Guitar Programs-Guitar Schools-College Guitar Programs
University of Missouri-Kansas City
UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance
|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 1960’s. 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
• 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 information on admission to the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance contact:
Dr. James Elswick
University of Missouri--Kansas City
Conservatory of Music and Dance
Kansas City, MO 64110
email: elswick j @umkc .edu (do not include spaces when you send an email)
For more information about the guitar program: