- Offered as:
The music education program offers options that lead to Washington state teaching certification in general music, instrumental music, and choral music. There is also a teaching option for students who don't need state certification.
To teach music in middle school or high school, you'll need to earn a bachelor’s degree in music and complete education course work with the College of Education to earn teacher certification in your chosen area(s) of music.
Specialization tracks available
- Requirements and core courses
All music majors take a similar set of core courses:
Mus 164—Intro to Music Technology
Mus 251—Materials and Structures of Music I
Mus 252—Applied Theory I
Mus 253—Materials and Structures of Music II
Mus 254—Applied Theory II
Mus 181, 182, 281—Class Piano I, II & III
(As needed to pass piano proficiency)
Upper division core:
MUS 351 Materials and structures of music III
MUS 352 Applied Theory III
MUS 353 Materials and structures of Music IV
MUS 354 Applied Theory IV
MUS 359 History of Music: Antiquity to 1650
MUS 360 History of Music: 1650-1850
MUS 361 History of Music: 1850-present
All music majors should enroll in a 300-level performance studies course and a 200-level music theory course during the freshman year.
A performance audition (usually completed in the semester before enrolling at WSU) is required for enrolling in 300-level performance classes. Music theory placement tests are taken as part of the performance audition.
The music education major
The music education program includes music courses and professional education courses taught by the WSU College of Education.
Your music courses will vary depending on your teaching specialty (general, choral, or instrumental), but here's a sample of what they might include:
Materials and Structures of Music
Choral Methods and Materials
Instrumental Music Education
Materials and Methods of Music Education
Teacher education courses
Writing and Research
Learning and Development
Introductory Field Experience
Curriculum, Instruction and Content Literacy Methods
Teaching English Language Learners for Secondary Teachers
Secondary Methods of Educational Technology
Adolescence, Community, and School
Special Education, Transition, and Classroom Management for Secondary General Education Teachers
Student Teaching Experience
To complete the teaching certification, you'll need to apply to the WSU teacher education program in your junior year. See the teacher education program for more information.
The music education major includes an emphasis on performance. All music majors need to have at least one performance-course credit hour for seven semesters. Performance credits must include at least:
- One semester of Mus 435 for instrumentalists
- One semester of Mus 428 for vocalists
- Two credit hours in choral music
- Two credit hours in performing groups
See the WSU Catalog for courses and degree requirements. Talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.
- Scholarships and financial aid
A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs.
For all students at WSU
Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.
To get all the financial help WSU can provide, start by doing these two things:
- Complete the University's general scholarship application so you can be eligible for scholarship consideration.
- Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) so WSU can consider you for aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc.) based on financial need.
For music education students
In addition to general scholarships, WSU offers scholarships especially for music education students.
Music education majors are eligible to apply for more than $50,000 in scholarships awarded by the College of Arts and Sciences.
Music scholarships are awarded to incoming students through two scholarship audition days held in spring semester. Prospective students attend one of these audition days for acceptance into the music program and to compete for scholarships.
See the School of Music website for audition dates and procedures.
Scholarships are also available to continuing students within the music program, based primarily upon achievements in the program.
One-fourth of all music scholarship funds go to students not majoring in music.
Teacher education scholarships
The WSU College of Education awards funds from 13 endowed scholarships to approximately 100 teacher preparation students every semester.
Some of the scholarships with multiple recipients include the College of Education Alumni Association Scholarship, the Louise H. Meyer Scholarship, the Don and Julia Lee Scholarship, and the Claude Simpson and Peggy Simpson Yates Scholarship.
For more information about education scholarships, contact the College of Education at 509-335-7843 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Campus organizations and activities
The Educators Club, Kappa Delta Pi, and the Alhadeff Future Teachers of Color are pre-professional organizations run by education students for education students. All future teachers are invited to join and participate.
- Facilities and technology
Music facilities at Washington State University include:
- 400- and 100-seat concert halls in Kimbrough Hall
- The 700-seat Bryan Hall Theatre, which houses a 47-rank Schanz organ
- The Recording Studio Complex
- Rehearsal space for all sizes of ensembles
- The Kemble Stout Music Listening Library
- Electronic Piano/Music Computer Lab
- Suggested strengths, interests, and preparation
• Music students should have extensive participation in high school bands, orchestras, choirs, or private studios.
• Additional music background should include training or exposure to music theory concepts, as well as keyboard skills (regardless of performance area).
• For teaching, students should take two years of a foreign language in high school, which will also meet a WSU graduation requirement.
• Future teachers should care about children and have the desire to make a real difference in the world.