May 20, 2024  
Undergraduate Catalog 2017-18 
Undergraduate Catalog 2017-18 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music, School of

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

Kimberly Dunn Adams
Richard Adams
Christopher Biggs
Scott Boerma
Jacob Cameron
John Campos
Alexander Cannon
Patricia Chaviano
David Loberg Code
David Colson
Lisa Coons
Martha Councell-Vargas
Scott Cowan 
Maria Cristina Fava
Igor Fedotov
Jennifer Fiore
Lin Foulk
Delores Gauthier
Daniel Jacobson
Gregory Jasperse
Karen Kness
Renata Artman Knific
Thomas Knific
Nora Lewis
David Little
John A. Lychner
David Montgomery
Judy Moonert
Kenneth Prewitt
Andrew Rathbun
Carl Ratner
Wendy Rose
Edward Roth
Lori Sims
Jeremy Siskind
David S. Smith
Kenneth H. Smith
Yu-Lien The
Scott W. Thornburg
Bruce Uchimura
Robert White
Steve M. Wolfinbarger 

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 Arts, the Bachelor of Musical Arts, and the Bachelor of Science 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 Musical Arts degrees afford the student the opportunity to major in music and minor in another academic area. The Bachelor of Science degree is offered in Multimedia Arts Technology.

Two 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 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. A minor in Multimedia Arts Technology-Music (MAT) is also available to both Music majors and non-majors. Non-Music majors may combine the MAT minor with the music minor.

Those students seeking a music minor must be in contact with 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.

The School of Music offers an Accelerated Graduate Degree Path (AGDP) program which combines a Bachelor of Music degree (or a Bachelor of Arts in Music) with a Master of Arts in Music. The M.A. in Music degree is a graduate research degree which culminates with a written thesis and a public presentation (lecture or lecture/recital). Possible areas of focus for the thesis include (but are not limited to) music history, music theory, ethnomusicology, historical performance practice, music technology, and interdisciplinary subjects relating music with other fields. The program is intended for students with a strong interest in scholarly research and should not be considered a substitute for a Master of Music in Performance degree. The benefits include a stronger preparation for graduate studies after Western and a more diverse portfolio for future teaching positions.

To begin the program, qualified undergraduate music students can be admitted into the accelerated degree path and take approved graduate-level coursework in music. These courses count as advanced placement towards the MA degree and can be used to substitute for Theory/History, Professional Music, and General elective requirements in the Bachelor of Music. The university limits the total number of graduate credits used in the AGDP to twelve (12) and restricts enrollment to undergraduates of senior standing (i.e., 88 total credits). School of Music policy does not restrict AGDP students to only one calendar year between initial enrollment in the AGDP and completion of the baccalaureate degree. In addition, undergraduates admitted to dual-enrollment status with the Graduate College may take graduate-level courses for graduate credit only (i.e., counting toward the MA, but not toward the Bachelor of Music). Following completion of the bachelor’s degree, the AGDP student can apply for final admission into the master’s program and typically complete the remaining graduate coursework in a fifth year.



Admission to Western Michigan University is granted only by the Office of Admissions for undergraduate students. Application forms may be obtained by contacting 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 or interview, depending on the program. The student should begin by making application to the University and requesting admission 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 in the audition or interview, and upon academic abilities reflected in grade point average and various scholastic test scores as they are available.

A student considering a Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Arts in Music 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 (except those in the Bachelor of Science in Multimedia Arts Technology) in the first year of study, the student must demonstrate knowledge of fundamentals. A fundamentals examination will be administered on New Student Admissions Day.

Further information regarding admission to a music curriculum is available on the School of Music web page. 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.

Four areas—applied music, music theory, aural comprehension, 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 (except those in the Multimedia Arts Technology) 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: Julie Rickert
Appointments: 2132 Dalton Center (269-387-4672)

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



Students must earn a grade of “C” or better in any MUS class being counted toward a School of Music major. Some courses may have higher grade requirements.

Except for courses that are repeatable for credit, the number of times a student can enroll in an undergraduate music course in an attempt to earn a passing grade (“C” or better) is limited to two. After a second attempt to earn a passing grade (“C” or better”), students will be dismissed from their degree program. Petition for exceptions should be directed to the School of Music Dismissal Appeals Committee.

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


The requirement for recital attendance:

All music majors are required to attend Music Convocation (MUS 1010) the number of semesters specified by the degree program. Students must attend a specified number of approved events and any absences 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 (except those in Music Composition) 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, music theory, and aural skills. 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 one of 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 or interview for admission to the music curriculum. Decisions on music scholarships are made beginning in 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 website 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.

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

The School of Music does not offer a minor leading to Elementary or Secondary Teaching Certification or which allows the student to become certified in music therapy.


Baccalaureate-Level Writing Requirement

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

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