Jul 12, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music & Dance



Professor: Peter Kvetko, Chairperson

Professors: Mary-Jo Grenfell, Meghan McLyman, Philip Swanson

Associate Professor:  Betsy Miller, Michael Testa


Faculty Emeriti

Professors: Antone J. Aquino, Nancy Bodenstein, Caitlin Corbett

Associate Professors: John A. Finnegan, Vincent N. Giannini, Margo Simon

Assistant Professor: Elizabeth A. Gillette

Programs Offered

Bachelor of Arts, Music  

Bachelor of Arts, Dance  

Music Minor  

Music Technology Minor  

Dance Minor  

Certificate in Music Technology  

Certificate in Music in Early Childhood Education  

Certificate in Dance Education  


Department Mission

The Music & Dance Department provides an innovative curriculum in either Music or Dance, both of which serve the University’s liberal arts emphasis. With the student as our focus, the Department provides a solid foundation in each artistic discipline and creates an educational environment that fosters critical thinking, scholarship, and artistic creativity.

The Bachelor of Arts - Music

The Bachelor of Arts in Music Degree provides students with a solid musical foundation in the areas of music theory, music history, world cultures, music technology and solo and ensemble performance studies. This major offers a well-balanced, multi-faceted, and highly integrated degree program, which fulfills the true spirit and mission of the liberal arts.
The study of music will help students develop the ability to hear, identify, and work conceptually with the elements of music. The music curriculum is designed to foster an understanding of compositional processes, an aesthetic sense, and the ways these shape and are shaped by artistic and cultural forces. Students in the program will develop the ability to make and defend musical judgments.

Students will acquire the tools necessary to work with a varied repertory, including music from various cultures of the world and music of their own time. Students will also understand basic interrelationships and interdependencies among the various professions and activities that constitute the music industry.

First-semester and final-year Seminars in Music provide “bookend” support, creating a first-year experience that lays out the foundations of music study for the ensuing four years and a capstone course that synthesizes and integrates that four-year learning.

Studies in music theory and music history provide an understanding of Western European art music with regard to musical styles and compositional genres. Students will also explore music from around the world, developing an appreciation for the complexity, richness and diversity of individuals and groups.

Music performance is emphasized, as nearly one-fourth of the Music Major curriculum is comprised of requirements in ensemble participation and applied music study.

The technology course in music will foster an understanding of how technology serves the field of music as a whole.

A successful audition is required for acceptance into the music major degree program. Go to audition information.

The Music Major Curriculum

The Bachelor of Arts - Music requires a minimum of 120 semester credit hours. These credits include the Music Major curriculum, courses in the General Education curriculum, a minor consisting of 15-18 credit hours in a distinct subject, and foreign language study. Piano Proficiency must also be demonstrated before receiving the degree.                                   

Music Major Core:

MUS 100 Introduction to Music, 3 cr 

MUS 112 Introduction to World Music, 3 cr

Or MUS 113H Honors Intro to World Music

MUS 117 Jazz History, 3 cr 

MUS 111N Seminar for Music Majors I, 3 cr.

MUS 114 Introduction to Computers and Music, 3 cr.

MUS 132N Musicianship I, 3 cr.

MUS 232N Musicianship II,3 cr.

MUS 500 Directed Study, 1 cr.

MUS 511N Seminar II for Music Majors, 3 cr.

      Performance Ensembles, 6 cr.

Applied Music Study, 4 cr.

Music Elective, 3 cr.

Performance Ensembles

MUS 135 University Band, 1 cr.

MUS 140 University Wind Ensemble, 1 cr.

MUS 150 Concert Band (by audition only), 1 cr.

MUS 154 Foundations Jazz Ensemble, 1 cr.

MUS 156 Jazz Band, 1 cr.

MUS 160 University Chorus, 1 cr.

MUS 165 Chamber Singers (by audition only), 1 cr.

MUS 170 Altavoce Treble Chorus,  1 cr.

