Conducting, DMA

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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, 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 the music theatre and opera program 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.

Program offered

Conducting, DMA

Offered by
Herberger Institute for Design & the Arts


Plan of study

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

View Plan of Study

Program requirements

Conducting Core (18 credit hours)

Specialty Courses (9 credit hours)

Electives (9 credit hours)

Cognate (integrated conducting, instrumental performance or music education) (9 credit hours)

Music History and Music Theory (21 credit hours)

Recitals and Research (24 credit hours)

Other Requirement
Completion of diagnostic exams in music history and music theory is required of all new graduate music students prior to course enrollment in the ASU School of Music.

Additional Curriculum Information
Thirty credit hours from a master's degree may be applied toward the 90 credit hour degree requirement. Once admitted to the program, a student is required to be enrolled continuously, excluding summer sessions, until all requirements for the degree have been fulfilled. In general, the student should expect to spend at least the equivalent of three academic years beyond the bachelor's degree in the program. A minimum of two semesters must be spent in continuous full-time residence at ASU. At least 54 credit hours must be completed in residence at ASU.

Additional information on degree requirements for all graduate music programs may be found on the check sheets posted here:

Information about this program

Visit the School of Music website for full details.