours
      • 18th-Century Music (MUS:4335), 3 semester hours
      • 19th-Century Music (MUS:4340), 3 semester hours
      • 20th-Century Music (MUS:4345), 3 semester hours
      • Advanced Jazz History (MUS:4350), 3 semester hours
      • American Music (MUS:4355), 3 semester hours
      • Jazz Matters (MUS:4360), 3 semester hours
      • Studies in Film and Music (MUS:4610), 3 semester hours
      • Teaching Music, History, and Culture (MUS:6305), 3 semester hours
      • Topics in Musicology (MUS:6310), 3 semester hours
      • Historical Approaches to Music (MUS:6312), 3 semester hours
      • Topics in Ethnomusicology (MUS:6314), 3 semester hours
      • Foundations of Ethnomusicology (MUS:6315), 3 semester hours
      • Renaissance Music Notations (MUS:6326), 3 semester hours
      • Music Editing (MUS:6375), 3 semester hours

      Major Ensemble (four semesters required), 1 semester hour each

      • Graduate Percussion lessons (MUS:6037), 4 semesters, 8 semester hours
        • Applied lessons are taken each semester until the recital requirement is completed. Requests for exceptions must be approved by the percussion professor.
      • Advanced Percussion Pedagogy and Literature (MUS:5130), 2 semester hours
      • Percussion Ensemble (MUS:3150), 1 semester hour
        • Four semesters required for a total of 4 semester hours
        • Percussion majors participate in Percussion Ensemble every semester.

      Recital requirements

      • Qualifying Recital (MUS:7899), 0 semester hours
        • This recital is to be presented by the end of the second semester of registration (excluding summer session). In the event a qualifying recital is unacceptable, one additional recital with different repertoire may be given at the discretion of the examining committee.
        • A UI master's recital may serve as a qualifying recital with the prior approval of the area. A full doctoral recital committee of four members must hear the recital.
      • DMA Recital 1 (MUS:7900), 1 to 2 semester hours
      • DMA Recital 2 (MUS:7900), 1 to 2 semester hours
      • DMA Recital 3 (MUS:7900), 1 to 2 semester hours
      • DMA Essay/Thesis (MUS:7970)
        • 2 semester hours minimum; 6 semester hours maximum
        • If the student started coursework prior to Fall 2019, the range is 4 to 8 semester hours.

      DMA Recitals note: The DMA recital committee is selected by the percussion professor and the student. The percussion professor and other School of Music faculty members from the applied, conducting and theory/musicology areas complete this four member committee.  A maximum of one non-pass recital is allowed. One work on each program (including the qualifying recital) is to be presented by the student without assistance from the instructor.

      DMA students have a choice of satisfying a language proficiency requirement or completing coursework in a secondary area of music. 

      Proficiency in any language related to the candidate’s field of percussion research. Language must be approved by the percussion area. Students can satisfy the proficiency in one of the following ways:

      • Completion of a conversational or other approved course in the selected language at the University of Iowa.
      • Completion of the fourth semester of the language at the undergraduate level with at least a grade of B, within the last 10 years.

      or

      Minimum of 6 semester hours in Secondary Area of Music

      The Secondary Area of Music option of the DMA program is an opportunity for students to individualize their course of study according to their strengths, personal interests, and career aspirations.

      The Secondary Area will enhance their viability in the job market and broaden the student’s professional profile and competence. The student, the major advisor, and a professor from the secondary area will define this individualized component of the DMA course of study by the end of the first year of study.

      A contract listing the required coursework or other specific outcomes will be filed with the student’s records in the Academic Office. The required coursework will include a minimum of six semester hours. These hours may not include any courses required to fulfill other degree requirements.

      The student’s Comprehensive Examination committee will include a secondary area advisor, who will provide questions pertaining to the secondary area. Possible secondary areas include conducting, music education, jazz studies, theory, music history, or a secondary applied area. Secondary areas may not be specialized areas of the primary performance/pedagogy or conducting area.

       

      The comprehensive examination committee is selected by the percussion professor and the student. The percussion professor and other School of Music faculty members from the applied, conducting and theory/musicology areas complete this four member committee.

      The doctoral essay committee is also selected by the percussion professor and the student. The committee consists of the percussion professor and three other faculty members from the School of Music. 

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      Dan Moore

      Title/Position
      Percussion
      Professor
      Percussion Area Head

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