MUS 175 Chamber Orchestra, 1 cr.

MUS 180 Small Music Ensembles, 1 cr.

MUS 182 Handbell Ensemble, 1 cr.

MUS 185 World Music Ensemble, 1 cr.

MUS 195 Percussion Ensemble, 1 cr.

MUS 198 Guitar Ensemble, 1 cr.


Applied Music Study

The Department of Music offers private instruction to all students. Areas of study include voice, piano, woodwind, brass, strings, guitar, percussion instruments, including certain world music instruments, and composition. Music majors are required to earn a minimum of four credits in applied music and at least four credits must be taken in the same applied area. Music majors are encouraged to earn up to eight credits in one applied area.

Music majors begin their studies in Applied Music I. The levels of study represent progress expected through continued work in Applied Music. Most students will study for at least two semesters at each level. Permission to proceed to the next level will be granted at jury evaluations and upon recommendation of the applied instructor once each year. Applied music juries are conducted each semester and all music majors who are studying applied music within that semester are required to perform for juries. Individual applied music instructors may require recitals. 500 level applied lessons are reserved for those students who are approved to perform a full recital.

MUS 126 Applied Music for Music Minors

MUS 141 Applied Piano I

MUS 241 Applied Piano II

MUS 341 Applied Piano III

MUS 441 Applied Piano IV

MUS 541 Applied Piano-Recital

MUS 146 Applied Music Composition I

MUS 246 Applied Music Composition II

MUS 346 Applied Music Composition III

MUS 446 Applied Music Composition IV

MUS 546 Applied Music Composition-Recital

MUS 151 Applied Voice I

MUS 251 Applied Voice II

MUS 351 Applied Voice III

MUS 451 Applied Voice IV

MUS 551 Applied Voice-Recital

MUS 161 Applied Instrumental Music I

MUS 261 Applied Instrumental Music II

MUS 361 Applied Instrumental Music III

MUS 461 Applied Instrumental Music IV

MUS 561 Applied Instrumental Music-Recital


Applied lessons are available for credit to music minors. Music minors may take three semesters (3 credits) of applied music and substitute them for the skills requirement in the music minor. There are no auditions, juries, or recital requirements for music minors.

Applied lessons for other students and community members are available for no credit through the Music & Dance Department for a fee. There are no auditions, juries, or recital requirements for applied music in the non-credit program.

Piano Proficiency

The Music & Dance Department asserts that piano proficiency is important to the overall musical competency of music majors and therefore requires that all music majors, regardless of their area of interest, successfully pass the Piano Proficiency Examination as a prerequisite to registering for MUS 511N Seminar for Music Majors II. Students may prepare for this exam in one of two ways: 1) on their own if they wish; 2) by taking the Piano Proficiency class offered each semester. Successful completion of this course does not waive the required Piano Proficiency Exam.

Recital Attendance

All students are encouraged to attend as many recitals, live performances, master classes, workshops, lectures, and discussion panels, as possible. Students majoring in music will be required to attend three (3) departmentally sponsored events every semester.

Music Minor

A music minor is available to all non-music majors who are interested in pursuing the study of music beyond high school. Music minor students will have a chance to broaden their musical understanding and performance abilities in both the Western European Classical and World Music traditions. Music Minors take courses in music theory, history, and literature, develop musical skills in voice, piano, guitar, or other instruments, and perform as part of a departmental ensemble. Entrance to the minor does not require an audition. Applied lessons for music minors are not required for the minor, but 3 credits of MUS 126 Applied Music for Music Minors   can be taken and substituted for the skills requirement in the music minor.  There are no auditions, juries or recital requirements for music minors.

Music Technology Minor

The Music & Dance Department offers a Music Technology Minor that is designed to help develop an understanding of the modern studio environment, traditional recording techniques and audio engineering fundamentals. Music Technology Minors take fundamental courses in music theory, computers, and audio engineering, and additional courses in recording production.

