School of Music

Russell D. Widener, director

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.


Proficiency Examinations

Students eligible for university enrollment may enter a music degree program. However, majors in music must demonstrate performance ability on a minimum of one instrument or in voice. After their initial registration, students have their proficiency judged by their major professor; thereafter, they 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.

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. Students wishing to drop an applied lesson registration must inform the instructor in person and secure his or her signature on the drop form before approval may be given by the college office.

Applied music students may enroll in the following classifications:

  • Freshmen and sophomores:
    MUSA 112_Applied Music Instruction for Nonmajors
    MUSA 231_Applied Music, Majors
    MUSA 232_Applied Music, Majors
  • Juniors and seniors:
    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:
    MUSA 712_Applied Music Instruction for Nonmajors
    MUSA 731_Applied Music, Majors
    MUSA 732_Applied Music, Majors
    MUSA 734_Applied Music, Majors 1

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 1051, 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; MUSP 450 or MUSP 451 for accompanying 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.

Minors in the School of Music