Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Music is to provide a quality-learning environment for students from the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College service area and beyond. The programs focus on close personal attention for each student from a well-qualified music faculty in modern facilities. The intent of the program is to aid students who wish to pursue graduate studies or move straight into professional careers. Furthermore, the mission is to provide, simultaneously, many quality performance experiences through numerous outreach programs.

Additionally, the Department of Music affords opportunities for the general college student to participate in performing ensembles, to study voice or an instrument privately (applied lessons) or in groups, and to enroll in music courses as part of the University core curriculum.

Learning Outcomes

The successful student will:

  • Demonstrate comprehensive capabilities in their major performing area including the ability to work independently to prepare performances at the highest possible level.
  • Demonstrate the ability to read music at sight with some fluency.
  • Demonstrate their understanding of the common elements of music including rhythm, melody, harmony, musical forms, and organizational patterns, and employ this understanding in aural, verbal, and visual analyses.
  • Understand a basic knowledge of music history through the present time.
  • Recognize a wide variety of applicable solo and ensemble repertoire through both study and performance in ensembles as well as attendance at recitals and concerts.
  • Understand how technology serves the field of music and use that technology applicable to their area of specialization.
  • Adopt a sense of advocacy for music and the arts by participating in the professional organizations and associations related to their area of musical interest so they can better understand and communicate professional issues to their communities.


The Rio Grande John W. Berry Fine and Performing Arts Center opened in 1981. A signature glass atrium introduces visitors to the Center and serves as an entry to the 500-seat state-of-the-art Alphus R. Christensen theatre. The theatre hosts numerous university and community productions and serves as a cultural hub to residents in a five-county area of Southern Ohio and West Virginia.

Within the Center, the department of music houses a Steinway concert grand piano, studio pianos, harpsichords, electric organs, Orff instruments and woodwind and brass instruments, sound-proof practice modules, multi-purpose classrooms, rehearsal areas, a Mac computer lab, a studio theatre, and a photography lab. Students also have access to a recording lab enabling them to learn how to produce professional recordings.

Admission Requirements and Procedures

Since the University of Rio Grande has a policy of open- admissions, all who apply are accepted into the music program. However, the prospective student seeking admission as a music major is required to take the URG Music Theory Placement Examination to assess his/her music theory-aural training background. The results will determine whether the student is first placed in remedial music theory courses or directly into Music Theory I and Aural Training I. This initial assessment measure is the first of several that all students majoring in music will undergo throughout their college careers at URG. New students are encouraged to contact the Music Department Coordinator in advance of their first semester for advice on how to prepare for these placement exams.

Admission to the Teacher Education Program

The application for admission to the Teacher Education Program will be completed during the student’s enrollment in LA 10001 Music Section. If the application is not approved, the student will not be allowed to enroll in upper level (30000-40000) education (EDU) courses.

To gain admission to the Teacher Education Program, candidates must meet ALL of the following standards:
  1. A grade point average (G.P.A.) of 3.0 in the following written and oral communication courses: ENG 11103 Composition I, ENG 11203 Composition II, and COM 11103 Fundamentals of Speech.
  2. An overall G.P.A. of 2.5 in at least twenty-seven (27) a. semester hours of the general education coursework.
  3. An American College Test (ACT) score of at least 19.
  4. If you have a score of 17 or 18 on the ACT you may request a review by a faculty committee to consider your application into the School of Education. All other requirements must be met before a committee will consider your request. The committee will consist of the department chair, the student’s advisor and one additional education faculty member of the student’s choice. School of Education requirements may be adjusted periodically to comply with changing state requirements. If a candidate has a Bachelor Degree from a regionally accredited institution, the ACT requirement is waived.
  5. Submit two essays to be reviewed by faculty: “The URG Conceptual Framework” and “My Philosophy of Education” which will be completed as a part of the LA 10001 Music Section.
  6. The candidate must sign a statement of Good Moral Character as defined in Section 3319.30 of the Ohio Revised Code.
  7. The candidate must have a background check (BCI) with clear results.
  8. The candidate must have a current, negative TB test. 9. The candidate must have met Portfolio Benchmark I, which will be completed as a part of the LA 10001 Music Section

The candidate will receive written notification of acceptance into the School of Education by the Chair of the School of Education. A candidate who is denied admission will be given reasons for the denial. The candidate has the right to appeal denial to the Faculty Advisory Council for the Teacher Education Program. Candidates are also able to rewrite essays as needed to make noted corrections or clarifications.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Arts – Music Comprehensive (10411)

The Comprehensive Music program is designed primarily for students who are interested in music performance, composition, private studio teaching, graduate school, and other areas in which an extensive music background would be an asset or necessity.

General Education must include:
ATH 12103 (TM) (TAG) Anthropology3
MUS 33502 Jazz and World Music History2
(Substitutes for Arts and Humanities Group I)
PHR 21103 (TM) Philosophical Inquiry3
LA 10001 Gateway to Success1
(Must register for Music major section)
Total General Education hours42

Bachelor of Arts – Music Business Comprehensive (10412)

The Music Business program offers a degree that combines a strong background in music and a diverse knowledge base in business and technology. This is ideal for the student who plans to pursue business careers requiring the talents and skills of a musician, or music careers needing a firm grasp of business practices.

