Nov 30, 2022  
Undergraduate Catalog 2009-10 
Undergraduate Catalog 2009-10 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music, School of

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David Colson, Director
Main Office:  2132 Dalton Center
Telephone: (269) 387-4667
Fax:  (269) 387-1111

Richard Adams
James K. Baas
John Campos
David Loberg Code
Scott Cowan
Curtis Curtis-Smith
Julie Evans
Igor Fedotov
Lin Foulk
Delores Gauthier
Daniel Jacobson
Stephen Jones
Renata Artman Knific
Thomas Knific
Trent P. Kynaston
David Little
John A. Lychner
Margaret Merrion
Michael Miller
David Montgomery
Judy Moonert
Stanley Pelkey
Kenneth Prewitt
Carl Ratner
Robert J. Ricci
Silvia Roederer
Wendy Rose
Edward Roth
Lori Sims
David S. Smith
Kenneth H. Smith
Robert Spradling
Matthew Steel
Deanna Swoboda
Scott W. Thornburg
Bruce Uchimura
Karen Wicklund
Brian L. Wilson
Steve M. Wolfinbarger
Bradley Wong
Stephen Zegree

The Western Michigan University School of Music is dedicated to the advancement of the musical arts through traditional study and performance, while promoting the development of new musical paths that prepare students for an ever-changing profession. The School of Music serves local, state, national and international communities through performance, educational and therapeutic applications, composition, research, and technological innovation.

The School of Music is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music. The requirements for entrance and for graduation are in accordance with the published regulations of NASM and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education. The School’s program in music therapy is sanctioned by the American Music Therapy Association (formerly the National Association for Music Therapy).


The School of Music offers courses of study that lead to the Bachelor of Music, the Bachelor of Science, and the Bachelor of Arts degrees. The Bachelor of Music degree offers the student an opportunity to elect a major in performance, composition, jazz studies, music education, and music therapy. The Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees afford the student the opportunity to major in music and minor in another academic area.

Three majors carry certification upon completion of degree requirements: the Bachelor of Music with a major in music education carries certification to teach music in the public schools, grades K-12; the Bachelor of Science with a major in music and a minor in elementary education carries certification to teach in the elementary classroom and/or to teach as a music specialist in the classroom, grades K-8. The student with a Bachelor of Music in music therapy is eligible to sit for the national board exam administered by the Certification Board for Music Therapists in order to earn the credential of Music Therapist - Board Certified.

A music minor program is offered through the School of Music for students who have a background in music and who wish to extend their formal education in that field of study.

Those students seeking a music minor must secure a minor slip from the advisor in the School of Music in order that the declaration of the minor be official. Official declaration of the music minor must be made prior to registration for the final eight hours of music course work which will apply to that minor.


Admission to Western Michigan University is granted only by the Office of Admissions for undergraduate students. Application forms may be obtained by writing to the Office of Admissions.

Enrollment in a music curriculum is contingent upon admission to the University, which is achieved through the application process; and approval of the School of Music, which is achieved through the audition process. The student should begin by making application to the University and requesting audition information from the School of Music. Both procedures should be commenced early in the senior year, or early in the final year at a community college.

Approval to become a music major is based upon the student’s background in music, as demonstrated on the major instrument or voice, the student’s musical aptitude, and upon academic abilities reflected in grade point average and various scholastic test scores as they are available. Efforts are made to evaluate the student on the basis of musical potential and not upon desire to enter a specific professional area of music. All students commence a major in music with common “core” requirements and are, therefore, considered for entry into the major with this common basis in mind.

A student considering a music major should have a good background in applied music (instrumental or vocal study or performance). Preparation in piano, as a secondary instrument, is also helpful to the student, but not a requisite. Prior to entry into Basic Music 1600, which is required of all music majors in the first year of study, the student must demonstrate knowledge of fundamentals. A fundamentals examination will be administered at the time the student is initially advised about classes.

The School of Music’s audition and testing program has helped many students make a more intelligent choice regarding their educational careers. Further information regarding admission to a music curriculum may be obtained by writing the Music Student advisor in the School of Music. The School welcomes the opportunity to confer with prospective students, parents, and counselors regarding educational goals and plans.

Transfer Credit

Music credit from another institution is normally acceptable providing course substance is equivalent to a similar course required in the student’s curriculum at Western and the student has earned a grade of “C” or better in that course. No credit hours exceeding the number granted for parallel work at Western will be accepted for transfer from another institution. In order to earn a Bachelor of Music degree from Western Michigan University, a student may not transfer more than thirty-seven (37) semester credit hours in music courses taken at a community college toward music curriculum requirements. If the “Performance Electives” requirement has not been completed at the time of the transfer, at least two of the remaining hours must be completed in major ensembles. Advisors will assist transfer students in finding ways of applying credit hours, not applicable to music curriculum requirements, toward General Education electives or free electives.

Three areas-applied music, music theory, and piano proficiency for non-pianists-are, by nature, skills courses which require competency at one level before the student is ready for the next level of course in a sequence. This competency can only be determined by demonstration and/or examination, which precludes the automatic transfer of credit in these areas.

