The Swinney Conservatory of Music and the Department of Theatre Arts have long histories of excellence on the campus of Central Methodist University. The Division of Fine and Performing Arts offers undergraduate opportunities for a major in Music, Music Education, Music Performance (vocal and keyboard), Theatre Arts, or Theatre Arts leading to teaching certification, and opportunities for a minor in Music, Theatre Arts, or Art. Ensembles, productions, and scholarships are open to all qualified students regardless of major.
The Swinney Conservatory of Music also offers a Master of Music Education degree geared toward the needs and schedules of practicing music educators as well as a Bachelor of Music Education (BME) Transfer/Completion Program in conjunction with Three Rivers College in Poplar Bluff. Students begin by earning an Associate of Arts in Teaching at TRC. The advanced coursework needed to complete the BME is offered through interactive, distance-learning classes taught by CMU faculty. This program is designed to serve adults who are vested in the Southeastern Missouri community and plan to serve as music educators in that area.
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