Certificate in Music Technology

The Music Technology Certificate at Salem State University is designed to help develop an understanding of recording production, critical listening, synthesis, beat creation, programing and creative music technology innovation. Individuals who complete the certificate will be able to develop a creative process for producing their own music on a number of digital platforms. Courses include fundamental coursework in audio engineering, record production, sound synthesis and music theory.  This certificate is available to anyone, including community members and Music Majors. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA in all required courses for the certificate.

Certificate in Music in Early Childhood Education

This certificate will introduce students to music education for Pre-K children and allow them to develop and ultimately to demonstrate competency in teaching music to young children. The sequence of courses will also provide students with an introductory understanding of cognitive and social development in early childhood and how a music curriculum contributes to that development. This certificate is available to anyone, including community members and Music Majors. Students must maintain a 3.0 in all required courses for the certificate.

Admission Policy/Procedures for Music Majors

All prospective music majors must audition to be considered for entrance into the B.A. music degree program. An in-person audition is strongly recommended, and will be recorded by the Music & Dance Department. Any alternative audition arrangement will be the exception, and must first be approved by the Music & Dance Department Chairperson. The alternative audition will require an electronic recording of solo music performance and an application letter that details the applicant’s music background and experience.

The requirements of the audition are as follows:

  • The applicant will perform two musical selections of contrasting style that display technical proficiency and musicality.
  • The applicant will be asked to perform scales and sight-read.
  • The applicant will be required to complete a music theory placement exam.
  • A brief personal interview will be conducted.

All applicants will receive written notification of their rating. A successful audition will demonstrate the applicant’s capacity for college music study. A successful audition does not guarantee admission to Salem State University: the University’s admission requirements must be satisfied.

Music applicants will be rated as approved, provisional, or not approved. Pending successful admission to the University, approved applicants are eligible to become music majors. Those who are deemed provisional are eligible to become music majors and will be required to complete a successful second audition during the second semester of study. Applicants who are not approved may take applied lessons at their own expense, and may take a second audition in the next semester if they so choose.

Applicants to the program may audition up to two times. Applicants who are Not Approved by an initial audition may take a second audition in the next semester. A final decision on acceptance is made at that second audition. This entire audition process will apply to all new students, external transfers, and internal transfers.

At the beginning of each academic year, the Music & Dance Department will announce and publicize the schedule of audition dates. Some circumstances may require external transfer students to make special arrangements for an audition date and time, and this will be scheduled with the Music & Dance Department Chairperson on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants will be encouraged to reserve an audition time at least two weeks prior to their desired audition date. Applicants will call the Music & Dance Department Office 978.542.6296 to schedule an audition appointment.

The Bachelor of Arts - Dance

The Bachelor of Arts - Dance degree offers a well-balanced program that prepares students to have an understanding of the field of dance including performance, dance making, arts administration, teaching, and scholarship.

Dance composition and performance courses will develop the student’s personal artistic voice and movement signature while learning about the art of dance making. Students have many opportunities to choreograph and perform in the faculty-run dance group, the Salem Dance Ensemble.

Through ongoing studio practice, students develop proficiency in various dance techniques: modern, hip hop, ballet, and improvisation. Rotating topics in dance technique (i.e., tap, jazz, African, flamenco, tango) enrich the student’s ongoing studies, providing opportunities to explore dance styles from a breadth of diverse cultures. The Dancing Body course offers a kinesthetic examination of the body through an experiential anatomy and somatic lens.

Studies in dance history and theory will give students a strong foundation in critical and creative thinking. Students will gain skills in creative problem-solving and develop detailed observation, listening, and introspective skills. The capstone seminar offers a culminating experience for students to further research an area of personal interest.

The Certificate in Dance Education including the course in teaching dance examines the methodology, learning styles, and the art of teaching the dance form while providing students with a solid foundation for dance instruction in a variety of settings. A course in dance entrepreneurship combined with hands-on production experience develop the student’s administrative and leadership skills.

