Admission to the Music Program

All incoming students who intend to pursue a major or minor in music must pass MUS 120 Music Theory Fundamentals or test out of the class.

All entering first-year music majors are assigned to the BA in Music program.

Admission to the Bachelor of Music Degree

Students may apply to enter the professional degree program in music—the Bachelor of Music in Contemporary Music—upon meeting the following conditions:

  • Pass MUS 212 with a grade of “C” or better
  • Successfully pass the 100 level exit jury in their intended applied performance area

To clearly define a program of study, music majors should negotiate a degree plan with their music advisor and file the degree plan by the end of the sophomore year. Transfer students entering Western Oregon University after the sophomore year should develop a degree plan and file it during their second term on campus. Students need to be aware of what must be taken each term in order to fulfill the degree requirements.

NOTE: Completed degree plan must be presented at the 200 level-exit jury for BM candidates and at the 100 level-exit jury for BA candidates.

Each music degree program is based on a contract of courses developed by the student and his/her advisor. When the degree plan has been agreed upon, dated, and signed by both the student and advisor, it is then sent to the head of the Music Department, who will review the degree plan and forward it to the chairperson of the Creative Arts Division. If accepted, the chairperson will sign and date the degree plan. The student should keep a copy of the signed degree plan, submit the original to the registrar’s office, and distribute copies to their advisor and to the Music Department administrative assistant—who will place a copy in the student’s file to be used during the student’s senior year evaluation in preparation for graduation.

It is the student’s responsibility to present the original degree plan to the registrar’s office in the Administration building.

Once the degree plan has been accepted, changes in course selection may be made by completing a “Change of Contract” form, available in the Music Department office. These changes must be approved by the advisor and the department head.

Minimum Grade Requirement

Music majors must maintain a grade of C or better in all music courses that apply to the major. (A grade of C- or lower will not satisfy the music requirements for the BA or BM degrees.)

Academic Dishonesty

The Code of Student Responsibility (574-031-0030 Specific Standards and Policies) states the following in regard to academic dishonesty:

The following list of prohibited forms of conduct is not all-inclusive since it is not possible to list all potential violations. The University requires that all students behave in a manner congruent with established community standards and in a manner conductive to the development of the individual. Actions detrimental to the mission of the University and the legitimate activities of the academic community, which constitute the University, are in violation of this Code and may be subject to judicial procedures.

Academic dishonesty includes but is not limited to:

  • Cheating – intentional use or attempted use of artifice, deception, fraud, and/or misrepresentations of one’s academic work;
  • Fabrication – unauthorized falsification and/or invention of any information of citation in any academic exercise;
  • Facilitating Dishonesty – helping or attempting to help another person commit an act of academic dishonesty. This includes students who substitute for other persons in examinations or represent as their own papers, reports, or any other academic work of others;
  • Plagiarism – representing without giving credit the words, data, or ideas of another person as one’s own work in any academic exercise. This includes submitting, in whole or in part, prewritten term papers of another of research of another, including but not limited product of commercial vendor who sell or distribute such materials. And the appropriation of and/or use of electronic data of another person or persons as one’s own, or using such data without giving proper credit for it; or
  • Any use or attempted use of electronic devices in gaining an illegal advantage in academic work in which use of these devices is prohibited, and such devices include but are not limited to cell phones, PDAs, laptops, programmable calculators, etc.

Concert Attendance Units

An important part of a student’s preparation as an educated musician involves a broad familiarity and exposure to music of all kinds. Accordingly, all music majors are required to earn Concert Attendance units by registering for MUS 250 Concert Attendance. Nine (9) units are required for music majors who enter WOU with freshman status; seven (7) units for those who enter with sophomore status; five (5) units for those with junior status; and three (3) units for those entering with senior status.

Concert Attendance Requirements

MUS 250 Concert Attendance is a zero-credit class, offered P/NP only. In order to pass the class, a student is expected to attend 12 concerts during the term of enrollment. Each term, the Music Department hosts and produces many events in Smith Recital Hall and Rice Auditorium. All Music Department-sponsored concerts are eligible for Concert Attendance credit. Credit for off-campus concerts may be granted if approved by your instructor before the date of the concert.

