Music has occupied a central role in the Fisk experience since the University's opening in 1866. The Fisk Jubilee Singers'® first historic tour established a reputation for excellence in musical performance and preserved the rich heritage of the Negro Spiritual. Today, Fisk continues to provide students the opportunity to develop individual talent, appreciation, and aesthetic sensibility. The Fisk University Music Discipline is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.
With full-time faculty for brass, organ, piano, voice, and woodwind instruction, the department has a sound history of combining conservatory-style training with African-American traditional music, and provides excellent education with a broad-based technical competency and proficiency in preparing students for careers in music. Strong leadership qualities and personal and musical growth are nurtured by the provision of a creative atmosphere.
The acclaimed composer-musicologists John W. Work Sr., John W. Work Jr., and John W. Work III were Fisk alumni and members of the faculty. Dr. Joyce Bolden ’53 became the first African-American woman to serve on the Commission for Accreditation of the National Association of Schools of Music, Dr. Kaye George Roberts ‘71, the first African-American woman to complete the orchestral conducting program at Yale University.
Learning Outcomes Upon completion of required courses in Music, Music Education or Music Performance, the student will:
Apply the essential concepts of music to personal and professional situations.
Demonstrate creativity and stylistic performance practices applicable to diverse musical genres.
Demonstrate the influence of culture on music composition and performance.
Recognize important historical periods in music and combine elements of theory and composition in the art of composing and arranging.
Support and lead the role of music and music education in today's multicultural and diverse world.
Demonstrate musical service.
Demonstrate leadership, professionalism, and pedagogical skill.
GET THE COURSES YOU NEED
Fall Semester (14 cr.)
MUS 101 Materials of Music Theory (prerequisite: Music Theory Placement Exam should be taken with audition during senior year of high school.) (4 credits)
MUS Principal Applied Instrument (Strings MUS 121, Guitar MUS 131, Brass MUS 141, Piano MUS 151, Organ MUS 161, Voice MUS 171, Woodwinds MUS 191) (1 credit)
MUS Secondary Applied Instrument (non-keyboard students take MUS 150A, leading to the piano proficiency exam) (1 credit)
MUS 224 Chamber Choir (1 credit)
MUS 157 Seminar in Music Performance and Literature (MUS 157 and/or MUS 158 must be passed with a C or above for eight semesters)
MUS 202 (prerequisite, C or above in MUS 201) (4 credits)
MUS Principal Applied Instrument (Strings MUS 222, Guitar MUS 232, Brass MUS 242, Piano MUS 252, Organ MUS 262, Voice MUS 272, Woodwinds MUS 292) (1 credit)
MUS Secondary Applied Instrument (non-keyboard students take MUS 250B, leading to the piano proficiency exam; prerequisite: must complete MUS 150A with C or above) (1 credit). The Piano Proficiency Exam is administered in MUS 250B
MUS 226 University Choir (this specific ensemble is required of all BA Music students)
MUS 158 Seminar in Music Performance and Literature (MUS 157 and/or MUS 158 must be passed with a C or above for eight semesters). The Sophomore Proficiency Recital is performed in MUS 158.
Work with churches, nursing homes and others to increase your opportunities to perform.
Consider joining professional organizations such as ACDA, NATS or MTNA as a student member.
GET THINKING GLOBALLY
Volunteer to work in the Upon These Shoulders project in the Spring Semester to work with musicians, artists, and poets.
For voice students, consider careful diction in repertoire that may correspond to the language you are studying.
Look for opportunities to learn about the cultures that produced the repertoire you are playing or singing.
Seek opportunity for summer travel abroad through UNCF programs or University-sponsored programs.
Consider focusing your independent study/research in music project on a topic that relates to something other than the predominant culture of the University.
GET READY FOR LIFE AFTER GRADUATION
Focus on career goals and choose plan based on plans after graduation (BA Music, BS in Music Education, BMus in Performance).
Understand which plan you have and learn to correctly articulate the name of the plan. There are no concentrations for the BA music major: "I am a music major. My instrument is piano/voice/etc." If appropriate, "My minor is music business/mathematics/computer science/etc."
Prepare repertoire list in for your instrument based on all solo repertoire learned in high school.
Update repertoire list to reflect first year of study; project repertoire through the Sophomore year, including the Sophomore Recital.
Design resume (seek counsel from music advisor as well as Career Services)
Investigate graduate programs that fit your interest. Begin speaking with graduate advisors at these institutions. Begin application process to certain schools that may require it.
Apply to graduate programs and decide where to go.
WHERE COULD I GO AFTER GRADUATION?
The following graduate schools have recently accepted Fisk music graduates for the masters:
Austin Peay State University, Clarksville
Belmont University, Nashville
Bowling Green State University, Ohio
California State University, Northridge
Concordia College, Montreal, Quebec
Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro
The Ohio State University, Columbus
Roosevelt University, Chicago
Tennessee State University, Nashville
University of Illinois, Springfield
University of Leads, England
The doctorate is a longer process:
Kristi King, Ed.D., University of Illinois
Kaylina Madison, Ph.D. in progress, University of Kentucky
Morris Thomas, Ph.D., Morgan State University