Visiting artists from varied backgrounds teach master classes and perform throughout the academic year. These applied experiences with professional artists expose students to current trends in the dance field and enhance the educational experience. Students participate in the American College Dance Association Conference each year, and exemplary students can be initiated into the National Honor Society for Dance Arts.

The dance major degree program encourages experimentation, risk-taking, and interdisciplinary approaches in the student’s development as a dance artist. The dance curriculum cultivates a healthy respect and awareness in the body’s ability to communicate ideas, allowing students to create connections between their lives and the larger society.

The Dance Major Curriculum

The Bachelor of Arts - Dance requires a minimum of 120 semester credit hours. These credits include the Dance Major curriculum where students select an option of study in either contemporary modern or hip hop dance, courses in the General Education curriculum, a minor consisting of 15 credit hours in a distinct subject, and foreign language study.  

Dance Major Curriculum:

             Required (20 credits)

DAN150 Dance Ensemble I

DAN151 Dance Composition I

DAN 210 The Dancing Body

DAN 220 Dance: Context and Cultures 

DAN400 Teaching Dance

DAN410 Capstone Seminar in Dance

Required Contemporary Modern Option (5 credits)

4 credits of modern dance (Choose from DAN120, 121, 122)

DAN126 Dance Improvisation

DAN 320 Modern Dance History 

Required Hip hop Option (5 credits)

4 credits of hip hop dance (Choose from DAN130, 131, 132)

DAN 136 Cyphering Dance

DAN 330 Hip Hop Dance History 

1 Credit Electives (8 credits)

Choose from DAN109, DAN110, DAN111, DAN112, DAN120, DAN121, DAN122

DAN126, DAN130, DAN132, DAN132, and DAN136.

3-4 Credit Electives (15-16credits)

Choose from DAN200, DAN201, DAN300, DAN220, DAN415, DAN500, and SMS197

Dance Participation Hours are non-degree credits that must be taken each semester the student is declared a dance major for a maximum of 8 times. Credit for this pass/fail course is earned through participation in dance performances as a performer, choreographer, audience member, or behind the scenes administrative or crewmember.

Dance Minor

A dance minor is available to all non-dance majors who are interested in pursuing the study of dance. This minor will enhance critical thinking, cultural literacy, and self-expression through movement. Students take technique classes in modern, hip hop, ballet, and special topics courses such as jazz, tap, African, etc., not only as a means to mold the body, but also as a space to research and develop a movement practice. The curriculum is designed to provide students with the necessary tools to choreograph and perform, to teach dance, and to broaden one’s appreciation for the dance field. The minor consists of 15 credits.

Undergraduate Certificate in Dance Education

The Certificate in Dance Education will introduce the student to the field of dance education and its various settings. Teaching is an integral aspect of the dance profession including dance instruction in private studios, community centers, outreach programs, higher education, and K-12 public and private schools. The certificate is open to any Salem State student and community member interested in furthering their pedagogical practice. The certificate, combined with the BA in dance, dance minor, or education degree affords graduates with an extra credential that sets them apart in the job market. The Certificate in Dance Education does not lead to MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Licensure. The certificate requires the completion of 24 credits and a minimum 3.0 GPA in the required courses.

Transfer Credit Evaluations

Students who transfer to Salem State University may transfer credits toward the Music major, Dance major, Music minor, Music Technology minor, or Dance minor. The Music & Dance Department Chairperson will determine the extent of eligible transfer credits in conjunction with the Registrar’s Office.

Applied music lessons and music ensembles are transferred in as music elective or free elective credit, but not as applied music or ensemble credits. Transfer students are held accountable for earning a minimum of 4 credits in applied music (up to 8 maximum).  Transfer students are held accountable for being in at least one ensemble for those semester in which they are registered as music majors at Salem State University and must earn a minimum of 4 ensemble credits.