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Elizabeth City State University
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Elizabeth City State University

Department of Music

The Department of Music is fully accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). In accordance with the mission of Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), the music department strives not only to create an aesthetic and practical environment that is conducive to learning, but one also committed to the delivery of a quality education to its diverse student body.

Mission Statement

The Department of Music provides students with opportunities that lead to a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with concentrations in: Music Education Licensure, Composition, Performance, Music Business and Sound Recording Technology. The Department of Music works to equip each student with the essential tools to become proficient in their area of concentration and to participate in a number of activities for cultural enrichment within Northeastern North Carolina.


The goals of the Department adhere to the following objectives to support the mission and goals of the institution:

  1. enhance performing skills and increase performance opportunities;
  2. support the University's Liberal Arts curriculum by developing music courses to enhance musicianship;
  3. track ECSU music graduates as they enter the workforce or commence their graduate studies; and
  4. increase each students's comprehensive knowledge and professionalism by building a stronger foundation in music theory, music history, applied skills, music technology, awareness of diverse cultures, and by providing performance opportunities via the Department's ensembles.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to demonstrate the following:

1. proficiency on/in: (a) a selected instrument of study. (b) piano proficiency. (3) conducting activities. and (d) ensemble performances;

2. comprehensive knowledge of music theory and essential aural skills;

3. comprehensive knowledge of music history representing various eras and styles;

4. ability to demonstrate a synthesis of music knowledge by engaging in a capstone project;

5. ability to use music technology to enhance learning; and

6. ability to use critical and creative skills in evaluating performances and correcting musical problems.


B.A. in Music with a concentration in Composition or Performance:

The program provides a broad liberal arts education for students who have an interest in either performance or composition. This program provides students with experiences that lead to graduate study, and a professional career in the arts as performers, private instructors, and/or other arts related areas.

B.A. in Music (Music Education Licensure):

The program offers licensure preparation in music for grades K-12. It provides a foundation for students to become music teachers. This program also prepares education licensure students for graduate work.

B.A. in Music with a concentration in Music Business or Sound Recording Technology:

The program provides a broad liberal arts education for students interested in diverse fields within the music industry.


All students seeking to major or minor in Music must first gain admission to Elizabeth City State University by applying through the Office of Admissions. Following admission to the university, prospective music majors must complete and pass an audition and take the Music Theory Placement Exam (MTPE). The audition is used as a diagnostic tool by the Music Department faculty to determine the skill level of the prospective student. Students who are not at the collegiate performance level may be accepted provisionally. Students are given two semesters to successfully complete an audition at the college level. Students with deficiencies in theory are placed in a rudimental theory course. Upon passing the MTPE, students advance to the first college-level theory course. Students admitted provisionally to the Department have one year to be classified at Performance Level 1. Students who do not progress to Performance Level 1 will not be accepted into the program. Music students must maintain a 2.0 G.P.A in music classes by the end of the Sophomore year to stay in the music program.


All prospective students must audition before being accepted into a program of study. Auditions occur before a panel of faculty. Each student must perform works from the standard repertoire for their voice/instrument, and pertinent to his/her instrument and demonstrate a level of proficiency in music reading. Students who successfully pass their auditions are enrolled in applied lessons. Individual instruction is available in piano, voice, woodwinds, brass, percussion, and strings. Audition procedures are the same for those students who wish to minor in music.


Non-music majors are permitted to register for applied music if the applied instructor has availability. Priority for enrollment is given to Music majors. No additional charges for applied instruction are required. Students enrolled are required to purchase music and other accessories as needed for their instruction.

All students regardless of degree programs may take classes authorized by the music department. Non-music students, with guidance from their advisor, may take the following courses:

MUS 110 Piano Class for Beginners I

MUS 116 Introduction to Music Industry Studies

MUS 118 Basic Music Theory Rudiments

MUS 215 Introduction to the Recording Studio

MUS 219 Topics in the American Popular Music

MUS 227 Fundamentals of Music

MUS 307 A Study of Non-Western Music

EDUC 202 Music and Art in the Classroom


Ensembles contribute to the education of students, cultivate an overall understanding of music, and promote teamwork among students. They provide an understanding of environmental and cultural diversity through performances as they strengthen our community.

Students majoring in music, regardless of concentration, are required to participate in a large ensemble for six semesters. Ensemble directors will address sight-reading and good performance practices. All ensemble classes are available to non-music majors; however, students must audition for acceptance into an ensemble. Two semesters of Marching Band satisfy the two General Education Physical Activity requirements.

  • Wind instrumentalists and percussionists may choose between Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and Symphony Orchestra.
  • Voice students must participate in one of the Department's large choral groups.
  • Piano students who are not in the Music Education Licensure program may choose any of the Department's ensembles or may enroll in additional semesters of Piano Accompanying to satisfying this requirement.
  • String students must register for the University Symphony Orchestra. In addition to large ensemble requirements, instrumental music majors in the licensure program must also register for a small instrumental ensemble course.

Ensemble and applied music courses may be repeated for credit. Large ensembles include the University Choir, Marching Band, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and Symphony Orchestra. Small ensembles include the Collegians Jazz Ensemble, Choral Ensemble, University Basketball Band, Brass Ensemble, Woodwind Ensemble, String Chamber Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble. Guitar majors may enroll in the Collegians Jazz Ensemble to complete the large ensemble requirement. Pianists may choose to register for additional credits (beyond the minimum requirements) in Piano Accompanying.


All music students are required to advance through the established performance levels to show progress on an instrument of study. Students not meeting the required performance level by the end of the sophomore year will not be allowed to continue in the music program. The Music Student Handbook contains suggested performance repertoire for each instrument and performance level.


Students with a concentration in Performance are required to perform a Junior Recital (Junior status = 60 credit hours) of 25-30 minutes of music, and a Senior Recital (Senior status = 90 credit hours) of approximately 45-50 minutes of music. Students majoring in Music with Education Licensure are required to perform only a Senior Recital. The department will stipulate specific requirements for the Senior Recital in meeting State Education Standards. All music majors taking applied lessons must perform a solo work once each semester of study on a general music department student recital. Students must also perform at the end of the semester for jury. The applied teacher will determine if additional performances are required during a given semester.


Students concentrating in Music Business and Sound Recording are required to complete a Senior Project. The project is assessed by a committee/panel of faculty members. Students concentrating in Composition are required to complete a capstone project that may entail a senior recital one hour in length of original works or a composition representing significant contribution to a performance of a large or chamber ensemble.


All Music students must pass six semesters of recital attendance with a grade of "P". The Department Chair will evaluate recital attendance credit for transfer students.


Music Education licensure students must be formally admitted into the Teacher Education Program, following requirements listed on the Teacher Education website ( and in the ECSU University Catalog. Students will work with the music education instructor/coordinator and with the teacher education personnel to ensure eligibility and successful continuance in the program.


Students who choose to apply for a music internship must work with their instructor in preparing and finalizing the necessary paperwork. For a long distance internship, the instructor, with approval from the Chair and other administrators, may adjust the student's course schedule to accommodate the internship.


Music Education Licensure students must work with the University Music Supervisor and the Teacher Education program for assignments. Students must complete teaching assignments at two grade levels: elementary, middle, or high school.


For information regarding scholarships, please contact the Department Chair, and the appropriate ensemble director (bands, choral, or orchestra, as well as small ensemble directors).