Department of Music, College of Fine and Performing Arts
Music composition majors learn a variety of skills enabling them to express their musical ideas in an effective manner that allows for performance of their creations. Each student receives private composition instruction along with instruction in basic music theory, music history, conducting, lessons on their major instrument or voice, and ensemble performance. While composition instruction will cover all modes, genres and periods, students may elect to concentrate their creativity on one or more specific areas. Instruction will include introduction and advanced courses in the use of computer hardware and software.
Why Consider a Music Composition Concentration?
A Music degree from Western Washington University is highly regarded in the profession. Western graduates become successful teachers, performers, composers and leaders in all fields of music. The strength of Western’s Department of Music is its faculty’s commitment to students and helping them achieve their goals and aspirations.
Professional Composer for Orchestras, Choirs or Wind Bands | Music Critic | Composer of Popular Music | Engineer/Mixer
How to Declare (Admission and Declaration Process):
Freshmen and transfer students will be declared as their intended major after performing a successful audition on their main instrument or voice and submitting a portfolio that has been approved by the Composition Area Coordinator. Progress will be reviewed by coordinators in each applied and academic area.
Admissions: The prerequisite for all Music degrees is the entrance audition on the primary instrument or voice. Prospective Composition majors must also submit a portfolio of previous work for faculty review.
Application Deadlines: The audition must be complete prior to the quarter in which the student intends to enroll. The audition deadline for each fall quarter is June 1. Due to the sequential nature of the music curriculum, midyear applications are not recommended. Students electing to begin in a quarter other than fall should seek advisement prior to enrollment.
A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors. A minimum GPA of 2.5 in music courses is required for graduation with a degree in music.
It is recommended that students pass an upper-division jury for achieving upper-division instruction (300-400) level by the end of their second year in the program. Requirements for passing upper-division juries will be outlined in the instrumental and vocal areas’ policy statements.