The BA in Music
Program Mission: The School of Music seeks to provide professional training to talented students who pursue careers as performers, teachers, and scholars, and to offer experiences in music to all persons of the College and community, thereby enriching cultural backgrounds and developing musical skills.
Program Goals: The School of Music thus realizes its mission in men and women who as music majors:
- Develop intellectual curiosity about, and the ability to evaluate, the meaning of music and its role in mankind’s search for aesthetic communication and human understanding;
- Strive to become sensitive, well-rounded musicians, through the development of technical proficiency and corresponding creative ability in their primary area(s) of musical performance;
- Develop basic and advanced musicianship skills, and acquire a broad knowledge of historical musical styles;
- Commit themselves to a lifetime of increasing musical awareness and appreciation in their own lives and in their respective communities.
Program Objectives: Students who major in music will demonstrate achievement in the field of music by:
- Demonstrating individual technical proficiency and musical sensitivity, as well as group performance skills, through the performing of solo, small ensemble, and large ensemble music, in their primary areas of performance;
- Successfully completing courses in music theory which develop basic musicianship skills and which study the constructs and compositional techniques of music and its evolution through time;
- Successfully completing courses in music history and literature in which they acquire an in-depth understanding of music and its societal relationships from the earliest recorded time through the present;
- Successfully completing courses in music pedagogy (music education, techniques, methods) and demonstrating the skills obtained in these courses through conducting and performing in colloquium, lab, master classes, student teaching, and other teaching situations.
Westminster College is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music. Lessons, ensembles, and courses are available to all students in the College.
Prospective music majors must fulfill the general admission requirements of the College. They are also required to arrange an audition with the School of Music to demonstrate proficiency in at least one area of performance. A tape recording is acceptable in lieu of an audition on campus.
The BACHELOR OF ARTS degree with a single or first major in Music has been constructed primarily for students who have a strong interest in music and who likewise desire a broad liberal arts education. The student pursuing this major must complete 48 semester hours’ credit in music plus 77 semester hours’ credit outside of music, including the all-college requirements for graduation.
A student under the BACHELOR OF ARTS or the BACHELOR OF SCIENCE degree can pursue Music as a second major, or as a minor. Both are available to those students who have a strong interest in music but who choose another discipline as their primary major. To receive a second major in music, the student must complete 36 semester hours’ credit in music. To receive a minor in music, the student must complete 24 semester hours’ credit in music.
A student may be admitted into the performance major, on a provisional basis only, during the first semester of the first year, during which the student will be allowed to take private lessons at the frequency of one hour of instruction per week. The faculty jury at the end of the first semester of private study will assess whether or not the student qualifies to continue as a performance major. A student who is permitted to remain in the major will subsequently take private lessons at the frequency of two hours of instruction per week.
There are no private music lesson fees for prescribed lessons. However, students will be assessed private music lesson fees for any additional private lessons. Each student is required to regularly attend MUS 600 (Music Colloquium) and MUS 600M (Master Class) each semester as a part of his/her private lessons, and MUS 600P (Instrumental Performance Practicum) during the semester he/she is taking instrumental conducting class (MUS 273). MUS 602 Capstone Lecture Recital is not an option for the performance major.
The Major in Music with a Track in Composition:
The curriculum prescribes the following courses (48 semester hours):
Applied Lessons (12 SH)
5 semesters of Applied Lessons (MUS 300-MUS 399) on Instrument (these credits must be taken in succession starting in the first semester of the freshman year), and 7 semesters of Composition Lessons (MUS 369)
Ensembles (4 SH)
4 large ensembles (VP credit), 4 large ensembles at 500 level
Students are strongly recommended to take a total of 8 applied lessons on their instrument. Students are strongly recommended to take class piano if they do not have piano skills. Students are recommended to take Music Literature Courses.
Students majoring in Music with a Track in Composition must complete the Piano Proficiency Examination. Piano Proficiency Examination Levels 1-3 must be completed by the end of the sophomore year, and Levels 4-10 must be completed by the end of the junior year.
Combining this track with other music degrees or tracks - The Track in Composition may be combined with other music degrees or tracks as long as the courses above are taken in addition to courses required by the other music degree or track. Because it may not be possible for a student to have taken seven semesters of composition lessons if the student is enrolled in another music degree or track, the total number of composition lessons may be adjusted at the discretion of the Music Theory/Composition Area Head and the Chair of the School of Music. Ordinarily students in this scenario will have no fewer than a minimum of 5 semesters of composition lessons.
Policy Regarding Changes in a Student’s Instrumental or Vocal Concentration
Occasionally, students may desire to change their instrumental/vocal concentration to a different instrumental/vocal concentration within the Bachelor of Arts Degree (Music as Primary Major), the BA Degree (Music as a Second Major), and the Bachelor of Music Degree in Music Education. If a student wishes to do so, the following procedures must be followed.
- The relevant faculty to whose area the student is wishing to transfer must consult with (1) the relevant faculty from whose area the student is leaving, as well as with (2) the Chair of the School of Music, before agreeing to hear the audition. The Chair of the School of Music may veto the transfer.
- The student must audition for relevant faculty on the instrument/voice to which he/she is proposing a change; the faculty may deny the audition. This audition may coincide with a jury.
- The student’s Music Talent Award, if any, will be re-evaluated at the audition. The Chair of the School of Music reserves the right to decrease the Music Talent Award if necessary.
- If allowed to change concentrations, the student must take at least the number of remaining lessons on the instrument/voice to which he/she is changing. That is, if four semesters’ worth of lessons remain, the student must take at least four more lessons on the instrument/voice to which he/she is changing.
- The student may be required to take additional lessons (up to 8 semesters’ worth, depending on the degree program) on the instrument/voice to which he/she is changing at the discretion of the relevant faculty. These lessons may be in the form of the 2-hour-per-week lessons, summer lessons, or they may be added on to the student’s course of study, requiring the student to stay longer than the typical four-year plan for a degree. This is at the discretion of the relevant faculty, with approval from the School of Music Chair.
- If the student takes lessons beyond 8 semesters total because he/she changed his/her instrumental/vocal concentration, regardless of the instrument/voice studied during the lessons, he/she must pay for these lessons. For example, if John Doe takes two semesters of voice lessons and switches to flute, and is required by the relevant faculty to take 8 more lessons on flute, then he must pay for the last 2 lessons, because he will have accrued a total of 10 lessons, and only 8 are subsidized by the Music School.
- Students generally may not petition to change concentrations after the first semester of their Junior Year. If there is confusion about what constitutes this timing, the Chair of the School of Music will decide if the student is eligible to petition to change concentrations.
- Students may change instrumental/vocal concentrations only once, if at all.