Presumably, the transfer student will have completed many of the core requirements (see below) before enrolling at Western. In that case, the student must elect a major area of concentration within the music curriculum prior to enrollment. In order to maintain good standing as a major in music performance, composition, jazz studies, music history, or music theory, the student must earn a minimum grade point average of 3.25 in the first two courses that apply to the major area of concentration. The student who elects music education or music therapy as a major must maintain a grade point average of 3.0 in all courses in the major area of concentration in order to be recommended for intern teaching (music education) or music therapy internship. All transfer students must take a Piano Placement Examination before admission in order to project the feasibility of completion of piano proficiency requirements.

For further information regarding the transfer of music credits, contact the Music advisor in the School of Music.


Advisor: Margaret J. Hamilton
Appointments: 2132 Dalton Center (269-387-4672)

The Music Student Advising Office provides one-stop advising for all students in a music curriculum. Advice on general education and major or minor requirements can be provided by consulting the music student advisor. Only when a student pursues a minor outside of the School of Music is an appointment required with another advisor.

Graduation requirements must be completed as stipulated in the Undergraduate Catalog, which is in effect at the time the student is admitted. Requirements may not be added in the midst of the student’s enrollment, but the student may take advantage of course and curriculum alterations that may occur while work on the degree is in progress if these changes enhance the student’s education. Each student is responsible for knowing the requirements that must be completed for the degree and for taking the steps necessary for completion of requirements. All music students are urged to take advantage of the advising services in the School of Music for assistance in making educational choices and for interpretation of requirements as they are stated in the Undergraduate Catalog.


In addition to required course work, all students must satisfy additional requirements in recital attendance and recital performance.

The requirement for recital attendance:

All music majors are required to attend Music Convocation (MUS 1010) each semester they are in residence. Each student is allowed to be absent from one convocation per semester. Without exception, only one absence per semester will be excused. Any absences beyond one will be recorded in the student’s file. Absences must be made up by attending other pre-approved School of Music concerts and recitals in which the student is not a participant. Absences in the student’s record which have not been made up will prevent graduation.

The requirement(s) for recital performance are as follows:

  1. Bachelor of Music candidates with a major in music performance must present a Senior Recital which is approved by and acceptable to the faculty of the respective performance area.
  2. Bachelor of Music candidates with a major in areas other than music performance must present at least one successful solo performance on a student recital (scheduled public recitals, convocations, or area recitals) prior to graduation. Individual students may be required to give additional performances on student recitals at the discretion of their private teachers.

Prerequisite to performance on any student recital shall be a recommendation by the student’s applied teacher. Prerequisite to the presentation of Junior and/or Senior Recitals is an approved hearing of that recital by the student’s area faculty. Recitals should be scheduled in the Concerts Office in the School of Music as far in advance as possible.

Competency Examinations

are available to students who qualify for advanced placement or a waiver of requirements in music courses even if no formal education at the college level may have been completed. Common areas of competency are applied music, secondary instruments, and music theory. Examinations may be scheduled in these areas to allow qualified students to demonstrate competency.

In the event that a student demonstrates competency in an area of study that is required in the curriculum, the student may elect two alternatives for fulfilling degree requirements: (1) request a waiver of the requirement and elect an equivalent number of hours in music courses of the student’s choice or (2) receive credit for the course(s) in which competency is demonstrated by paying an examination fee according to the schedule approved by the Board of Trustees.

Scholarships and Grants in Music

are awarded by the School of Music. Awards are made on the basis of musical talent and/or scholastic achievement. New students are eligible for consideration for these stipends at the time of their audition for admission to the music curriculum. Decisions on music scholarships are made beginning in mid-March.

The School of Music adheres to the code of ethics of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). The acceptance of a scholarship by an applicant is considered a declaration of intent to attend the institution; after May 1, the applicant may not consider any other offer from a NASM member institution without the written consent of the first institution. Similarly, a transfer applicant from a NASM-accredited college or university cannot be considered for a scholarship without the recommendation of the institution from which the transfer is being made.

For a listing of music grants and scholarships, contact the School of Music or visit the Web site of the Office of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships at or email the Office at or call the Office at (269) 387-6000.

Music majors may also be eligible for any number of general University scholarships as described in the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships section of this catalog.


When a student is admitted to the music curriculum, a major area of concentration is usually not declared. Before any student may declare a major area of concentration the student must complete requirements in the music “core,” which are courses required of all music majors, regardless of professional or vocational interests in the field. Core requirements will normally be taken in the first two years. For students who are interested in an in-depth introduction to the two professions for which this university offers certification courses (music education and music therapy), an opportunity will be provided for them to register for Field Experience courses.

Baccalaureate-Level Writing Requirement

Students who have chosen any music major will satisfy the Baccalaureate-Level Writing Requirement by successfully completing MUS 3520: Non-Western Music.

Students who have chosen any music major will satisfy the College of Fine Arts’ technology requirement by successfully completing MUS 1140: Digital Media in the Arts.

The School of Music does not offer a minor leading to Elementary or Secondary Teaching Certification.

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