The online catalog includes the most recent changes to courses and degree requirements that have been approved by the Faculty Senate, including changes that are not yet effective.
School of Music
Director of the School of Music and Professor, K. McCarthy; Professors, D. Luethi, D. Turnbull; Associate Professors, T. Bennefield, S. Blasco, R. Boden, D. Pham, S. Scott, J. Sweet, J. Wieck; Assistant Professors, C. Dickey, C. Haas, A. Hill, C. Kim, M. King, F. Menchetti, M. Myers, C. Rodriques, D. Singleton, S. Tegart, J. Wilson; Associate Professors Career Track, S. Miller, M. Parkhurst; Assistant Professors Career Track, A. Miller, B. Feather, Y. Roh, J. Svendsen, C. Wilson.
Washington State University is a public land-grant research university that is committed to the principles of practical education for all, scholarly inquiry that benefits society, and the sharing of expertise to positively impact the state and communities. Acting as local and global ambassadors, the School of Music students and faculty embrace this mission by promoting musical curiosity, cultural awareness, and critical engagement through artistic creation, pedagogy, and scholarship.
While preparing its students to be successful, innovative, and employable musicians in a 21st-century career field, the School of Music also strives to make its expertise available to anyone who seeks to benefit from it, regardless of where they live, where they come from, what they believe, or what their life experiences have been.
All efforts are directed toward the betterment of human existence through the uncovering of new information, the discovery of how to use that information to solve problems, and the creative expression of human experience. We serve diverse communities across the wide reach of the WSU institution, through a musical practice that is fundamental to emotional wellness, constructive dialogue, and self-reflection.
The School of Music at Washington State University participates in and fully supports efforts to ensure equal opportunity in and access to its programs. Copies of legislation and policies relating to affirmative action, equal opportunity, non-discrimination, non-harassment, ADA, and other issues are available at the WSU Center of Human Rights. Some of these materials are retained in the School's Office.
The School of Music regards each class attended, each event sponsored, each meeting held, each position vacancy offered, as an opportunity to promote diversity of ideas and to ensure free pursuit of life by those who are members of our community. We hope that each person participating in the School's activities honors this commitment to a humane and supportive atmosphere for our teaching, learning, research and creative activity, and service.
Performance Studies in Music
Performance studies are offered on several levels to meet the needs of music majors as well as those of students from the general university community. There are no additional fees or tuition charges for the use of practice facilities. The 100-level performance studies are open to any student without audition through class instruction. The 200-level denotes group or private instruction for music minors and other advanced non-music majors by special permission of the department chair (audition required).
Individual instruction in performance studies is offered at the 300- and 400-level for music majors. All students enrolled in 200-400-level performance instruction are required to attend weekly convocation (student recital), attend recitals as required, participate in at least one approved music department ensemble, and take applied jury examinations at the end of each term. A small tuition charge is assessed per 200-400-level course, not dependent on total credits.
Performance studies may not be taken on a pass-fail basis.
Bachelor of Arts
This program offers a broad musical understanding within a liberal arts background. We expect our graduating students be able to: 1) demonstrate mastery of music theory (an understanding of organizational patterns of music and their interaction, and of musical forms and structures and the ability to employ this understanding in aural, verbal, and visual analyses); 2) competently perform on an instrument of choice (including voice) and effectively communicate on the literature for that instrument and for appropriate ensembles, and demonstrate a basic performance proficiency on the piano; 3) critically evaluate the history and development of music through the present time and place music in historical, cultural and stylistic contexts; 4) comprehend the basics of non-Western music and/or jazz, and demonstrate a rudimentary capacity to create derivative or original music both extemporaneously and in written form; and 5) work independently on a variety of musical problems by combining their capabilities in performance, analysis, composition and improvisation, and history and repertory. Students often elect a minor in another field.
Pre-Health Professions Program
The Bachelor of Arts/Pre-Health Professions program is a four-year program designed to meet the needs of students wishing to major in music while completing the required prerequisites required for admission into a profession pre-health program. Students should work with a Health Professions Student Center advisor to make sure they fulfill all the pre-requisite requirements for admission into a professional program, including taking correct prerequisite courses, preparing for exams, and creating a resume that is competitive for admission into the student’s desired program. The exact order in which students take their required music courses will depend on their scores on diagnostic exams. If students need to take math and science remedial courses, students will complete the music academic portion of this degree as written. If students are prepared to immediately start their math and science pre-requisite courses, students will typically take their music theory and music history a year later than written in the degree plan. Each student’s specific program of study will be constructed through a collaboration between the music and the HPSC advisors before the start of the first semester.
Bachelor of Music
This program offers majors for specialization in performance, composition, music business, and music education. The curriculum is designed to prepare students as professional musicians, teachers, and practitioners of music. We expect our graduating students be able to: 1) demonstrate mastery of music theory (an understanding of organizational patterns of music and their interaction, and of musical forms and structures and the ability to employ this understanding in aural, verbal, and visual analyses); 2) competently perform on an instrument of choice (including voice) and effectively communicate on the literature for that instrument and for appropriate ensembles, and demonstrate a basic performance proficiency on the piano; 3) critically evaluate the history and development of music through the present time and place music in historical, cultural and stylistic contexts; 4) comprehend the basics of non-Western music and/or jazz, and demonstrate a rudimentary capacity to create derivative or original music both extemporaneously and in written form; and 5) work independently on a variety of musical problems by combining their capabilities in performance, analysis, composition and improvisation, and history and repertory.
