Timothy Shade, director
School of Music Website1

The School of Music, which includes program areas of music education, musicology-composition, keyboard, strings, voice and winds/percussion, offers courses and curricula designed to train and educate students who are planning careers in music. In addition, the school’s offerings allow students to gain an understanding of music as a humanistic study. Recitals by students, faculty and guests are augmented by the overall community programs in the fine arts.

Students in the School of Music enjoy the use of extensive facilities in the Duerksen Fine Arts Center and Wiedemann Hall; these include the Lewis and Selma Miller Concert Hall and the recital/concert auditorium in Wiedemann Hall, which was constructed in 1986 to house the first Marcussen organ in North America.


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Proficiency Examinations

Students eligible for university enrollment may enter a music degree program after completing a successful audition demonstrating performance ability on a minimum of one instrument or in voice. Students must perform for a faculty jury each semester to determine their proficiency level and progress. Semester proficiency cards, on which progress is recorded, are maintained for each student.

All music majors must pass a piano proficiency examination. Entering students majoring in music whose background indicates they are competent in piano may pass the requirement by special examination. Students who have not satisfied all piano proficiency requirements must enroll in class piano until they meet those requirements. Transfer students who submit proof of the completion of a comparable piano proficiency examination by official transcript or letter from their former institutions are exempted from this requirement.

All proficiency examinations must be passed before a student is allowed to student teach or graduate.

Applied Music

Individual instruction is given in instruments and voice to develop musicianship, performance skills and reading knowledge of music literature. Specific requirements for each level are set by the individual applied areas.

Applied students other than music majors must enroll in the appropriate nonmajor category (see Schedule of Courses). This will provide a 30-minute lesson per week.

Enrollments of 1 credit hour are provided to music majors studying secondary instruments. These receive a 30-minute lesson each week and require a minimum of five hours of practice per week.

Enrollments of 2 credit hours are provided to majors and special music students. These receive either:

  1. A 30-minute private lesson (minimum) each week and a one-hour master class each week, or
  2. A one-hour lesson per week or other equivalent arrangement at the option of the instructor.

Students are required to practice a minimum of 10 hours each week.

Enrollments of 4 credit hours are provided to performance majors (juniors and above) and special music students. These receive two 30-minute lessons each week (minimum) and a one-hour master class each week, or other equivalent arrangement at the option of the instructor. Students are required to practice a minimum of 20 hours per week.

Students receive academic credit for applied music instruction only when they are taught on the university campus by approved music faculty.

Applied music students may enroll in the following classifications:

  • Freshmen and sophomores:
    Course Title Hours
    MUSA 112_Applied Music Instruction for Nonmajors
    MUSA 231_Applied Music, Majors
    MUSA 232_Applied Music, Majors
  • Juniors and seniors:
    Course Title Hours
    MUSA 112_Applied Music Instruction for Nonmajors
    MUSA 431_Applied Music, Majors
    MUSA 432_Applied Music, Majors
    MUSA 434_Applied Music, Majors 1
  • Graduate students:
    Course Title Hours
    MUSA 712_Applied Music Instruction for Nonmajors
    MUSA 731_Applied Music, Majors
    MUSA 732_Applied Music, Majors
    MUSA 734_Applied Music, Majors 1

Performance majors or designated students only may enroll in MUSA 434 or MUSA 734.

These applied music courses are repeatable for credit.

Prior to graduation all music majors must achieve an acceptable level of performance proficiency, which is determined by the faculty according to each student’s degree program. In addition, students may be required to pass an examination on materials in their chief performing medium.


All music majors are required to enroll in four semesters of MUSP 1052, and attend a minimum of 14 specified recitals and concerts sponsored by the School of Music each of the semesters. For majors other than BA, performance of the senior recital fulfills a fifth semester recital requirement; they must be enrolled in Recital during that semester ( MUSP 400 for BME and BM majors). Senior recital is not required for the BA in music.

All music majors are required to declare a chief performance medium. BM and BME majors are required to present either a public or a jury recital prior to graduation. The decision as to whether the performance will be jury or public is made by an examining committee. Students present to the examining committee a projected senior recital program and the examining committee determines:

  1. The suitability of the projected program;
  2. The capability of the student to perform the program publicly; or
  3. The advisability of performing the senior recital before a faculty jury in lieu of a public recital.

Further recital specifications are found under graduation requirements for Bachelor of Music in composition.

No music major may prepare or perform the senior recital without the guidance of a School of Music faculty member. In the event the required applied music credit hours have been earned prior to the recital presentation, music majors must continue to enroll (2 credit hour minimum) in their major instrument through the preparation for and the performance of the recital. The required number of credit hours must be earned in applied instruction even though there may be credits to complete after the senior recital has been performed.


See BME degree requirements for specific recital requirements in those degree plans. 

Graduation Requirements

Bachelor of Music

Students receiving the Bachelor of Music (BM) choose either a performing medium (piano, organ, voice, strings, wind or percussion) or composition as their major area of emphasis.

The general graduation requirements of the university must be met as described in the General Education Program. In addition, certain music requirements must be met for the different degree emphases in the School of Music.

All students must earn 45+ hours of credit in upper-division courses.

Bachelor of Music Education

Students receiving the Bachelor of Music Education (BME) must meet the state requirements for licensure. Students may select from four options within this degree:

  1. Instrumental emphasis offered to satisfy the needs of students whose chief performing medium is instrumental or keyboard and who plan to enter the field of instrumental music teaching in the public schools.
  2. Keyboard emphasis offered to satisfy the needs of students whose chief performing medium is keyboard and who plan to enter the field of vocal, instrumental or general music in the public schools.
  3. Special music education emphasis offered to satisfy the needs of students, either vocal or instrumental specialists, who plan to enter the field of music education for special education children in the public schools.
  4. Vocal emphasis offered to satisfy the needs of students whose chief performing medium is voice, and who plan to enter the field of vocal and general music teaching in the public schools.

Student Teaching

Admission into the student teaching semester requires:

  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.500;
  • A minimum grade point average of 2.500 in music courses;
  • Senior standing (90 credit hours — 200 credit points);
  • A grade of C or better in:
    Course Title Hours
    ENGL 101College English I (or its equivalent)3
    ENGL 102College English II3
    COMM 111Public Speaking3
    MATH 111College Algebra3
  • Completion of prerequisites in educational psychology;
  • Foundations of education and music education methods;
  • Successful completion of the piano proficiency exam and all other music requirements (including senior recital);
  • Successful completion of a physical examination; and
  • A recommendation by the music education area.

Transfer students must satisfy education requirements for prerequisites not taken at Wichita State.

All students must have an application on file with the music education area and receive its approval. Students must file applications with the director of music education.

BME Graduation Requirements

The BME programs fulfill both the university requirements for graduation and the Kansas licensure requirement and must be taken by all Bachelor of Music Education candidates. In completing the BME program, the student must meet the general education program requirements of the university given in the Requirements for Graduation section of the Undergraduate Catalog.

Minors in the School of Music