Music

What is Music?

Western's general Music program provides a liberal arts education with music as the major subject. It allows for individual preferences in intensifying studies in certain aspects of music and broadening the scope of academic pursuits. This program is designed for the student who may wish to complete minors or an additional major in another field in addition to completing a major in Music. Students in the Music program frequently complete studies in such fields as Theatre, Business, Mathematics, or one of the languages. The program consists of a basic core of study in Music Theory and History along with private instruction and ensemble performance.

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Music Degrees

Music, BA

Western's general Music program provides a liberal arts education with music as the major subject. It allows for individual preferences in intensifying studies in certain aspects of music and broadening the scope of academic pursuits. This program is designed for the student who may wish to complete minors or an additional major in another field in addition to completing a major in Music.

Contact

Lee Anne Frahn, Program Coordinator Undergraduate Academic Advisor
LeeAnne.Frahn@wwu.edu | 360-650-4091

Music Education P-12, BMus

Degree Type: Teaching Endorsement

The Music Education program is comprised of a comprehensive course of study in basic music theory, music history, conducting, and music education methods courses which lead to K-12 Certification as a Music Specialist. It must be accompanied by the Secondary Education Professional Program offered through Woodring College of Education.

Contact

Patricia Bourne, Music Education Coordinator
Patty.Bourne@wwu.edu | 360-650-2217

Music—Composition, BMus

The study of composition allows students to creatively express their musical ideas, learn more about the art of composition, and the applications of current technology to the creating of music. Each student receives private composition instruction along with instruction in basic music theory, music history, conducting, lessons on their major instrument/voice and ensemble performance.

Contact

Charles Halka, Composition and Theory Coordinator
Charles.Halka@wwu.edu | 360-650-3868

Music—History and Literature, BMus

The Music — History and Literature program focus on the historical context surrounding music from different periods and genres, and includes a variety of topics related to the history of musical composition.

Contact

Bertil Van Boer, History Coordinator
Bertil.vanBoer@wwu.edu | 360-650-2282

Music—Performance, BMus

If your ultimate career goal is to be a performer in a professional orchestra or opera company or if you aspire to teach private lessons at the college level, the Bachelor of Music in Performance is the degree program for you.

Contact

Lee Anne Frahn, Program Coordinator Undergraduate Academic Advisor
LeeAnne.Frahn@wwu.edu | 360-650-4091

Music at Western

The Music Education program is comprised of a comprehensive course of study in basic music theory, music history, conducting, and music education methods courses which lead to K-12 Certification as a Music Specialist. The Music P-12 major must be accompanied by the Secondary Education Professional Program offered through Woodring College of Education.

The study of composition allows students to creatively express their musical ideas, learn more about the art of composition, and the applications of current technology to the creating of music. 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/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.

The Music — History and Literature program focus on the historical context surrounding music from different periods and genres, and includes a variety of topics related to the history of musical composition. In addition to core studies in music theory and history, students in the Music History and Literature Degree Program at Western pursue in-depth study in a variety of topics related to the history of musical composition. The department is comprised of almost entirely undergraduate students, allowing the Music program to offer extensive performance and learning opportunities.

If your ultimate career goal is to be a performer in a professional orchestra or opera company or if you aspire to teach private lessons at the college level, the Bachelor of Music in Performance is the degree program for you. The study of Music — Performance includes the learning of proficiencies necessary to be a performer, professional in an orchestra or opera company, or private teacher at the collegiate level. 

Western’s Music Department is part of the College of Fine and Performing Arts.

Explore Courses

MUS 106 – Intro to Hip-Hop

MUS 109 – Iconic Music in Iconic Films

MUS 202 – History of Jazz

MUS 271 – University Choir

MUS 331 - Composition

Related Minors

Hands-on-Experience and Internships

Students (major and non-major alike) have the opportunity to audition for a variety of ensembles, including orchestra, choirs, concert bands, pep band, jazz ensembles, and chamber ensembles. Western hosts regular performances, workshops, and master classes presented by distinguished guest artists. Music students regularly present research and perform at regional, national, and international conferences and competitions. Western also houses a music library with nearly 100,000 items including books, periodicals, musical scores, LPs, CDs, DVDs, and electronic resources.

What can you do with Music?

A Music degree from Western Washington University is highly regarded in the profession. Western Music graduates hold positions teaching in public school settings and universities, perform in symphony orchestras and opera houses, compose works for films, media, and ensembles, further their education at top graduate schools, work in arts administration, and hold a variety of positions in the music industry.

Music careers

  • Disc Jockey
  • Arts Administration Manager
  • Music Reporter
  • Recreation Director
  • Publicist
  • Music Promoter
  • Church Music Director
  • Music Critic
  • Secondary School Choir Director
  • Secondary School Band Director
  • Secondary School Orchestra Director
  • Professional Composer from Orchestras, Choirs or Wind Bands
  • Composer of Popular Music
  • Engineer/Mixer
  • Musicologist
  • College Music History Faculty
  • Music Librarian
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Music Publishing Specialist
  • University/College Professor
  • Studio Musician
  • Orchestra Musician
  • Member of Professional Opera Company
  • Voice/Instrument Teacher

Related Majors

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