Minor in Conducting: Theater Music Direction Track


The conducting minor is an organized program of courses for students interested in conducting. The minor in conducting will consist of 10-12 credit hours, including core courses in conducting, orchestration, and specialized advanced electives, as well as opportunities for individual instruction (Directed Study in Conducting). Students will decide on one of four tracks: contemporary (i.e. orchestral), theater music direction, choral, and music education.

The theater music direction minor is an organized program of courses for students who wish to acquire the skills and background to both conduct and play musical theater productions as well as manage the many facets of being a music director in the professional world. Those wishing to pursue the minor should have at least a basic knowledge of theater repertoire and an aptitude for the piano, as keyboard skills are increasingly a prerequisite for functioning as a music director.

Entrance Requirements

Students must complete the conducting core before beginning the minor and follow the regular declaration of minor procedure as outlined in the Registration Guide. This minor is managed by the Composition Department. The following courses compose the conducting core:

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the minor in conducting: musical theater direction track, students will:

  • develop coaching and teaching skills for singers and instrumentalists;
  • have a working knowledge of various theater technologies such as Ableton Live, keyboard programming, notation software, studio recording, etc.;
  • demonstrate advanced proficiency in general conducting skills;
  • demonstrate advanced proficiency in theater conducting skills;
  • understand how to cue in and out of free vamps;
  • learn how to lead and follow singers, both on the podium and at the piano;
  • analyze differences in groove-style and more traditional-style conducting;
  • communicate using theater terminology and the language and aesthetics of the theater;
  • have the ability to generate piano-vocal scores and vocal arrangements; and
  • synthesize the creative, organizational, collaborative, and managerial skills required to head the music department of a professional production of a new musical.
Curriculum and Courses

Required classes (five courses; 8 credits)

  • COND-331 Advanced Conducting Skills for the Theater (2 credits)
  • COND-332 Theater Musical Direction (2 credits)
  • PSVC-343 Coaching Theater Vocalists (2 credits)
  • COND-498 Directed Study in Conducting  (1 credit)
    And EITHER
  • ILPN-220 Musical Theater Keyboard Skills (1 credit) 
  • ENVC-275 Singing Sondheim (1 credit)

Choose one or two of the following (2 credits minimum):

  • SW-345 Musical Theater Writing 1 (2 credits)
  • SW-445 Musical Theater Writing 2 (2 credits)
  • CW-257 Musical Theater Arranging and Orchestration (2 credits)
  • ENCL-404 Musical Theater Orchestra (1 credit)
  • MHIS-325 History of the American Musical Theater 1 (2 credits)
  • ILPN-220 Musical Theater Keyboard Skills (1 credit)
  • ENVC-275 Singing Sondheim (1 credit)

    ENVC-275 Singing Sondheim is open to non-singers.  
    ILPN-220 Musical Theater Keyboard Skills may only be taken once, either for Required or Elective Credit.

Six or Seven courses (10-11 credits) required for completion of the minor