A list of Music Department events is available at the beginning of each term. Double credit will be given for attending select concerts from the Music Department’s Guest Artist Series. These concerts are marked with an asterisk on the concert list.

Concert Attendance Report

In order to receive credit, a student must fill out the Concert Attendance Report, with programs of concerts attended attached, and turn this in to the student’s MUP 250 instructor by the end of Week 10.

NOTE: You may not count ensemble concerts that you participate in toward this requirement.

MUP Requirements

BM students must study applied lessons (MUP) in their primary performance area at the 300 level for three (3) full terms after successfully completing a 200 level exit jury. NOTE: Applied performance studies in Conducting may require specific ensemble participation. Transfer students enroll at the 100-level and must pass level exit juries to reach more advanced levels.

BA students must study applied lessons (MUP) in their primary performance area at the 100 level for six (6) credit hours and successfully pass a 100-level exit jury.

MUP Registration

Permission to register for performance studies must be obtained from the appropriate instructor. Students are responsible for making arrangements for lessons with their respective applied music instructor. All students must fill out an Applied Lessons form (every term) to register for lessons. This form can be obtained from the Music Department Administrative Assistant, completed, signed and delivered to the Registrar’s office.

Two credit hours of performance studies are based on one half-hour lesson per week (finals week not included). Four credit hours are based on a one-hour lesson per week. Students who, based on the recommendation of their applied lessons instructor, enroll in 4-credit hour applied lessons are expected to significantly increase the amount of preparation beyond that required for the 2-credit hour lesson. Contact the individual applied-lessons instructor for clarification.

Missed Lessons

Lessons missed for any reason other than illness and WOU sanctioned events will only be made up at the discretion of the instructor. If you are ill, please let your instructor know before the lesson time. If your instructor needs to miss a lesson, it will be made up as soon as possible. Refer to individual instructor’s syllabus for clarification.

MUP & Recitals

Students must be enrolled in applied performance studies (MUP) during the term that their recital will be presented.


Students are required to attend a minimum of eight (8) scheduled seminars approved by their performance studies instructor. Students must check with their performance studies instructor to obtain the reserved seminar time so that students do not schedule other activities during the same time. Seminars are a required, graded component of the applied performance studies credit. Attendance and participation in seminars factor in to a student’s overall applied performance studies grade. If you are concurrently enrolled in two different applied lessons then you must attend no less than twelve (12) scheduled seminars. Please visit the WOU Music Department MOODLE website for a list of seminar meeting times.


At the end of every term, juries will be required for all students registered for performance studies. The performance juries are usually held during finals week. Ask your performance instructor for details. In some instances, paperwork will be required for the jury. Please make sure that this paperwork is completed before entering your jury. Please visit the WOU Music Department Moodle website for specific jury requirements and jury forms.

Level Exit Juries

All freshman music majors and minors start in MUP 101-199 in their major performance area. Level change to MUP 201-299 requires a successful 100-level exit jury, sophomore standing, and instructor consent. Advancement to upper division performance studies (MUP 301-499 for music majors) requires a successful 200 level exit jury, junior standing, and instructor consent. Music majors must take their upper division performance studies at the 301-499 level.

Students in the BM may elect to take MUP 301-399 credits in a secondary performance area. A maximum of six credits at this level can be used to fulfill a portion of the upper division music electives block in the BM. Successful completion of the 200-level exit jury (in a secondary performance area) is required before credit may be earned at the MUP 301-399 level. Additional prerequisites are needed in some performance areas, including piano and composition. Students must check with their advisor before pursuing this option.

