Why study Music?

Studying music…

  • is a great way to expand your mind and develop skills that can transfer into other areas of your life.
  • can lead to a fulfilling career in music or music-related fields.
  • can lead to a bachelor’s degree or music minor.
  • can prepare you for graduate study inside or outside of music.

The prerequisite to any music degree is the completion of a performance audition. Please visit the Music Department Entrance & Scholarship Audition website for audition dates and details.

Music Degree(s)

Music Education P-12, BMus

Degree Type: Teaching Endorsement

This professional degree program prepares students to teach music in their emphasis area upon graduation, and receive a P-12 Certification as a Music Specialist. The program consists of a variety of pedagogy, conducting, and education-specific courses, including a student internship at a public school. Students in this major usually apply to the Woodring College of Education during their third year in our program.

Contact

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

Music, BA

A liberal arts degree in music, including a basic core of study in music theory, aural skills, and history, along with private instruction and ensemble performance. At 60 credits, this program allows a student the flexibility to pursue an additional major or minor.

Contact

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

Music—Composition, BMus

Students receive private composition training along with instruction in basic music theory, music history, and conducting; lessons on their major instrument or voice; and ensemble performance. While composition instruction covers all modes, genres and periods, students may elect to concentrate their creativity in one or more specific areas.

Contact

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

Music—History and Literature, BMus

Aimed at students with a particular interest in musicology or ethnomusicology. In addition to the core sequences of music history, music theory, aural skills, and keyboarding skills, History & Literature majors have the opportunity to pursue in-depth study in a variety of topics related to the history and culture of music.

Contact

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

Music—Performance, BMus

With an emphasis on high-level performance and pedagogy, students receive comprehensive instruction on their primary instrument, gain a variety of solo and ensemble experiences, and perform two recitals in addition to completing a core set of courses in music theory, aural skills, keyboarding, and music history.

Contact

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

Music at Western

Whatever your interest in music, there is a place for you at Western! We are committed to each student's artistic experience and undergraduate learning. Our students regularly win national and regional competitions in instrumental and vocal performance, conducting, and composition. Graduates often continue their studies at some of the most prestigious graduate programs nationally and internationally. Western’s Music Department is part of the College of Fine and Performing Arts.

How to Study Music

All incoming students must complete an entrance audition to declare and enroll as a music major or minor. Interested majors should audition before attending WWU. Students are automatically considered for music scholarships based on this audition.

Please visit the Music Department Entrance & Scholarship Audition website for audition dates and details.

Opportunities for All WWU Students

Ensembles and lessons are open to all WWU students! Ensemble Auditions are each year in September for most choirs, bands, orchestras, and jazz ensembles. Non-music majors/minors can join Symphonic Band and University Choir without an audition. Our large pep band, Viking Band, is also open to all students without placement. 

Students can join a musical club through the Associated Student organization! Some musical clubs include WWU Opera Club, A Capella Club, WMEA, ACDA, Glee Club, Vocal Jazz.

Explore other non-music major/minor opportunities on the Music Department  Degrees & Advising website.

Student Experiences

Scholarships

Each year the Music department awards over $170,000 in scholarship support. Incoming students are awarded based on their Entrance & Scholarship Audition, while returning students apply for scholarships each spring and are awarded based on merit in their area and majors.

Perform Locally and Abroad

The Department of Music is located in the Performing Arts Center, which includes a 700-seat Concert Hall and 1,000-seat Mainstage Theater, and a flexible black-box studio space; a fleet of Steinway grand pianos; classrooms and rehearsal spaces; and over 30 fully-equipped student practice rooms. Western students often perform in local venues, travel with clubs and bands to perform at the local level, and perform at open mic nights on campus and in the Bellingham community.

All Western ensembles have the opportunity to travel internationally with donations and fundraising help. Recent international tours have included China, Spain, Portugal, Finland, and Estonia.

Study Abroad

Many Music students participate in study abroad programs! Through Western’s Study Abroad, students can learn about opportunities and resources to study globally with the help of scholarships, financial aid, personal fundraisers, and more! 

 

Something very special about our department—about our faculty, about our administration, and our students—is the recognition that artists have a very important place in our community; and we take that role and that responsibility to heart, to create a very healthy atmosphere.

Dr. Gustavo Camacho
Associate Professor of Music

What can you do with a degree in Music?

A Music degree from Western Washington University is highly regarded in the profession. Music graduates teach music in primary and secondary schools, 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 Orchestra, Band, or Choir Director
  • Professional Composer from Orchestras, Choirs or Wind Bands
  • Composer of Popular Music
  • Sound Engineer/Mixer
  • Musicologist
  • College Music History Faculty
  • Film Composer
  • Video Game Composer
  • Music Librarian
  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Music Publishing Specialist
  • University/College Professor
  • Studio Musician
  • Professional Orchestra, Band, or Choir Musician
  • Member of Professional Opera Company
  • Voice/Instrument Teacher

Start Your Career at Western