Conducting, DMA

The DMA program in music with a concentration in conducting (emphasis areas: choral, orchestra and opera, wind band) offers emerging conductors the opportunity to improve their art, craft and scholarship, while becoming well-versed in multiple areas of conducting. Those pursuing this degree take several common courses regardless of emphasis and become acquainted with the repertory and conducting issues for each medium. Coursework emphasizes a thorough knowledge of repertory, knowledge of historical and analytical issues, an understanding of efficient, effective rehearsal technique, and clear, expressive conducting technique. Doctoral students of conducting receive considerable individual attention and have regular opportunities to rehearse and conduct a variety of ensembles.

Choral Track
Conductors specializing in choral conducting are vital members of the choral program and have unique opportunities to work directly with the Director of Choral Activities and the other choral faculty members. DMA conducting students have substantial weekly podium time, which provides an opportunity to work with choirs of varying levels and in a variety of styles. Most will spend a year as director of one of the standing ensembles in addition to assisting with other choirs.

The curriculum helps choral conductors to expand their expertise in vocal technique and to incorporate this knowledge into their pedagogy and rehearsal process. Score study integrates musical and textual analysis to gain insights into the unique interpretive demands of each work. Through these studies and those described above, conductors enhance their musical and interpretive skills and develop a collaborative leadership style.

Orchestra and Opera Conducting Track
Conductors specializing in orchestra and opera conducting work closely with the director of orchestras and the artistic director of Lyric Opera Theatre and gain a breadth of experience in both orchestral and opera conducting. Time in front of an ensemble is essential for the development of conducting skills, and therefore conductors enjoy significant podium time with the ASU Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, ASU Philharmonia, and Lyric Opera Theatre as well as twice-weekly conducting sessions with the studio chamber orchestra.

Degree recitals are performed with the top orchestral ensembles in the School of Music and include orchestral, concerto and opera repertoire. Additionally, during each season DMA students develop and lead at least one outreach concert that can include pops, education or video game music. Depending on interest and ability, opportunities with the Lyric Opera Theatre include conducting main stage productions as well rehearsals, workshops and outreach concerts. 

Students in the orchestra and opera conducting area also have the opportunity for frequent interaction with the Music Director of the Phoenix Symphony as well as Phoenix Symphony rehearsal observation. The course of study includes conducting technique, rehearsal technique, leadership, interpretation, score study, audience development and outreach, and career development.

Wind Band Conducting Track
Conductors specializing in wind band conducting study privately with the director of bands and work closely with other members of the band faculty to develop their conducting and rehearsal skills. If interested, wind band conducting majors also have opportunities to enhance their work with athletic bands and, if desired, may elect individual study with the director of athletic bands. Furthermore, many students select “integrated conducting” as their cognate, allowing for in-depth work in a second conducting area.

As a part of their course of study, wind band conducting students meet in seminars to further deepen and broaden their understandings of the psychology, score preparation methods, pedagogy, and communication skills that underlie the art and craft of conducting in a band setting. Seminars are designed to expand students' capacity for analytical thinking; additionally, dialogical skills are challenged and, subsequently, enhanced.

Podium time is essential for the development of conducting skills; therefore, wind band conductors enjoy significant time leading the ASU Wind Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, and serve as co-directors of the ASU Concert Band. The DMA Lecture-Recital is performed with the top pool of wind/percussion players in the School of Music and includes repertoire chosen from the complete body of wind band/chamber wind literature.

The DMA program in music with a concentration in conducting (emphasis areas: choral, orchestra and opera, wind band) offers emerging conductors the opportunity to improve their art, craft and scholarship, while becoming well-versed in multiple areas of conducting. Those pursuing this degree take several common courses regardless of emphasis and become acquainted with the repertory and conducting issues for each medium. Coursework emphasizes a thorough knowledge of repertory, knowledge of historical and analytical issues, an understanding of efficient, effective rehearsal technique, and clear, expressive conducting technique. Doctoral students of conducting receive considerable individual attention and have regular opportunities to rehearse and conduct a variety of ensembles.

There are three tracks in this degree program:

Conductors specializing in choral conducting expand their expertise in vocal technique and work to integrate this into their pedagogy and rehearsal process. Score study integrates musical and textual analysis to gain insights into the unique interpretive demands of each work. Through these studies and those described above, conductors enhance their musical and interpretive skills and develop a collaborative leadership style.

Conductors specializing in orchestra and opera conducting work closely with the director of orchestras and the artistic director of Lyric Opera Theatre and gain a breadth of experience in both orchestral and opera conducting. Time in front of an ensemble is essential for the development of conducting skills, and therefore conductors have significant podium time with the ASU Orchestras and Lyric Opera Theatre as well as twice-weekly classes with the studio chamber orchestra. Study includes conducting technique, rehearsal technique, leadership, interpretation, score study, audience development and outreach, and career development.

Conductors specializing in wind band conducting meet in seminars to deepen and broaden their understandings of the psychology, score preparation methods, pedagogy and communication skills that underlie the art and craft of conducting in the wind band setting. Additionally, students’ capacity for analytical thinking and dialogical skills will be challenged and, subsequently, enhanced.

Degree Offered

Conducting, DMA
Design & the Arts, Herberger Institute for

Location
Tempe

Plan of Study

The Plan of Study is the required curriculum to complete the program.

View Plan of Study

Application Requirements

Application Procedures + Requirements

Application Deadlines
Spring 2019: Closed
Fall 2019: December 1, 2018

Curriculum Checksheets

Checksheets break down the course requirements for each degree program and are listed below by area.

Conducting (students admitted fall 2012 and later)

Conducting (students prior to fall 2012)

Affording Grad School

Music Scholarships
All applicants are automatically considered for merit based scholarships, with priority given to those who audition and/or interview on-campus.

Teaching Assistantships
Teaching assistantships are offered to graduate students who convey exceptional ability. Learn more about TA benefits, eligibility and application procedures.

Financial Aid
ASU has many financial aid options. Almost everyone, regardless of income, can qualify for some form of financial aid. In fact, more than 70 percent of all ASU students receive some form of financial assistance every year.