Guidelines for Grading of Performance Studies

Each instructor is responsible for grading criteria, however simple or elaborate the criteria may be. Areas of evaluation may include:

  • Attendance at lessons
  • Attendance at seminars
  • End of Term Jury
  • Portfolio preparations
  • Preparation/practice for each lesson
  • Progress/growth during the term
  • Accuracy and musicianship
  • Demonstration of performing ability
  • Materials covered: mastery/memorization of a core of literature
  • Performance in recitals

To earn an A in performance studies, the student must attend all lessons, exhibit outstanding progress or growth during the term, consistently practice and prepare for each lesson, perform in lessons and juries with accuracy and good musicianship, master a core of appropriate literature during the term, demonstrate performing skills in workshops, seminars, recitals and/or juries, and attend all appropriate seminars.

Performance Studies Fees and Fee Exemptions

All students enrolled in applied performance studies pay a fee that is assessed during the registration process. A fee exemption is given each term to music majors. Freshmen and sophomores must be enrolled in musicianship or music history to qualify for a fee exemption. Juniors and seniors must have an approved degree plan on file in order to receive an exemption for upper division credit. The exemption should be taken in your major performance area. All requirements of the previous term must be satisfied in order to receive a fee exemption the subsequent term.

NOTE: only one fee exemption is allowed per term.

Students eligible for a fee exemption must have the Music Department administrative assistant sign the waiver on the MUP enrollment form prior to registration. The student must have the exemption prior to paying their fees, since no refund will be made if the full fee amount is paid.

NOTE: Those students enrolled in recording engineering performance studies will be assessed an additional fee.

Ensemble Requirement for Bachelor of Music Students

All BM students are advised to participate in at least one ensemble every term they are on campus as full time students. This expectation applies even though a student may have satisfied the ensemble requirement for their degree. Only one ensemble per term may be used to satisfy the MUEN requirement. Students may not concurrently enroll for more than three ensembles without consent (by petition) of the music faculty. Freshmen and sophomores must enroll for lower division credit (MUS 100-level). To receive upper division credit (MUS 300-level), students must have earned the level of junior standing – 90 credit hours. Western Oregon University offers the following ensembles:

  • MUEN 101/301 Concert Choir
  • MUEN 102/302 Chamber Singers
  • MUEN 111/311 Chamber Strings Ensemble
  • MUEN 112/312 Western Oregon Winds
  • MUEN 113/313 Early Music Ensemble
  • MUEN 120/320 Chamber Ensemble
  • MUEN 121/321 Brass Chamber Ensemble
  • MUEN 122/322 String Chamber Ensemble
  • MUEN 123/323 Wind Chamber Ensemble
  • MUEN 124/324 Piano Chamber Ensemble
  • MUEN 141/341 Percussion Ensemble
  • MUEN 143/343 Guitar Ensemble
  • MUEN 151/351 Opera Scenes: Vocal
  • MUEN 152/352 Opera Scenes: Instrumental
  • MUEN 153/353 Musical Theatre/Vocal
  • MUEN 154/354 Musical Theatre/Instrumental
  • MUEN 161/361 Western Oregon Voices
  • MUEN 162/362 Western Oregon Jazz Orchestra
  • MUEN 174/374 Latin Jazz
  • MUEN 190/390 Ensemble
  • MUEN 191/391 Ensemble Recording Engineer
  • MUEN 192/392 Staff Composer/Arranger

Piano Proficiency Requirement

All baccalaureate music majors are required to pass the piano proficiency exam before graduation. A sequence of piano classes over two years is offered to develop this proficiency. The piano proficiency exam is waived if the student successfully completes MUS 291, the most advanced piano proficiency class, with a grade of “B” or better. The piano proficiency exam may be taken without the two-year sequence if students are prepared to do so. To arrange for the piano proficiency examination, or to determine placement into the proficiency sequence, please contact Dr. Diane Baxter.

Piano Proficiency Exam

  • Major scales: 2 octaves, parallel motion, and hands together;
  • Minor scales: 2 octaves (harmonic and melodic), parallel motion, hands together;
  • Three prepared solos, each from a different period of music;
  • One prepared accompaniment with live performer; and
  • Sight reading: Chorale style.

