X

banner


Achieve instrumental performance excellence as a professional choral, wind or orchestra conductor or educator.


Refine your conducting skills with an academic focus on advanced score study, verbal and non-verbal communication and leadership skills. This program is available in two tracks – Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts – with each track divided into three concentrations: choral, orchestral and wind/band conducting.

The art of conducting is best learned through experiential means. You’ll receive hands-on experiences leading a variety of ensembles from the stage and under the mentorship of renowned faculty and guest clinicians. Conducting students work one-on-one with all conducting faculty (choral, orchestral, wind band) in an effort to broaden understanding of the art and craft of conducting across many different types of ensembles.

Within our NASM-accredited program, practical experience is gained through generous podium time in the rehearsal process and in concerts. Students also enjoy exposure to and collaboration with an extensive network of professional musicians, both nationally and internationally.

You will enjoy state-of-the-art music facilities, and work with a large and diverse community of faculty, students, and industry professionals. You’ll have the opportunity to attend numerous concerts, clinics, and master classes given by students, faculty, and visiting artists that will broaden your experience. Additionally, the University’s location allows limitless opportunities to plug into a vibrant music city. Admission + Audition Requirements Interested students should complete the University of Memphis application and apply to the School of Music. Conducting auditions are held to determine admission into School of Music programs and to award performance scholarships and graduate assistantships. All students who want to major or minor in music, or who seek a music scholarship must audition.

Admission + Audition Requirements

Please visit this website for more informaiton. 


What degrees do we offer?


Designed for experienced conductors seeking to hone their skills through an immersive experience in all aspects in the art of conducting. Our programs combine the rigorous study of conducting techniques and literature with related work in performance, music theory, and musicology in a vibrant and intimate setting, all within a major research university. The conducting program provides training for graduate students who intend to become professional conductors, along with courses to develop the skills and sensitivities required for many musical disciplines.

Graduate assistantships and scholarships are available but highly competitive.


Outcomes

  • Conducting students will acquire mastery in conducting ensembles of all sizes to effectively share an artistic vision
  • Conducting students will create a cohesive, well-researched and creative performance for your ensembles.
  • Conducting students will develop effective rehearsal techniques which includes the ability to diagnose and correct problems in any ensemble, including pitch, rhythm, balance, intonation, diction, and style.
  • Conducting students will gain a strong command of ensemble leadership through a combination of gestural vocabulary, strong baton technique, and effective verbal skills (this occurs in several places. We’ll need to edit all of them).

Map out your master's experience!

View the Master of Music in Conducting sample degree plan.

APPLY NOW >

Students who wish to continue from the MM into a DMA program of the same concentration have the option, with the audition and approval of the major professor, of following an accelerated track. This four-year track can save you two semesters of coursework compared to the traditional five-year MM to DMA path. You will earn your MM degree after the fourth semester of study. 

Our programs combine rigorous study of conducting techniques and literature with related work in performance, music theory, and musicology in a vibrant and intimate setting, all within a major research university. Students are prepared to enter the profession as highly qualified teachers with the potential for long-term professional success.

Graduate assistantships and scholarships are available.

Outcomes: 

  • Conducting students will acquire mastery in conducting ensembles of all sizes to effectively share an artistic vision
  • Conducting students will create a cohesive, well-researched and creative performance for your ensembles.
  • Conducting students will develop effective rehearsal techniques which includes the ability to diagnose and correct problems in any ensemble, including pitch, rhythm, balance, intonation, diction, and style.
  • Conducting students will gain a strong command of  your fellow musicians through a combination of gestural vocabulary, strong baton technique, and effective verbal skills

View the Accelerated MM-to-DMA in Conducting sample degree plan.

APPLY NOW >

Designed for students seeking the highest degree in the field, the D.M.A. is a rigorous three-year course of study culminating in a doctoral dissertation. Designed for conductors who have already reached a high level of proficiency and artistry in their fields and who may wish to teach at the university level. This program offers you an opportunity to bring creative and performance achievement to a high level while enriching individual backgrounds with academic studies, including specialized training in music history and theory, and other areas. 

Graduate student composers work closely with faculty in composition and music theory, and are expected to compose major works for public performance in addition to fulfilling course requirements. Our programs combine rigorous study of conducting techniques and literature with related work in performance, music theory, and musicology in a vibrant and intimate setting, all within a major research university.

Graduate assistantships and scholarships are available.

Outcomes: 

  • Conducting students will acquire mastery in conducting ensembles of all sizes to effectively share an artistic vision
  • Conducting students will create a cohesive, well-researched and creative performance for your ensembles.
  • Conducting students will develop effective rehearsal techniques which include the ability to diagnose and correct problems in any ensemble, including pitch, rhythm, balance, intonation, diction, and style.
  • Conducting students will gain a strong command of  your fellow musicians through a combination of gestural vocabulary, strong baton technique, and effective verbal skills
  • Conducting students will demonstrate the technical mastery and musical expertise requisite to having a significant professional career in their chosen area of performance.
  • Conducting students will demonstrate historical and theoretical knowledge supportive of the development of individualized interpretations within a full range of musical styles.
  • Conducting students will display a thorough understanding of the history of their conducting medium and comprehensive knowledge of the repertoire and literature specific to the area of specialization.

Map out your doctoral experience!

View the Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting sample degree plan. 

APPLY NOW >

The Artist Diploma is a two-year program for gifted performers who are looking for advanced conducting studies without the additional academic demands required in a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) or Ph.D. program. Applicants must have already earned a master's degree. This program is limited to the most advanced instrumentalists, vocalists, and conductors, who are in the beginning stages of professional careers as performers.

Working closely with a faculty mentor, you'll supplement your existing qualifications with a selection of graduate-level music courses and performance experience with School of Music ensembles.

Outcomes: 

  • Conducting students will demonstrate the technical mastery and musical expertise requisite to having a significant professional career in their chosen area of performance.
  • Conducting students will demonstrate historical and theoretical knowledge supportive of the development of individualized interpretations within a full range of musical styles.
  • Conducting students will display a thorough understanding of the history of their conducting medium and comprehensive knowledge of the repertoire and literature specific to the area of specialization.

Map out your Artist Diploma experience!

View the Artist Diploma in Conducting sample degree plan.

Student + Alumni Success 


  • Wes King (DMA '21)  Director of Bands, University of Findlay, Findlay, Ohio. 
  • Jon Nash (DMA '20) Associate Director of Bands, Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, Arkansas
  • Brian Hodge (MM '14, DMA '18) Assistant Professor and Director of Bands, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania
  • Kevin Sütterlin (DMA '17) Assistant Professor, Instrumental Conducting; Director of Orchestral Activities; Conductor, The Concordia Orchestra and Concordia Opera, Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota. 
  • Mathias Elmer (DMA '17) Director of Orchestral Activities, Connecticut College, New London, CT
  • Fredrick Brown (MM '15)  Director of Bands, Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas. 
  • Quintus Wrighten (DMA '12) Instructor/ Assistant Director of Bands; Associate Director of Athletic Bands, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

 

commencement Faculty 
click here >

 

commencement Ensembles  
click here >

 

commencement Scholarships
click here >