The music theory area (theory.music.msu.edu) consists of seven faculty members and features a vibrant Master’s degree program with 12–15 students enrolled at a time. Research seminars and other advanced coursework, an active colloquium series with three guest scholars per semester, and dedicated faculty mentors equip Master’s students with the analytical, research, musicianship, and pedagogical skills to pursue doctoral study in music theory and to present scholarship while still Master’s students. The Master’s program and a Graduate Certificate in music theory also serve composer-theorists and performer-theorists who go on to successful collegiate teaching careers. Finally, the theory area interacts with nearly every student in the College of Music, including undergraduate majors in performance, music education, jazz studies, and composition, as well as Master’s and Doctoral students in performance, composition, and conducting.
Develop a national reputation as a scholar by advancing an active agenda of research publications and presentations in the field of music theory
Teach undergraduate and graduate courses in music theory (a 2 + 3 course load) that serve the needs of music students in a variety of majors
Advise Master’s students in music theory and serve on advising committees for graduate students throughout the College of Music
Collaborate with colleagues and students to advance the College of Music’s and music theory area’s missions of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in research and teaching
Participate in theory-area initiatives such as colloquia, guest-scholar residencies, administration of exams, recruiting, and admissions, and provide service to the college, university, and discipline
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.
Doctorate -Music Theory
A completed doctorate in music theory by August 16, 2022
An emerging or established record of scholarly productivity
Successful university-level teaching experience
A demonstrated commitment to music theory pedagogy
A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging
Demonstrated ability to mentor student research
Demonstrated ability to teach effectively at multiple levels and in a variety of subjects within our curriculum, including undergraduate core music theory and aural skills; graduate analysis courses on a variety of repertoires and techniques; graduate skills courses such as counterpoint or keyboard skills; and specialized readings seminars and proseminars for Master’s students in music theory
Required Application Materials
Please include the following:
a letter of application
three letters of recommendation that attest to the qualifications listed above (to be uploaded separately by recommenders)
a curriculum vitae that lists contact information for at least two references who are not letter writers
a 1-page research narrative summarizing primary and any secondary research specializations, short- and longer-term research plans, and titles of two proposed readings seminars for Master’s students in music theory
a 1- to 2-page teaching narrative outlining goals, priorities, and methods as a music theory pedagogue
Re: Letters of recommendation: Applicants will be prompted to enter the email addresses of three letter writers. These individuals will then be contacted through the application system. Please ask letter writers to send their letters by October 28th.
Later in the search process, candidates may be asked to submit samples of research, videos and artifacts of teaching, and transcripts. Finalists will be invited to the East Lansing campus to interview.
Please direct any inquiries to:
Chairperson, Music Theory Area and Music Theory Search Committee
The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at: https://msu.edu/together-we-will/
Review of Applications Begins On
With 85 faculty members, the Michigan State University College of Music (music.msu.edu) serves approximately 600 majors and offers a comprehensive range of degree programs from baccalaureate through doctorate.
Our Mission: To provide the highest quality professional instruction; to instill in students a dedication and desire to achieve excellence and understanding in all aspects of their musical education; to develop their abilities to the highest professional standards; to expand cultural awareness and diversity; to provide access for comprehensive non-degree instruction; to participate in community, state, regional, national and international arenas through service, teaching, research and performance; and to support an excellent faculty vitally engaged in significant research, scholarly and creative endeavors.
The College of Music at Michigan State University is committed to heightening awareness of social and cultural issues that affect our learning environment. Achieved through cooperative efforts between students, staff, faculty and leadership, our work in this area uses diverse strategies including a culture of inclusive dialogue, listening, education, engagement, and action. We strive to provide opportunities to empower engagement throughout our community and facilitate conversations on a variety of complex topics. Ultimately, our goal is to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, and to appreciate the many benefits these values bring.
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