Recital Requirement for BM Students

All BM majors are required to participate in no fewer than eight (8) separate recitals (excluding the capstone project) during their college career. Students must place all printed programs and recordings of recitals in which they participate in their portfolio. Students planning a recital in the Fall term can sign up for a date with the administrative assistant at any time. Students scheduling a recital in either the Winter or Spring term may begin requesting a date in week 3 of the Fall term (Graduate students only); week 4 of the Fall term (Seniors and Graduate students only); and week 5 of the Fall term (all students). Only senior capstone recitals and graduate performance recitals (meeting the MM exit requirement) are allowed to be scheduled during the Spring term. Recital performance opportunities include the following list.

NOTE: You cannot count ensemble concerts that you participate in toward the recital requirement.

Student Recitals

Student recitals are presented every term with participants performing at the request of their performance instructors. It is necessary to fill out a student recital form and hand it in to the appropriate faculty member by the prescribed deadline (see page 2 for details). All students who require an accompanist must submit their music to Jackie Morelli no later than one week prior to the scheduled student recital so that accompaniment loads can be assigned. Accompanist fees may apply.

Honors Recitals

The annual honors recitals feature those students who demonstrate exceptional performance and/or composition ability. Each spring term, auditions for the Honors Recitals are held for students enrolled in applied performance (MUP) studies. Students, at the request of their applied performance instructors, must sign the audition list by the prescribed deadline to qualify for an audition. Those students selected by the music faculty will perform. If applicable, accompanist fees may apply.

Spectrum Composition Recitals

Spectrum composition recitals occur throughout the year and are designed for the performance of student compositions. Composers must be enrolled in composition lessons for their work(s) to be considered for performance in a Spectrum recital. Upon the recommendation of the applied composition instructor, students enrolled in composition lessons may also submit their works for performance consideration by WOU ensembles, student recitals, and honors recitals.

Solo Recitals

Upon the recommendation of a student’s applied performance instructor, a solo recital may be pursued. Students will work closely with their performance instructor to organize this solo recital. Students must also be fully aware of the requirements and protocols (listed below) for the presentation of solo recitals.

Requirements and Protocols for all Solo, Senior Project, and Capstone Recitals

All solo recitals require approval and preparation for scheduling the recital date, programs and program notes, rehearsals, recording protocols, and catering options for the reception. Therefore, students preparing concert protocols for any solo recital must work closely with their performance instructor well in advance of the designated recital date. Deadlines exist for the scheduling of recitals. Students must make arrangements with the Music Department administrative assistant for scheduling recitals in a timely manner and submitting sound reinforcement and staging requirements.

All recitals are WOU-sponsored public events and, as such, must be advertised in accordance to university policies. Please see the Music Department administrative assistant for information. Printed programs for all solo recitals must be approved by the performance instructor of record. Once approved, a final copy of the program must be submitted in a timely manner to the performance instructor. Students are responsible for duplication of their programs outside the Music Department office. Program shells should be obtained from the Administrative Assistant for this purpose.

Students are responsible for design and printing of posters—which must then be approved by the office of the VP for Student Affairs.

Students must fill out the appropriate jury form, which can be obtained from the Music Department administrative assistant, and must be aware of all policies as outlined on the form. It is the student’s responsibility to secure their faculty committee in a timely manner. Be sure to bring the correct number of forms to the recital jury hearing.

Students must be enrolled in applied performance studies (MUP) during the term that their recital will be presented.

Accompanist costs will apply to all student recitals requiring an accompanist. Students who require a Western Art Music accompanist must schedule one through Dr. Baxter. Students that require an American vernacular accompanist should consult with the lessons instructor and Dr. Karns. All scheduling of accompanists must occur well in advance of the scheduled recital. Failure to do so may require a student to hire an off-campus accompanist.

Non-capstone recitals are restricted to Fall and Winter term performances only. Capstone recitals may be presented during any term of the academic year and are granted to only those students enrolled at the MUP 300-level. If a student chooses to use a recital as the capstone project for the BA degree in music, the student must pass the 200-level exit jury prior to scheduling a recital jury. It is not necessary, however, for the BA student to take three terms of MUP at the 300 level as is the case for the BM candidates.