Music Performance and Composition
These majors offer professional preparation in music with specialization in performance or composition. The curriculum is designed to prepare students to become professional performers in their respective major instrument or voice, or professional composers. Students following options in performance or composition are required to present an acceptable senior recital in the major performance medium, or compositions for composition majors. Students following options in performance are also required to present an acceptable junior recital in the major performance medium. Students pursuing Performance in Jazz Studies are limited to specific major performance instruments as stated in the degree description.
This major offers professional preparation in music with specialization in the music industry. The curriculum is designed to prepare students in entrepreneurship, arts management, fine arts marketing and promotion, recording studio management, music publishing and copyright, venue management, and retail operations. Students pursuing a Music Business degree are expected to pass a piano proficiency exam, achieve a cumulative 2.5 GPA and a grade of C or better in all music classes, and perform a successful half senior recital.
This program offers professional preparation in music with specialization in music education. The curriculum is designed to prepare students as professional teachers of music. Students following any of the music education or elective studies options are required to present an acceptable senior half recital in the major performance medium. Students following any of the music education options must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 in all of the following areas: cumulative GPA, Professional Education Core with a C or better in each course, and academic major (and minor if any) with a C or better in each course. Students admitted as majors in any of the music education options must also be admitted as majors in the College of Education.
Bachelor of Music in Music Education, option without endorsement
This degree provides valuable, current, and marketable options for students seeking pre-professional training in music, and in music education. Students in this option may opt to apply for the MA program of study in music at WSU where they may elect to complete courses required for a teaching endorsement and state certification. Admission to graduate school and the School of Music graduate program following completion of this degree is determined by application on an individual basis.
Master of Arts in Music
Please consult the current WSU Graduate Study Bulletin. For students pursuing the combined BM/MA with teacher certification in Music, please consult the department.
Schedule of Studies
Normal progress in all music degree curricula requires enrollment during the first year in 300-level performance studies. Such enrollment requires an audition which is best completed during the semester (usually spring) prior to the student’s matriculating in the university. Students who do not audition early must do so during the first week of classes in the term. All first-year students will be enrolled in MUS 251 and 252. Students who have earned a 4 or 5 on the AP music theory exam are exempted from MUS 251. Students who have taken AP music theory but did not take the exam or earned a 3 or lower on the exam will have the option to attempt to test out of MUS 251. Transfer credit from another college or university may be accepted pending a review of the student’s grades, transcript, and syllabus. For more information, please contact the music academic advisors.
To be admitted as a major pursuing any degree in music, students must meet the following criteria:
Completion of 24 credits; cumulative GPA of 2.0; completion of 10 credits with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a grade of C or better in those courses selected: MUS 151, 181, 182, 251, 252, 253, 254, and up to four credits of applied study; approval of the appropriate applied study area coordinator; [approval requires two semesters' study as specified by each area: Brass, Woodwind, Strings, Percussion, and Keyboard at 300 level with grade of B- or better, and Voice at 200 level with grade of B- or better]; completion of application available from department. Composition students must acheive a B or better in MUS 251 and 253.
In addition, for student advancing in any of the Bachelor of Music Education degrees, the College of Education requires 2.5 GPA and C or better in each course listed for the major, minor and professional core, plus a 2.5 cumulative GPA..
As indicated in the requirements listed under the various majors and options for the Bachelor of Music degree and the Bachelor of Arts degree in Music, each student must satisfactorily complete all music courses with a minimum 2.5 GPA and a grade of C or better in each music course. Each student is required to pass the piano proficiency exam and the junior and/or senior qualifying exam, with the exception of those students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts degree (the B.A. degree requires completion of MUS 182 with a C or better). Students not passing the Senior Qualifying Exam (or Junior if applicable) after the second attempt may not continue as music majors. Students must also complete the University's UCORE requirements, plus additional College of Arts and Sciences requirements.
Student Learning outcomes
- Critical, Creative and Musical Reasoning: This includes learning to analyze and interpret music, to express the composer’s intention, the character of the music and to convey the emotion of the work.
- Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning: This involves taking the abstract symbols on the page and making musical sense of them, interpreting the rhythmic and pitch elements of the music and making expressive choices based on the notation on the page.
- Information Literacy: Musicians must understand the historical and cultural aspects of the music they are performing to present a musically and artistically convincing performance. Additionally, students must become familiar with a wide range of important works from the traditional western musical canon as well as a broad range of musical styles and genres from diverse cultures across the globe.
- Communication: Music students in the 21st century must be able to effectively write about, speak about, analyze, listen to, and perform music for themselves and others.
- Diversity: Students perform, study, interpret, listen to, and analyze music written by composers representing diverse backgrounds, cultures, social identities, and traditions while valuing the different perspective’s impact on the global society in which they live.
- Integration of Learning: All music degrees and professions in the 21st century require individuals to integrate the previous learning outcomes to successfully perform, teach, and share music.
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Schedules of Studies
- Bachelor of Arts in Music
- Music Business
- Music Composition
- Music Education - Choral/General Endorsement Option
- Music Education - Choral/Instrumental/General Endorsement Option
- Music Education - Elective Studies in Education Option
- Music Education - Instrumental/General Endorsement Option
- Music Performance - Brass, Percussion, Strings, Winds Option
- Music Performance - Keyboard Option
- Music Performance - Keyboard with Elective Studies in Pedagogy Option
- Music Performance - Percussion, Saxophone, String Bass, Trumpet, Guitar, and Keyboard (Jazz Studies)
- Music Performance - Voice Option
- Jazz Studies
- Music Technology
- Music Minor