(TLDR: If I transfer from a musicology PhD to a music performance/pedagogy DMA program, would any schools give me substantial transfer credit for the elective seminars and foundation courses I took during my PhD coursework? If so, which schools might allow this?)
In short, I’ve achieved candidacy for the PhD in musicology at a well-regarded university (I have not really started writing). I also have a BM and MM in musicology. However, my reasons for pursuing musicology for all these years were not the right ones–I settled for it because at the time I felt that I would not be a competitive candidate for a performance or pedagogy degree program on my primary instrument (piano). That was probably accurate given the school I intended to (and did) attend. Then I started to think that musicology and academia might be what I actually wanted–but all the signs were there that the field is just not a good fit for me, nevermind the terrible job market. I just ignored the signs and went all the way to formulating a proposal and passing all my qualifying exams.
In the interval between starting coursework and achieving candidacy, I’ve developed as a musician and teacher to the point that I think I actually might be competitive as an applicant to some DMA programs in these areas. (I’m not expecting to get into a place like Juilliard, Eastman, Peabody, Michigan, etc.) Thus, I am wondering how feasible it would be to apply to such a program and expect to receive transfer credit or some type of seriously advanced standing for all the language requirements, musicology and theory seminars, etc. that I took for my PhD coursework. Obviously this may vary by school, so if anyone has experience in this area with a particular school, I’d love to have your endorsements.
(Editing to clarify: what I’d be seeking transfer credit for would be the 500 and 600-level history seminars I’ve taken at my current institution, not the initial Graduate Placement Exams that I’m sure every incoming DMA person has to take. I’m not worried about my ability to pass those.)
Since I have a private studio along with some other independent business pursuits, and I (largely)* intend to freelance rather than pursue academia, I’m not extremely concerned with the program’s prestige level. I just spent a lot of time in coursework in the wrong field and I’d like to recycle that course credit into something actually relevant to what I’ll be doing after graduate school. I’m also concerned that if I hold a PhD–even in a field I don’t intend to pursue afterward–I could be thought of as “overqualified” and shut out of some future job opportunities. (*I say “largely” because I might be interested in something like academic advising at the same school where my spouse will eventually be employed, though I am pretty sure most advising positions don’t require a PhD.)
Is a transfer of this type even possible? Or would every single school require me to start over with my coursework–which may include music history seminars with professors I’ve connected with at conferences (who might be wondering what happened)? I should also note that the transfer will not be possible within my current university’s School of Music, since one of my potential degree programs does not exist here and, while the other one would be tempting, I have exhausted all my financial aid eligibility with the musicology TA funding I received. I’m not worried about how this will “look” since the reason for transfer would be hugely obvious, given that I’d be jumping into a different field not offered at my current university.
Another (minor) question is whether or not schools would let me do this without asking me to go back and earn an MM in performance or pedagogy first. My MM is also in musicology and I had no official performance coursework during that degree.
Thank you for your ideas!