In consonance with the mission, vision, and core values of Pittsburg State University, the Mission of the Department of Music is to
- instruct and inspire those whose professional goals include the creation, performance, critical assessment, and teaching of music;
- offer courses to the general student body that will enhance their understanding as well as appreciation of all music;
- provide leadership within the University and the four-state region in all matters pertaining to the musical art and to music;
- make available to the university community and to area residents opportunities to participate in musical activities. These include individual and group study and performance for pre-college and college students, as well as continuing music learning and performance experiences for the music faculty and those in the surrounding region;
- maintain and enhance our outreach and program of service and assistance to area public schools and other educational/professional organizations by acting as adjudicators, clinicians, guest conductors, consultants, and performers; and
- contribute to the enhancement of the cultural life of the University and the region through the performance and sponsorship of frequent and varied concerts and recitals.
The Department of Music is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music.
In order to fulfill its educational and cultural responsibilities, the department combines the broader aspects of music as an important part of past and present human experience with the artistic and professional requirements necessary for a successful career in music. The department prepares students for elementary and secondary music teaching, and it serves students pursuing objectives leading to college teaching and professional performance. The department attempts to provide optimum opportunity for achievement of excellence in both applied and academic music subjects in all degree programs.
The department sponsors numerous ensembles: Chorale, University Choir, and Jazz Choir; the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, Marching Band, Basketball Pep Band, and Jazz Ensembles; the Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and the Opera Workshop. These organizations, along with soloists and small ensembles from the students and faculty of the Department of Music, provide numerous concerts throughout the school year. In addition, the university sponsors two outstanding concert series by national and international guest artists, the Performing Arts and Lecture Series and the Solo and Chamber Music Series. The annual PSU Jazz Festival brings in national jazz artists and groups each year.
Participation in appropriate organizations is considered an important part of the training of those majoring and minoring in music. Each full-time undergraduate music major is required to participate in one or more large organization each enrollment period. Each voice major must enroll in a choral organization, each string major in orchestra, each wind or percussion major in band. Keyboard majors will be placed in an ensemble after consultation with their academic advisors. Wind and percussion majors will be offered additional performance opportunities in Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble on the basis of audition. Voice students will be offered additional performance opportunities in Opera Workshop, Chorale and Jazz Choir on the basis of audition.
Details for all programs are available from the departmental office.
Three degrees are available at the undergraduate level for students majoring in music: The Bachelor of Music Education, the Bachelor of Music, and the Bachelor of Arts with a major in Music.
The Bachelor of Music Education prepares students for Kindergarten through 12th grade licensure as a public school music teacher. Because this degree program is a composite of music and education, it attracts many outstanding musical performers who wish to share with others the meaningful musical and educational experiences they have enjoyed. Graduates in Music Education may obtain a teaching position, pursue graduate work, or use the degree as professional training for other areas of specialization. The degree requires more than the minimum hours for graduation. Depending upon their academic and music preparation for college, students will take between four and five years to complete the degree.
The program leading to the professional degree Bachelor of Music in performance is designed for the gifted musical performer who aspires to a career in college teaching, private teaching, or professional performance. The student chooses piano, organ, harpsichord, voice, or a member of the string, wind, or percussion families of instruments as the performance medium. This degree should be considered as preparation for study at the masters level and beyond.
The Bachelor of Arts degree follows the broadest aspect of a college education with an emphasis in Music. In contrast to the Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Music Education programs, the Bachelor of Arts students will complete a minor area of study and many will choose to declare a double major. The degree can prepare one for graduate study leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, as well as careers based on cultural concerns or in music-related fields. This degree can also be oriented toward pre-professional or social and/or business opportunities.
Both the Bachelor of Music Education and the Bachelor of Music degree programs may be pursued concurrently and may be completed in approximately five years, depending upon a student's academic and musical preparation before matriculating at PSU. Both degrees must be awarded simultaneously.
Each full-time major must also enroll in Recital Hour during each enrollment period or for seven semesters, whichever is less.
The Department of Music offers courses leading to the degree of Master of Music with emphases in the following areas: performance (voice, keyboard, strings, wind, percussion), instrumental music education, vocal music education, choral conducting and wind conducting. The prerequisite to work on the degree is the completion of a four-year degree program comparable to the Bachelor of Music or Bachelor of Music Education granted by this institution.
Admission to the graduate program in music is based upon satisfactory completion of the Graduate Entrance Examination, along with an evaluation of the undergraduate transcripts and personal interview. The departmental entrance exam is given prior to the first week of classes of each semester to entering degree and non-degree seeking graduate students. For all potential graduate majors, the exam consists of music theory, music history and music literature. Performance majors must audition.
The Masters degree is designed to provide advanced training to prepare students for enhanced career opportunities as well as for further study at the doctoral level. Although the training varies according to the emphasis, this preparation includes, for all students, improving interpretive and technical skills in performance and/or conducting, as well as the ability to analyze and write about music.
A minimum of twenty-eight hours of acceptable courses in music with four hours of thesis, totaling a minimum of thirty-two hours, satisfies the degree requirement. Full-time graduate students receiving departmental financial assistance through a scholarship or GTA position, as well as part-time graduate students who are not actively engaged in music making activities may be required to enroll in a major ensemble each semester of enrollment. These hours may or may not count towards the 32 candidacy hours for the degree, depending on the area of emphasis.