Jul 23, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music Education P-12, BMus

Location(s): WWU - Bellingham

Department of Music, College of Fine and Performing Arts

138 credits minimum*


This professional degree program prepares students to teach music in their emphasis area upon graduating and receive a P-12 Certification as a Music Specialist Educator in addition to the Bachelor of Music degree. The program consists of a variety of pedagogy, conducting, and education-specific courses (through the Department of Music and Woodring College of Education), and requires two practicums and a student-teaching internship in a public school setting. Students also complete core studies in music theory, aural skills, keyboarding, and musicology.

The BMus Education P-12 major is structured to take approximately 4.25-4.5 years to complete for the average incoming music student. Students who qualify for assessments may be able to finish sooner. Based on the sequence of classes, all academic coursework can be completed in four years, followed by 14 weeks (1 quarter) of full-time student teaching the following fall or winter quarter. The Music Education Coordinator will assist students in their application to the Woodring of College of Education to complete the combined P-12 certification, this typically takes place during the third year in the music major.  

*34 credits from the Secondary Education program including the student teaching internship. This major leads to an endorsement in music education for grades P-12. For questions about the teacher certification process or when to apply, contact the Music Education Coordinator. For additional information, see the  section of this catalog for program admission, completion, and teacher certification requirements.

 Contact Information

Program Coordinator
Academic Advisor

Catherine Brown
Performing Arts 263

Music Education Coordinator
Patricia Bourne
Performing Arts 45

Choral Music Education
Angela Kasper
Performing Arts 039

Instrumental Music Education
James Ray
Performing Arts Center 058

Secondary Education
Program Manager
Janna Cecka
Miller Hall 401C

Teacher Education Admission
Miller Hall 254F

 Sample Careers

Secondary School Choir Director | Secondary School Band Director | Secondary School Orchestra Director | Elementary and/or Secondary General Music Teacher | Applied Instrumental or Voice Instructor | Professional Musician | Arts Administrator

 Major/Career Resources


Admission and Declaration Process:

To begin a music major or minor and to enroll in core music classes, students must complete an Entrance Audition on their primary instrument or voice. New music majors are advised to audition the same year they apply to WWU. Although we primarily admit students for the fall term, mid-year applicants are also accepted depending on space availability. Please visit the Music Auditions webpage to read about our different audition processes and navigate to the Entrance & Scholarship Audition page to explore audition dates, deadlines, and requirements.

Admission to Woodring College of Education

The Music Education Coordinator will advise and assist students with their application to the Woodring College of Education where they will enroll in general education courses alongside advanced music education coursework. Students who successfully complete this set of Woodring courses will earn state teaching certification for P-12 music education in their emphasis area. (See the Endorsement Emphasis and Additional Requirements section) Applications for Woodring are typically submitted during the third year in the music program with applications for a fall quarter start due February 15, and for winter, September 1. Undergraduate music students are assigned to the Undergraduate Music Advisor (UMA) after being admitted through an Entrance Audition. Students will declare their major or minor during registration sessions, through email, or during advising appointments. Overrides will be entered prior to registration sessions and/or by appointment to obtain access to all program-restricted courses before declarations have been processed. Visit the Current Music Students webpage for more information about advising after acceptance.

Course Equivalency Assessments

We offer optional assessments to new music students who wish to test out of one or more of our core sequence The type of assessment depends on whether students have transfer credits in our core music subjects. Assessments can be taken online or in person after a student has been accepted through an Entrance Audition. For more information about assessments and transfer credits, visit the Prospective Music Students webpage. 

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for all Music Major and Minor courses. A minimum GPA of 2.5 in music courses is required for graduation with a degree in music.


Music Non-Course Requirements

Upper-division Jury: Music Education students must complete lessons at the 300-level. An upper-division jury is required to reach this level, and it is recommended that students attempt this upper-division jury by the end of their second year. Jury schedules, including frequency and repertoire, are determined by each area of study. Students will schedule their upper-division jury according to area policies, and under the advisement of their applied instructor. 

Keyboarding Proficiency Exam (KPE): To fulfill the music degree program, all music majors must pass the Keyboarding Proficiency Exam (KPE). The exam is given throughout the final quarter of the keyboarding sequence (MUS 225B or 225C), or can be individually arranged for students who are eligible for assessments.

Woodring Application: Completion of the degree with certification is done through the Woodring College of Education. The application process is normally initiated during, or immediately after, the junior year, with applications due February 15 for a fall quarter start, or September 1, for a winter quarter start. To apply, Woodring recommends all GURs are complete along with 70 percent of degree requirements completed with a C or higher. Students will be advised when to apply by the Music Education Coordinator, Dr. Bourne.

Music Core Sequences

The music core sequence starts with 100-level courses in theoretical and analytical skills (music theory), aural skills, and keyboarding skills (at either the 100 or 200 level, depending on the student’s piano level). After that, students take 200-level courses in those same subjects, followed by a year of 300-level musicology courses. This sequence starts each Fall quarter and repeats the next academic year. To learn more about core sequence track options, co-requisites, keyboarding levels, and advising, visit the Prospective Music Students webpage. For additional information on degree planning and advisement, visit the Current Music Students webpage.

Music Education Core Requirements and Endorsements

Music Education Core

Students may enroll in the following courses alongside the second-year core music sequences and musicology. Please see specific course prerequisites for more information.

University Graduation Requirements

General University Requirements 2023-24