​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Program Description

If you dream of becoming an actor, singer or dancer, you’ll gain hands-on experience at Central Michigan University and learn from experienced and enthusiastic faculty members who are eager to share their performance and production backgrounds. CMU’s music theatre program allows you to focus on a specialty and expand your expertise through a structured curriculum, opening doors for a variety of musical theatre careers. Beginning in your first year, you’ll have performance opportunities and can develop your skills as a director, set and lighting designer, makeup artist, stage manager, and choreographer. Your experience will be centered in state-of-the-art facilities, including a 500-seat proscenium arch theatre, 500-seat recital hall, arena-style theatre and large dance studio.​​

Put Your Music Theatre Degree to Work

Wondering what you can do with a music theatre degree? As a graduate of CMU’s music theatre program, you’ll have opportunities for a career as a music theatre performer, vocal performer, drama coach, actor, educator, dancer, arts administrator, director, choreographer or performing arts critic.

​U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sample data

Below is a list of potential careers, median salary over the course of the career and projected job growth.

JobMedian PayJob Growth through ​2026​
Director/producer$70,950 per year12% (16,100 more jobs)
Music director$50,110 per year6% (4,600 more jobs)
Choreographer$35,048 per year4% (900 more jobs)

For More Information

Visit the School of Music website or contact:

School of Music
Music Building 162
Email: musicadmit@cmich.edu
Phone: 989-774-3281

Program Overview

The course listings below are a representation of what this academic program requires. For a full review of this program in detail please see our official online academic bulletin AND consult with an academic advisor. This listing does not include the General Education courses required for all majors and may not include some program specific information, such as admissions, retention, and termination standards.

(Click on the course name or number for a complete course description.)

Music Theatre Major

Students wishing to develop the skills necessary to become a professional performer in theatrical genres that combine acting with music and dance need a program that provides training and experience in those areas. Music Theatre at CMU - Students interested in the BFA-Music Theatre program should contact the Office of the Dean, College of Communication and Fine Arts to discuss dates and criteria for the auditions.
Total: 82 semester hours
Required Courses I
(48 hours)
Note: Incoming students will be given a Theory Placement Exam. If recommended based on exam results, students should take MUS 206 (3 hours) prior to taking MUS 101. Students demonstrating sufficient proficiency as determined by appropriate DAN faculty member(s) may substitute a higher level skills course for DAN 136, DAN 137, and DAN 138. Students demonstrating sufficient proficiency as determined by appropriate MUS faculty member(s) may substitute a higher level skills course for MUS 147 and MUS 148.
DAN 133
Modern I
2
DAN 136
Ballet Technique I
2
DAN 137
Tap I
2
DAN 138
Jazz I
2
DAN 230
Movement-Rhythmic Form and Structure
3
MUS 101
Theory I
3
MUS 102
Theory II
3
MUS 103
Sight Singing and Ear Training I
1
MUS 104
Sight Singing and Ear Training II
1
MUS 147
Piano Class I
1
MUS 148
Piano Class II
1
TAI 175
Appreciation of the Theatre
3
TAI 182
Acting I
3
TAI 278
Stage Makeup
3
TAI 282
Acting II
3
TAI 352
Music Theatre Scene Study
3
TAI 380
Musical Theatre History
3
TAI 452
Music Theatre Performance
3
TAI 460
BFA Capstone Project
3
TAI 481
Directing
3
Required Courses II
(4 hours)
Participation in one of the following choral ensembles (may be repeated):
MUS 182
Women's Chorus
1-8
MUS 183
Concert Choir
1-8
MUS 282
Chamber Singers
1-8
Required Courses III
(8 hours)
Each course to be taken for two semesters, 1 hour each semester, for a total of 8 hours:
MUS 150
Voice
1-12
MUS 250
Voice
1-12
MUS 284
Techniques for the Singing Actor
1-6
MUS 350
Voice
1-16
Required Courses IV
(2 hours)
Select two TAI studio courses in one of the following areas of technical theatre for a faculty-supervised theatre production or for a faculty- supervised dance concert:
TAI 309
Studio: Stage Management
1-4
TAI 310
Studio: Sound
1-4
TAI 311
Studio: Properties
1-4
TAI 312
Studio: Scenery Construction and Rigging
1-4
TAI 313
Studio: Scenery Design
1-4
TAI 314
Studio: Lighting
1-4
TAI 315
Studio: Lighting Design
1-4
TAI 316
Studio: Technical Direction
1-4
TAI 317
Studio: Costuming
1-4
TAI 318
Studio: Wardrobe Management
1-4
TAI 319
Studio: Makeup
1-4
Electives
(20 hours)
Select from DAN, MUS, TAI and/or cognate classes in consultation with the advisor. Students may not take more than nine (9) hours of electives in any one area (DAN, MUS, TAI).