The parameters of the music Capstone project are customized per student. Each student will work with his or her Capstone adviser(s) to arrive at a project that is substantial, ambitious, and creative, but also disciplined, finite, and likely to succeed within the constraints of student ability, time, budget, and resources.

In addition:

  • A music Capstone project should exhibit innovative thought and present an original contribution to the discipline.
  • Each music Capstone project should include a transnational/international component (based on or reflecting the student’s classwork, study abroad, January Term experiences, cultural background, etc.).

The Capstone adviser will work with the student to explore how these requirements might be defined and applied to a given project.

The music Capstone project may principally involve musical practice or it may be a scholarly work. Like all Arts Practice Capstone projects, Music Practice projects will include a 10-page paper summarizing, contextualizing, and reflecting upon the Capstone experience. The Studies Capstone projects should consist of a research paper of substantial breadth on a scholarly topic that is relevant in the music studies. It should entail an original contribution in the area that it addresses.


Students are expected to be in residence in Abu Dhabi for both semesters of their senior year. Music Capstone projects should be developed and presented primarily in the UAE. Travel for research may be incorporated into the summer prior to the senior year and the January term of the senior year, subject to budget constraints and the approval of each student’s Capstone adviser.


Students must assess carefully the resources that will be required for their projects to succeed. (This is a valuable educational exercise, as well as a practical one.) Each Capstone adviser may direct students to fellow faculty, administration, and technical staff members who may have particular expertise in a given matter.


Students working on their Capstone projects are free to use the Music program facilities and will be granted studio space, if requested and contingent upon availability. Students may also receive support from the Music program technical team for their work, although it is expected that they develop their Capstone project autonomously.