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CCM: Resources

DMA Project Guidelines

DMA programs in Conducting, Keyboard Studies and Performance Studies at CCM now allow students to complete a "project" in lieu of writing a formal document. In an effort to help guide you in your planning, the faculty has endorsed the following general principals concerning DMA Projects. It is our hope that this information will be of value to you, as well as to your project advisor, as you create your plans for a project.

1. While DMA Projects are obviously a different enterprise from the writing of a DMA Document, the faculty will expect a significant amount of writing to be part of the process. Examples of this might be a thorough documentation of all aspects of work undertaken on your project, in addition to an evaluation of its success. The writing must demonstrate that you understand proper style, structure and grammar, even though the style may be more that of a “journal,” rather than a scholarly research paper.

2. Here are the procedural steps involved to gain approval and certification for a DMA Project:

a.) The CCM College Office will provide you with DMA Project Proposal forms that you can use to submit ideas to your faculty advisor.

b.) Your studio teacher will be your default advisor for your DMA Project, unless another faculty member is willing to assume this task. Your project must first be approved by your advisor.

c.) Once this approval is gained, the project must be vetted and approved by the department faculty, with the department chair or area head communicating approval (or disapproval) to the division head.

d.) The DMA Project proposal must be approved by Dr. Roberta Gary for Keyboard Studies, Professor David Adams for Performance Studies and Dr. Earl Rivers for Choral, Orchestral or Wind Conducting.

e.) If approved, your division head will submit to the Associate Dean/Director of Graduate studies for approval. Your advisor will be informed if the proposal is accepted at this level of review.

3. Like the document, there will be a committee of three (one of whom is the advisor) who will sign off at the project’s completion to certify a satisfactory result and degree requirement fulfilled. Please note that the committee's signatures will also be needed on the proposal, as well as the finished project.

4. Many students have requested some examples of proposals that might be considered acceptable for DMA Projects. The following is not intended to be a comprehensive list, as it is the hope of the faculty that most projects will involve original research of some fashion, and it is not our intent to create a laundry list of projects from which you are to pick and choose. Nevertheless, here are some “types” of projects that would seem to fit the goals intended for study at the DMA level:

a.) Production, significant distribution and marketing of a professional quality CD or DVD or other media format.

b.) A project with an Arts Administration component for promoting classical music in the community or public schools. (An interesting aspect of these two ideas is that it brings in another area of expertise, possibly involving your cognate area, or another person’s expertise [i.e. E-media for the first one]).

c.) Organizing and presenting a festival, concert series, conference or similar event.

d.) Publication, on more than an in-house level, of a workbook of technical exercises/ pedagogy pieces with commentary about pedagogical points to be addressed and reasons.

e.) Some disciplines may consider a series of recitals/performances (with appropriate written documentation) suitable for the DMA Project, although the use of recitals will not be endorsed by all units within the college, so you need to check regulations within your particular division.

I hope this information can help you begin the process of narrowing your ideas concerning possible DMA Projects and enable you to move forward with the appropriate steps. If there is more that the staff in the CCM College Office can do to assist, please let us know.