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Student petition calls for creation of music minor program

The program would be a 18-credit curriculum of already-existing courses

Music students are hoping the department will create a minor in the Spring semester.
Music students are hoping the department will create a minor in the Spring semester.

Students in the Miller Arts Scholars program have created a petition asking the University to introduce a music minor program. The petition, which was released to the public on Jan. 2, had garnered 250 signatures as of Thursday. 

“We believe that instituting a music minor will provide more options for students to engage with the Music Department at UVa, thus attracting more students to the arts,” Adam Cooper, a second-year College student and Miller Arts Scholar, wrote in a message to The Cavalier Daily. 

The Music Department is open to discussing a new program, with any action taking place in the upcoming Spring semester, Fred Maus, an associate music professor and Music Department Director of Undergraduate Programs, said in an email provided to The Cavalier Daily. 

“I think the Music Department would be very interested in any suggestions that students offer about our programs, Arts Scholars or anyone else,” Maus said in an email to The Cavalier Daily. “Of course any change would require assessment of practical implication, for instance the number of additional students in courses in relation to the size of our faculty.”

The Scholars’ petition proposes an 18-credit curriculum of music department courses designed to accommodate students who are not able to pursue the Music major program, according to the petition document. The petition also cites the outreach potential of allowing students from other disciplines to officially enroll in the Music Department. 

The McIntire Department of Music currently only offers a 31-credit Music major program, along with a distinguished major program and a performance concentration. 

For a new program to be created, the curriculum needs to be approved by the College’s faculty before going to the Provost for approval, according to Dean Mark Hadley, administrative chair of the College’s Committee on Educational Policy and Curriculum.

“Changes approved by CEPC, then go to the College of Arts and Sciences faculty for a vote,” Hadley said in an email to The Cavalier Daily.  “A new minor requires additional approvals beyond the College faculty. The Faculty Senate and the Provost must also review and approve the proposal, so the process may take a while.  Sometimes this process is completed within a semester and sometimes it takes longer.”

The petition was started between semesters so it would gain traction before classes start, Cooper said. 

“The only reason we are starting this petition now is because we thought it would be easier to get it ‘off the ground’ when everyone is not as busy,” Cooper said in an email. “Frankly, once the semester gets going, there seems to be no time for anything, so getting attention early will ensure that this conversation continues once the semester begins.”