Search Roosevelt University

Bachelor's in Musical Arts (BMA)

Chicago College of Performing Arts
The Bachelor of Musical Arts degree is an interdisciplinary program with intentional curricular flexibility. It is designed for the student with a strong academic background who wishes to combine the study of music with an emphasis in a second field outside music. Students' programs are individualized according to their interests and culminate in a senior project that melds their work in music with their second discipline.
Roosevelt University's Wabash tower and Auditorium building in Chicago


Location: Chicago
Start Term: Fall, Spring
Program Type: Major

The BMA's curricular flexibility serves students with a tremendous passion for music as well as aptitude and interest in other fields. Senior projects have been very creative: they have included research papers, lecture-recitals, comparative studies, original dramatic works such as one-act operas, and pieces combining narration and music with both text and score written by the student.

Thomas Kernan
, Program Director

What Differentiates Us

BMA & Honors Program

BMA & Honors Program

The BMA is CCPA's only degree that is affiliated with the Roosevelt University Honors Program. Students admitted to this degree are simultaneously admitted to the Honors Program. As members of the Honors Program, BMA students have access to reserved seminars and special topics courses with Honors students from other degrees and majors across the university.

BMA students and CCPA Ensembles

BMA students and CCPA Ensembles

Students participate in conservatory ensembles based on auditions and as assigned, allowing for significant and intensive performance training alongside academic rigor.

Expectations & Requirements

Standards

Overview: The Honors Bachelor of Musical Arts (BMA) is a degree with significant flexibility for the student who wants an active role in designing his/her undergraduate experience at CCPA, a music conservatory within a lively university. Students in this degree complete the curriculum provided for in the university catalog as well as the requirements put forward by the University Honors Program. As a starting place for planning how you could approach the BMA, here are five example tracks. A student using one of these tracks still works with his/her advisor to customize an individual plan.

1. Performance Plus: If you seek the experiences of a performance degree—four full years of lessons, ensembles, and active performance throughout—as well as a secondary, non-music area of study, this is a great approach. It is ideal for strong performers who want equally challenging academic work.

Highlights:

  • Applied lessons in all four years
  • Large and small ensemble opportunities in all four years
  • Performance classes and/or coachings throughout your time
  • 18 credits available in a secondary area (this is in addition to core electives in Math, Science, Social Sciences, and Humanities)

2. Arts Leadership: If you are considering a career in arts administration or other music and business ventures, this approach allows you to combine conservatory training with a range of classes in performing arts management, business, and public policy. Students with these interests embrace the programming and work of CCPA’s Center for Arts Leadership (CAL). These students meet with the CAL staff throughout their degree to discuss programming, research, and initiatives, and can partner with the CAL to plan their thesis project.

Highlights:

  • Applied lessons in all four years
  • Large ensemble opportunities in all four years
  • 18–30 credits selected from courses in Arts Management, Business Administration, Business Law, Economics, Political Science, and Psychology
  • Collaborative projects through CCPA’s Center for Arts Leadership

3. Music, Art, and Science: If you wish to compliment your music studies with traditional Arts & Sciences offerings, this track provides maximum flexibility. Including your electives, you take 60% of your classes in music and 40% in Arts & Sciences areas. This is a great path for students seeking to pursue graduate-level studies in a music academic field, such as musicology, ethnomusicology, or music theory.

Highlights:

  • Many options for course combinations with traditional music study
  • 9 credits of upper-level courses/seminars in music theory and music history (beyond the Musicianship and Music History core)
  • Applied lessons and ensemble opportunities during part of your degree; larger blocks of time available for reading and research in your later years

4. Music, Mind, and Body: If you want to study in a music conservatory and wish to prepare for graduate-level work in music cognition or music therapy, this approach combines music classes with courses in psychology, biology, and human anatomy and physiology.

Highlights:

  • Applied lessons in your primary area as well as music-making experiences in piano, guitar, and percussion
  • Psychology offerings available throughout your degree
  • Opportunities to propose and complete undergraduate research

5. Music and Event Mgmt.: Drawing together courses in music and those in hospitality and tourism management, this approach allows you to explore and prepare for work in fields such as music tourism and music event planning.

Highlights:

  • Applied lessons throughout your degree, if desired
  • Course options in multiple hospitality topics
  • Courses in both the Music Conservatory and the College of Business

Outcomes

After CCPA, BMA students might pursue graduate studies in a number of fields.

Traditional Graduate Studies
BMA students are prepared to begin graduate studies in traditional music academic disciplines of ethnomusicology, musicology, or music theory
Professional Degrees or Advanced Studies
In addition to graduate programs, students might also transition into professional studies in music therapy, music production, or arts administration, or advanced studies or careers in music business, music librarianship, copyright or intellectual property law, artist management, concert promotion, public arts advocacy, or entrepreneurial ventures
Recent Alumni Achievements
Recent BMA graduates have earned competitive seats, scholarships, or fellowships, for the following programs:
MM in Music Theory at the University of Cincinnati
Music Therapy Equivalency & MA at the University of Iowa
MM in Composition & Music Theory at the University of the Art’s Sibelius Academy

More Opportunities

The BMA colloquium:

BMA students participate in a weekly colloquium throughout their four years. This gathering provides students an opportunity to discuss current issues in the arts community as well as visit (in person and via video) with guests who work in or with the arts, but are not in the traditional areas of performance or composition. Recent Colloquium guests have included …

Janet Revell Barrett, Marilyn Pflederer Zimmerman Endowed Scholar in Music Education, U. of Illinois
Gail Burnaford, Director of Research and Evaluation, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Darcy Kuronen, Pappalardo Curator of Musical Instruments, Museum of Fine Arts Boston
Benjamin Lynerd, Asst. Prof. of Political Science, Christopher Newport U.
Emily Rafferty, President Emerita, Metropolitan Museum of Art; Board of Director, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

The 2018–2019 guests include …
Rebecca Schorsch, Soprano, Voice Teacher, and Musical Theatre Faculty, CCPA
Frederick Turner, Founders Professor of Arts and Humanities, U. of Texas at Dallas
Halle McGuire-Hobbins, Development Manager, South Bend Symphony Orchestra
Catherine Beeson, Violist, Colorado Symphony; Artistic Director, Loon Lake Live
Christian McWhirter, Research Historian, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
Rudy Marcozzi, Dean, CCPA

Watch this video of CCPA Dean Henry Fogel discussing his time as President of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, including his experience being on tour with the orchestra on September 11, 2001. 

Testimonials

Linda Berna
The BMA program at CCPA is perfectly positioned to serve students interested in the profession of music at its broadest levels. The professional activities of the faculty, as well as the thriving and diverse arts environment of Chicago, offers myriad opportunities for rewarding gainful employment in music and music-related fields like arts administration, various entrepreneurial ventures, and public arts advocacy - fields that are well-served by professionals possessing a mixture of liberal arts breadth and conservatory depth.
Linda Berna
‚ÄčAssociate Dean and Director, Music Conservatory; Professor, Core Music Studies, Roosevelt University