Any WOU-sponsored/sanctioned recital performed off campus must first be approved by the music faculty.

Students who require sound reinforcement are required to contact the Technical Coordinator. Fees may apply.

All expenses pertaining to the production of solo recitals and capstone project recitals are the responsibility of the student.

Senior Recital Checklist

Students preparing a Senior Recital are advised to print a copy of the Senior Recital Checklist early in the process.

Bachelor of Music Capstone Project

All BM majors are required to enroll in MUS 404 Capstone Project to produce a capstone project that serves as the culmination of a music major’s degree requirements. Capstone projects are determined in consultation with the student’s music advisor and the student’s primary applied lessons instructor. All capstone projects must include a public presentation component.

All capstone project recitals are juried before the music faculty and must gain faculty approval before the capstone project recital is presented. If the capstone project is a performance recital, it does not count toward the eight required performance recitals as stipulated under the Recitals section above. Students preparing a Senior Recital as their capstone project must be fully aware of the requirements and protocols (listed above) for the approval and presentation of solo recitals. Students must be enrolled in applied performance studies (MUP) during the term that their capstone project recital will be presented.

BA in Music Capstone Project

All BA music majors are required to produce a Directed Study project as the culmination of the BA in Music degree requirements. Students gain directed study project credit through the MUS 406 Special Individual Study portion of the degree requirements. A written contract, agreed to by the student and the faculty member who is overseeing the directed study, must outline the requirements necessary to complete the directed study project. The three (3) required credit hours of MUS 406 is taken 1 credit hour at a time for three consecutive terms during the BA candidate’s final three (3) terms. All directed study projects must include a public presentation component.

BA students who have passed a 200-level exit jury may choose to present a Senior Recital in that applied area as their capstone project. Those who choose to do so are subject to all requirements and protocols outlined in the Recitals section above.

MUS 405 Senior Seminar is normally taken in the final full academic year of residency. This 3-credit requirement is offered every winter term. A grade of “Regular Progress” is registered for this course until the portfolio and program evaluation are submitted.

Portfolio Requirement

Each baccalaureate music major is required to keep a portfolio of achievements while in school. This portfolio contains evidence of the student’s scholarly accomplishments, including concert and recital programs, repertoire lists, compositions, curriculum vitae, transcripts, recommendations, audio and videotapes, honors and awards, publicity items, and pertinent papers. These accomplishments pertain to music endeavors during a student’s academic career — and should include activities on and off campus. Portfolios will be evaluated at every level exit jury.

The portfolio is a graduation requirement and is a required component of MUS 405 Senior Seminar. Upon its completion two (2) versions of the portfolio—a printed version and an electronic version (CD or DVD)—will be submitted to the Music Department in partial fulfillment of graduation requirements. The print version will be returned to the student.

Portfolio Contents

Although music advisors may recommend and/or require additional materials, all portfolios must include the following items:

  • Transcript verifying a grade of C or higher in all music courses required for the degree
  • Resume/C.V.
  • Single-page statement of goals
  • Degree plan (for 300-level entry jury only)
  • Repertoire list
  • List of all recital performances (8 required to graduate)*
  • Programs from all performances (required of BM candidates only)
  • Jury forms*
  • Representative recording(s)*
  • Writing sample
  • Items specific to your area of emphasis (i.e. composition, audio production)

*BM candidates only

Program Evaluation Requirement

All music majors and minors must complete a program evaluation as a graduation requirement. The grade in MUS 405 Senior Seminar will remain listed as “RP” (Regular Progress) until the Program Evaluation is submitted.

Students submit the completed Program Evaluation to the Music Department Administrative Assistant. Faculty do not have access to a Program Evaluation until after the student has graduated.

The Program Evaluation provides vital information to music faculty as they consider the effectiveness of the various components of all music programs. Students are urged to be candid and to responsibly execute their role in improving music programs at WOU.

Program Evaluation Template

A program evaluation template is distributed to students in Junior Seminar. It also may be downloaded from Moodle.