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School of Music
Director of the School of Music and Associate Professor, D. Luethi; Regents Professor, G. Yasinitsky; Professors, R. Hare, D. Jarvis, K. McCarthy, J. Savage, D. Turnbull, L. Wiest; Associate Professors, M. Arksey, R. Boden, D. Pham, K. Savage, J. Wieck; Assistant Professors, T. Bennefield, S. Blasco, S. Scott; Clinical Associate Professor, H. Young; Clinical Assistant Professors, C. Dickey, M. King, S. Miller, M. Seregow, S. Tegart, B. Ward; Instructors, B. Ard, B. Carter, B. Edwards, M. Parkhurst, J. Schneider, D. Snider, F. Snider.
The School of Music prepares students for careers in music with degrees in performance, composition, and music education. It is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.
Music and its effective presentation are inextricable from the essential qualities of every world culture. WSU’s School of Music, long recognized for excellence in performance and pedagogy, will therefore contribute to the advancement of music through widely visible and impactful creative activity, scholarship and research in selected aspects of music. It will sustain such advancement of the field through preparation of the next generation of societal leaders whose involvement in music will range from appreciation of and support for music’s value and centrality to its creation in professional performance, composition, and music education.
The School of Music supports the university’s land-grant mission and tradition of service to society, while contributing substantially to the College of Arts and Sciences in creative activity, research and scholarship towards improving Cultural Understanding and International and Intercultural Relations. The mission focuses on:
- Advancing the field of music through internationally/nationally recognized achievements in composition, performance, recording, articles, books, conference presentations, and leadership in music education.
- Providing students university-wide transformative musical experiences and preparing future professionals in music for successful careers as performers, composers, music educators, scholars, and leaders in a global society.
- Contributing to the cultural life of the university and region through the regular presentation of inspired and meaningful musical events.
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 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 and, by special permission of the department chair, to advanced non-music majors who meet all requirements for music majors as listed below. 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. Students enrolled in 300- and 400-level performance study must enroll in a music theory or music history course each semester until music core requirements have been completed. No student will be permitted to enroll in 300-400-level performance studies unless these criteria are met. In addition, each music major must pass the piano proficiency exam, as a precondition to upper-division standing.
Performance studies may not be taken on a pass-fail basis.
Bachelor of Arts
This program is designed to offer a broad musical understanding within a liberal arts background. We expect that 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.
Bachelor of Music
This program offers majors for specialization in performance, composition and music education. The curriculum is designed to prepare students as professional musicians, teachers, and practitioners of music. We expect that 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
This major offers 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 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 certifying as majors in any of the music education options must also certify 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 freshman 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. Normal progress also assumes placement in 200-level music theory. Theory placement tests will be administered as part of the performance audition. Students who do not qualify for 300-level performance studies and 200-level theory studies as freshmen will usually require more semesters and credit hours of performance studies to complete a degree than listed in this schedule of studies.
To certify as a major pursuing any degree in music, students must meet the following criteria:
Completion of 24 semester hours; cumulative GPA of 2.0; completion of 10 hours 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: Keyboard at 300 level with grade of B- or better, Brass and Percussion at 300 level with grade of B- or better, Woodwinds 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. Students not passing the upper-division exam after the second attempt will be decertified as music majors.
In addition 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, of students certifying in any of the Bachelor of Music in Music Education curricula.
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 must also complete the UCOREs plus those for the College of Arts and Sciences.
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 that they are performing to present a musically and artistically convincing performance. Also, students must become familiar with a wide range of important works from the musical canon.
- Communication: A musical performance is not successful unless there is communication with the audience.
- Diversity: To perform music of different styles and genres, it is essential to understand diverse cultures and musical views. This is related to information literacy.
- Integration of Learning: For a musical performance to be truly successful, all of these Learning Outcomes—creative thinking, symbolic reasoning, information literacy, communication and diversity must be integrated by the performer.
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Schedules of Studies
- Music Education - Choral/General Endorsement Option
- Bachelor of Music with Elective Studies in Education
- Bachelor of Arts in Music
- Music Performance - Keyboard with Elective Studies in Pedagogy Option
- Music Performance - Keyboard Option
- Music Performance - Brass, Percussion, Strings, Winds Option
- Music Performance - Percussion, Saxophone, String Bass, Trumpet, Guitar, and Keyboard (Jazz Studies)
- Music Performance - Voice Option
- Music Composition Degree
- Music Education - Instrumental/General Endorsement Option
- Music Education - Choral/Instrumental/General Endorsement Option
- Jazz Studies
- Music Minor and Supporting Teaching Endorsements
- Music Technology