General Education must include:
MUS 33502 Jazz and World Music History (Substitute for Arts and Humanities Group I)2
ECO 11103 (TM) Contemporary Economics3
LA 10001 Gateway to Success (Must register for Music major section)1
Total General Education hours42
Major Area required courses
MUS 10000 Concert Attendance0
MUS 10302 Aural Training I2
MUS 10402 Aural Training II2
MUS 12103 Music Theory I3
MUS 12203 Music Theory II3
MUS 14301. Computers in Music1
MUS 20302 Aural Training III2
MUS 20402 Aural Training IV2
MUS 22103 Music Theory III3
MUS 22203 Music Theory IV3
Select one of the following two course:
MUS 23103 Music History I
MUS 23203 Music History II
MUS 30102 Form and Analysis2
MUS 30502 Conducting I2
MUS 49003 Music Business Internship3
MUS 49501 Senior Music Activity1
BM 10403 Introduction to Business3
BM 22403 Organizational Behavior3
BM 27403 Introduction to Business Law.3
BM 20403 Principles of Management3
ACC 10503 General Accounting Fundamentals3
Select one of the following two courses
JRN 33303 Introduction to Public Relations
MKT 35403 Retail Management
THR 14403 Stage Audio3
BM 49102 Internship/Experience in Business Management2
Applied music7
Major Ensemble7
Total Major Area hours56
Personal elective hours10
Total required hours for degree126

Bachelor of Science – Music Education: Multi Age (40453)
Bachelor of Arts or Science – Minor in Music (1030)

General Education must include:
MUS 10403 (TM) Music Appreciation3
Total General Education hours42-45
Minor Area required courses
MUS 10000 Concert Attendance0
MUS 10302 Aural Training I2
MUS 10402 Aural Training II2
MUS 12103 Music Theory I3
MUS 12203 Music Theory II3
Applied music2
Major Ensemble3
Music Electives3
Total Minor Area hours18
Major and elective hours63-66
Total required hours for degree126

Additional Requirements for all Music Majors:

Private Applied Music

Music majors must declare their major instrument the first semester of their university careers and take private lessons for credit on their instrument every semester thereafter, except during the semester of student teaching or Music Business Internship. Music majors must pass a jury before the music faculty each semester they are enrolled until their senior recital. Specific requirements are established by the applied instructors for each instrument. Senior Recital may be substituted for the semester recital during the same semester. A minimum of seven (7) credit hours is required with a minimum average grade of B.

Music Ensembles

 Music majors are required to participate in either Masterworks Chorale or Symphonic Band for credit each semester during their university careers. The choice is dependent upon their major instrument and desired career emphasis. A minimum of seven (7) credit hours is required with a minimum average grade of B. Students who declare the guitar as their major instrument may elect to use Rock Ensemble as their Major ensemble.

In addition, students must also participate for credit for two semesters (one academic year) in ensembles, which are not common to their area of specialization. These may include Masterworks Chorale, Grande Chorale, Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, or Rock Ensemble.

Piano Proficiency

All Music majors are required to pass a proficiency level examination in piano before they are certified for graduation. Music Education majors must pass all piano skills before entry into the practice teaching program in the senior year. One skill in the following list must be completed each semester of degree study. However, no skill may be passed during a semester in which the student is not enrolled in piano for credit. The examination consists of the following requirements:

  1. Material prepared in advance:
    1. Solo. Easy-to-moderate in difficulty performed on a recital seminar.
    2. Scales. Up to four sharps and flats, major keys and all minor scales; two hand, two octaves, ascending and descending.
    3. Patriotic Songs. Two of the three standards (America, America the Beautiful, Star-Spangled Banner), plus one from Music Department selected list. One must be 4-part.
    4. Piano Accompaniment. To a moderately easy vocal or instrumental selection to be performed at a recital seminar.
  2. Reading. The following skills must be demonstrated at sight with one hour of preparation:
    1. SATB score. Two voices together.
    2. Harmonization. Improvise a simple accompaniment to a given melody using primary triads.
    3. Chording. With chord symbols provided, sight read a 32- bar, AABA-form piece, one time through.

Theory, Aural Training, and History Proficiency

Music majors are required to pass comprehensive theory, aural training, and music history examinations before the student is certified for graduation. These are usually accomplished after the end of the sophomore year, or after four semesters of study of music theory, aural training, music history, and applied lessons on their major instrument.

Concert Attendance

All Music Majors are required to register for MUS 10000 Concert Attendance for 7 out of 8 semesters during their tenure in the music program. This pass/fail course will reinforce the Music Department policy of mandatory attendance of 80% of all performances, recitals, and portfolio presentations sponsored by the Music Department each year. Attendance will be taken at all Music Department sponsored events. Failure to maintain the required concert attendance could result in failure of MUS 10000 and be grounds for dismal from the program.

MUS 49501 Senior Music Activity

Prior to the spring semester of the Junior year, a determination as to the nature of the Music major’s Senior Music Activity is to be made by the student’s advisor after due consideration with other appropriate music staff members. The Senior Music Activity assumes one of the following forms:

  1. Recital. The recital involves a minimum of forty-five (45) minutes of music performance on one or more instruments. Other musicians may be utilized with approval of the student’s advisor. This presentation will be made to the entire music department and the public.
  2. Lecture-Recital. The Lecture-Recital involves a minimum of twenty-five (25) minutes of actual music performance, plus pertinent comments relative to the works presented. Total presentation is forty-five (45) minutes minimum. This presentation will be made to the entire music department and the public.
  3. Project. The project is regarded as a creative laboratory experience, and could take the form of original compositions, arranging, conducting, or pedagogy study. There will be a presentation of the project, 45 minutes minimum, to the entire music department and the public.

    The student is required to pass a pre-recital jury at least 1 (one) calendar month prior to the scheduled Senior Music Activity. Students must be enrolled in lessons during the semester in which they wish to schedule their recital.

E-portfolio Presentation

During the final college semester, the e-portfolio must be presented to the entire Music major student body and Music faculty, typically as part of the RISE event. These arrangements must be made with the cooperation and guidance of the advisor and the Music Department Coordinator. All Music majors are required to view the e-portfolio.