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.

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, and therefore conductors have significant podium time as well as twice-weekly studio chamber orchestra classes. 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


Plan of Study

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

View Plan of Study

Information about this program

Visit the School of Music website for full details.