Jul 15, 2024  
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog 
    
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog

Music, BA

Location(s): WWU - Bellingham


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Department of Music, College of Fine and Performing Arts

60 Credits

Introduction

The Music BA is a liberal arts degree in music without a concentration. This major includes core courses in music theory, aural skills, and musicology, along with private instruction, and ensemble performance. At 60 credits, this program offers flexibility to pursue an additional major or minor. After reviewing the information below, visit our Prospective Music Students webpage for an introduction to the Music program of study.

 Contact Information

Program Coordinator
Undergraduate Academic Advisor

Catherine Brown
Performing Arts 263
360-650-6280
Catherine.Brown@wwu.edu

Department Chair
Timothy Fitzpatrick
Performing Arts 271
360-650-3772
fitzpat@wwu.edu

 Sample Careers

Applied Instrumental or Voice Instructor | Arts Administration Manager | Music Reporter | Recreation Director | Publicist | Music Promoter | Church Music Director | Music Critic | Professional Musician

 Major/Career Resources

careercenter.wwu.edu/connectmajorcareer

Admission

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. 

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for all courses in the music major and minor. A minimum GPA of 2.5 in music courses is required for graduation with a degree in music.

Requirements


Music Non-Course Requirements


Keyboarding Proficiency: To fulfill the music degree program, all music majors must demonstrate keyboard proficiency. Proficiencies are assessed throughout the final quarter of the keyboarding sequence (either MUS 225B or 225C). Assessments can be individually arranged for eligible students.

Music Core Sequences


The music core sequence starts with 100-level courses in theoretical and analytical skills (music theory), aural skills, 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 subjects, followed by a year of 300-level musicology courses. This sequence starts each Fall quarter and repeats the next academic year.

Electives


In addition to the core requirements, BA students must complete the following courses as partial fulfillment of the degree program. MUS 231, MUS 331, and MUS 431 are open to BA students with the permission of the composition faculty. Students may also substitute the following BMus academic concentration courses as electives with the permission of the instructor contingent on curriculum level and seat availability. Please note, students are not guaranteed a seat in the following courses. Substitutions include: MUS 166A; MUS 166B; MUS 230; MUS 232; MUS 351; MUS 352; MUS 353; MUS 366A; MUS 366B; MUS 366C; MUS 367; MUS 397 (temporary course); MUS 432; MUS 466; MUS 466A; MUS 466B; MUS 466C; MUS 466D; MUS 468A; MUS 468B, MUS 443A-F; MUS 497 (temporary course).

Primary Instrument Requirements


Brass


Brass students must enroll in applied lessons and a major ensemble each quarter until the minimum requirements have been met. Students may continue to take applied lessons and major ensemble with the permission of the applied instructor and area coordinator after the minimum requirements have been met.

Applied Lessons (minimum of 6 credits)

Brass students will register for applied lessons on their primary instrument. Instrument sections are indicated F-J.

Major Ensemble (minimum of 12 credits)

Students must attend ensemble auditions each year to be placed into the appropriate major ensemble.

Guitar


Guitar students must enroll in applied lessons, major ensemble, and guitar ensemble according to the following schedule until all major requirements are fulfilled.

Applied Lessons (minimum of 6 credits)

Major Ensemble (minimum of 12 credits)

Guitar students must enroll in an instrumental or choral major ensemble every fall, followed by enrollment in guitar ensemble (MUS 282) winter and spring until all major requirements are fulfilled Students who do not audition into an ensemble must enroll in MUS 271, University Tenor/Bass or University Treble Choir. 

Major Ensemble Courses (minimum of 4 credits)

Students must attend ensemble auditions each year to be placed into the appropriate major ensemble. Students who do not audition into an ensemble must enroll in MUS 271, University Tenor/Bass or University Treble Choir. Guitar students may continue to enroll in a major ensemble alongside guitar ensemble winter and spring quarter.

Guitar Ensemble (minimum of 8 credits)

Percussion


Percussion students must enroll in applied lessons and a major ensemble each quarter until the minimum requirements have been met. Students may continue to take applied lessons and major ensemble with the permission of the applied instructor and area coordinator. after the minimum major requirements have been met.

Applied Lessons (minimum of 6 credits)

Major Ensemble (minimum of 12 credits)

Students must attend ensemble auditions each year to be placed into the appropriate major ensemble.

Piano


Piano students must enroll in applied lessons each quarter until minimum requirements are met. Piano students must also enroll in three-quarters of an instrumental or choral major ensemble, followed by piano accompanying (with area permission) until minimum requirements are met. Students who do not receive permission from the piano area to enroll in piano accompanying after three quarters must continue with an instrument or choral ensemble. 

Applied Lessons (minimum of 6 credits)

Major Ensemble (minimum of 12 credits)

Strings


String students must enroll in applied lessons and a major ensemble each quarter until the minimum requirements have been met. Students may continue to take applied lessons and major ensemble with the permission of the applied instructor and area coordinator after the minimum major requirements have been met.

Applied Lessons (minimum of 6 credits)

String students will register for applied lessons on their primary instrument. Instrument sections are indicated A-E. 

Major Ensemble (minimum of 12 credits)

Students must attend ensemble auditions each year to be placed into the appropriate major ensemble.

Voice


Voice students must enroll in applied lessons and a major ensemble each quarter until the minimum requirements have been met. Students may continue to take applied lessons and major ensemble with the permission of the applied instructor and area coordinator after the minimum major requirements have been met.

Applied Lessons (minimum of 6 credits)

Major Ensemble (minimum of 12 credits)

Students must attend ensemble auditions each year to be placed into the appropriate major ensemble.

Woodwinds


Woodwind students must enroll in applied lessons and a major ensemble each quarter until the minimum requirements have been met. Students may continue to take applied lessons and major ensemble with the permission of the applied instructor and area coordinator after the minimum major requirements have been met.

Applied Lessons (minimum of 6 credits)

Woodwind students will register for applied lessons on their primary instrument. Instrument sections are indicated A-E.

Major Ensemble (minimum of 12 credits)

Students must attend ensemble auditions each year to be placed into the appropriate major ensemble.

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