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Doctor of Musical Arts in Percussion

Major code: D735

Dr. Andrew Richardson
  • Interim Director of Percussion Activities
Mr. Benjamin Holmes
  • Instructor of Percussion
  • Athletic Bands Percussion Coordinator


Application Deadline

Applications for admission in Fall must be received by February 1.


There is no separate application for assistantship. Unless the applicant indicates otherwise, we assume that all applicants are interested in being considered for assistantships. Please note that assistantships are usually awarded for the Fall and Spring semesters together. We very seldom have assistantships available for anyone entering in a Spring semester. We do not award assistantships for Summer sessions.

Procedure for Applying

All interested applicants should email Dr. Andrew Richardson several weeks or months in advance to express interest and begin a dialogue regarding audition procedures, repertoire, and expectations.

Submit the online application (see Graduate Admissions page) and all application materials described below. Within a day or two after completing the online application, the School of Music will acknowledge receipt of the application by email.

After submitting the online application, the applicant will work with Dr. Richardson to schedule an audition. More details about the audition can be found at the bottom of this page.


Application materials required for all graduate degrees

These items must be submitted to the online graduate application system.

  • Resume
  • Personal Statement
    • Submitted to the online application under the Statement of Purpose tab
    • Why do you want this degree, and why do you want it from OU?
    • Include your reasons for applying, personal statement, and what you have learned about yourself and the field that has further stimulated your interest and reinforced your conviction that you are well suited to the field.
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • Submitted to the online application under Recommendations tab
    • While all three of your letters of recommendation should be from someone who can speak to your ability to be a successful graduate student in a music program, we ask that you consider the following when requesting your recommendations:
      • One letter should be from a person who has considerable knowledge about your abilities as a performer, conductor, or composer (e.g.:  studio professor, ensemble conductor, chamber coach, etc.).
      • One letter should be from a person who can speak to your abilities as a scholar of music.


Scholarly writing requirement

This degree requires you to submit a sample of your scholarly writing.

  • Submitted to the online application under the Supporting Documents tab
  • This sample should not be more than 3 years old.
  • Minimum of 5 pages of double-spaced text, not counting bibliography.
  • Should represent your best scholarly writing and researching skills in music.
  • Should present a complete argument supporting a clear thesis.
  • Should feature a consistent method for citations.
  • Examples include but are not limited to a critical analysis, a research paper in musicology, music in culture, or music pedagogy, or an article suitable for publication in a recognized scholarly or professional music journal.



After submitting the online application, the applicant will work with Dr. Richardson to arrange an audition. Although live, on-campus auditions are preferred, video recordings will be allowed under special circumstances.

Applicants should be aware that a live audition must be completed before an applicant will be considered for assistantship. Further, applicants submitting recorded auditions should be aware that, if the faculty believes the recording is not an accurate representation of the applicant’s abilities, the applicant may be required to perform a live audition to remain in consideration for admission. Audio or video files or links to online recordings may be submitted to the online application under Digital Portfolio > Upload Media.

Audition Requirements

  • The applicant will audition before a committee of the Graduate Faculty.
  • Applicants to the DMA in Percussion should prepare 30 minutes of music.
  • The repertoire should consist of music appropriate for graduate-level study and should include selections on several instruments such as: snare drum, marimba, vibraphone, timpani, multiple-percussion, orchestral excerpts, and drum set.
  • The audition should illustrate the applicant’s best abilities in musicality, technique, and sound production and should represent a variety of styles.
  • Memorization is required for all keyboard selections.
  • Sight-reading will be required on keyboard and snare drum.
  • The audition will be presented without accompaniment.
  • The campus visit will include an extensive interview with the percussion faculty to discuss various aspects of the applicant’s background, goals, and musical philosophy as well as allow the applicant to ask questions of the faculty.

The applicant is encouraged to spend at least 2 days in Norman to allow time to observe lessons, meet with current students and faculty, and experience OU.

With Dr. Richardson’s approval, a current master's student at OU who plans to apply to the DMA program within twelve months of his/her planned graduation from the master's program may use his/her MM degree recital as the DMA audition if the recital meets DMA audition requirements. In order for a faculty committee to be organized to attend the recital to evaluate it for DMA application purposes, the student must inform Dr. Richardson at least two weeks before the recital.