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EIU Master of Arts in Music

Graduate Program Capstone Project

Graduate students in their final semester will register for the Graduate Performance Project (MUS 5940, 0 credits). The format of the Graduate Performance Project will vary, including but not limited to a 50-minute recital or lecture recital. The graduate student and their primary teacher will determine the content of the Project depending on repertoire and concepts already studied during the MA degree and the career goals and interests of the student.

Applied teachers and faculty will complete standard Graduate “Performance Assessment” forms before the Graduate Recital or the Graduate Lecture-Recital is presented in public. The Graduate Lecture-Recital must reach a graduate level of competency in both performance and speaking/presentation. The applied teacher may use the Oral Presentation Rubric. 


Program Notes

  • The Project must include program notes between 1000 and 1500 words.
  • Each piece represented in the program notes should be cited briefly and consistently between the pieces.
  • All members of the exam committee (see below) will review and evaluate the program notes using the “Graduate Program Notes Evaluation” form.
  • The program notes must receive at least a 9 (Good in each category) or they must be revised and re-submitted.

Graduate Exam Committee

The Graduate Exam Committee for each student will include the primary teacher, who also serves as the exam/project advisor, and three Unit A faculty. The primary project advisor may be one of the three Unit A faculty members. The student will meet with the Graduate Coordinator to select the Graduate Committee.

Graduate Oral Exam

The Oral Exam will cover a maximum of three topics or question areas. The student’s primary teacher and one other committee member will determine those topics, while the other two committee members will serve to follow up on student responses during the oral exam and evaluate the exam results. (Appropriate topics might include performance practice, pedagogical, historical, or interpretive approaches to music.) The student and their primary project advisor will pick which two committee members will offer topics or question areas.

The Oral Exam should last no more than an hour and can be scheduled through the end of finals week.


Using the “Graduate Comprehensive Exam Evaluation Form”, the committee members will provide a written assessment of the oral exam to both the student and Graduate Coordinator.


All evaluation forms above can be found on the faculty website.

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Contact Information

Music Department

2620 Doudna
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-3010

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