University of Missouri-Kansas City
The UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance
If you are looking for a great university guitar program, guitar school, or college guitar program, look no further than Douglas Niedt's at the UMKC Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri--Kansas City.
All students receive a weekly private one-hour classical guitar lesson (not always the case at other schools) with Professor Niedt.
Degrees from the Bachelor of Music to the Doctor of Musical Arts are offered with a major in classical guitar performance or many other musical fields (composition, theory, history, music education, music therapy, etc).
UMKC has an enrollment of 14,500 students. The UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance is the music school of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, with an enrollment of 600 students.
HOW TO CHOOSE A GUITAR SCHOOL
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Doug, I have heard from many people that your guitar program at the University of Missouri--Kansas City is one of the best guitar schools in the world. But is it expensive and are you actually there much to teach classical guitar, or does someone else do most of the teaching for you?
Answer: The University of Missouri, being a public institution, is less expensive than many other institutions. I do all the teaching of classical guitar studies in our guitar program--from freshman music majors on up through doctoral students.
The Three Most Important Things In Choosing A Music School to Study the Classical Guitar:
- The NUMBER ONE most important consideration for anyone choosing a college or university guitar program is to choose a guitar school based upon the person who is teaching classical guitar at the institution. A pretty campus in a nice location with a beach or mountains is wonderful. But you are there to study the classical guitar, not go to the beach or the mountains. You are supposed to be practicing, remember? As far as other course offerings, no matter where you study, music theory is music theory, music history is music history. Sure, some school may have a dynamic orchestration professor or a great orchestra. Well, if you want to major in composition or play in the orchestra fine, go there. But you are studying the classical guitar. The person teaching in the guitar program is the number one thing you have to look at. And make sure he is there on campus to teach, not away on tour most of the time. Or if he is gone a substantial amount of time, find out how (and if) the missed lessons are made up.
- The second most important thing in choosing a guitar school is to take at least one trial guitar lesson before making your application to the school. If the professor is a great classical guitar performer and has great credentials, it means nothing for you if he can't teach, isn't interested in teaching, or if good chemistry between the two of you is not there. You don't want to find out that you don't get along with the professor or that he doesn't like to teach AFTER writing a check for several thousand dollars to study there for a semester or year. Insist on an actual private classical guitar lesson, not just an interview. Most professors will do an hour lesson for free! Also, get the names and numbers of other current students and ask them questions about the professor and guitar program or guitar school.
- The third most important thing in choosing a guitar school? SEE NUMBER ONE!
The Guitar Program and Music Program at UMKC
The guitar program at the UMKC Conservatory of Music is one of the oldest in the country, established in the 1960ís. It includes a classical guitar program directed by Douglas Niedt and a jazz program directed by Bobby Watson (the jazz guitar studies headed up by Rod Fleeman).
The UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance offers several degrees with the classical guitar as the applied instrument:
BACHELOR OF MUSIC (B.M.) IN CLASSICAL GUITAR PERFORMANCE
This is for the student who wants to earn a living in the performance arena and teach privately or at the college level. The course work is almost all music courses and the student must have a burning desire to live and breath music 24 hours a day. It is recommended that the student practice the classical guitar six hours everyday.
BACHELOR OF MUSIC EDUCATION/MUSIC THERAPY (B.M.E.)
This is for the student whose main interest is teaching in the public schools where certification is required. The Music Therapy emphasis is for those who want to use the guitar in the music therapy field working with diverse populations of clients. This degree includes a large number of non-music courses including many in the fields of education and psychology. It is recommended that the student practice the guitar two to three hours everyday.
BACHELOR OF ARTS (B.A.) IN MUSIC
This is for the student seeking a broader base of knowledge in both music and the liberal arts. This is also a degree for those who want to study music but also want a background in another field such as business or computer science so that they have more diverse and secure job opportunities than those in the music business. Course work is roughly half music and half liberal arts. Two to three hours of daily practice on the guitar are recommended.
MASTER OF MUSIC (M.M.) IN CLASSICAL GUITAR PERFORMANCE
Like the B.M. this is a performance degree for those students who are totally committed to music and the guitar. Coursework is almost all music and six hours of daily guitar practice are recommended.
MASTER OF ARTS (M.A.) IN MUSIC
Similar to the B.A. this is for the student who wants to continue studying the guitar but recognizes the possibly limited job opportunities in the music field and is seeking a broader base of knowledge for a wider range of career choices. Two to three hours of daily guitar practice are recommended.
DOCTOR OF MUSICAL ARTS (D.M.A) IN CLASSICAL GUITAR PERFORMANCE
This is for the student already playing at a high professional level who wishes to pursue a performance career or a career in college/university teaching. Coursework is almost all music and six hours of daily guitar practice are recommended.
The B.M., M.M., and D.M.A. are also available in music composition, music theory, and music history with the guitar as the applied instrument. Again, coursework would be almost all music with emphasis on courses in your major field (composition, music theory, or music history). Two to three hours of daily guitar practice are recommended.
All students, regardless of the degree program in which they are enrolled, receive a weekly private one-hour classical guitar lesson (not always the case at other schools) with Professor Niedt. Topics in guitar history, sightreading, and fingerboard theory are covered in the applied lessons. Performance majors are required to enroll in guitar chamber music. This course provides students opportunities to play chamber music with other guitarists and especially other instruments and voice. Performance majors are also required to take the guitar pedagogy course which teaches the student the art of teaching the guitar.
Go to the University of Missouri--Kansas City website for complete information about UMKC.
Go to the Conservatory of Music and Dance website for more information about the Conservatory.
For information on admission to the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance contact:
University of Missouri--Kansas City
Conservatory of Music and Dance
Kansas City, MO 64110
For more information about the guitar program:
Contact Douglas Niedt
About Kansas City
Kansas City is a very arts-oriented city. It is host to the Kansas City Guitar Society, Kansas City Symphony, Friends of Chamber Music, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Chorale, Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, Harriman-Jewell Series, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Kansas City Actors Theatre, and the Lyric Opera.
The UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance (the music school of the University of Missouri--Kansas City) with an enrollment of 600 students is an important element of this cultural environment. UMKC is an urban university with an enrollment of 14,500 students and is located in the beautiful Country Club Plaza district.