Feb 20, 2019  
Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2019 
Undergraduate Catalog 2017-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Music Major, BA

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Music Major Goals

The goals of the music major are to:

  • Help students understand and appreciate the theoretical and philosophical nature of music, its meaning and contribution to the individual and society in contemporary and past cultures.
  • Offer a program that includes diverse and liberal studies in music.
  • Prepare individuals for careers in the music and allied fields.
  • Provide adequate preparation for the pursuit of graduate work in music.
  • Develop sound musicianship and performance skills through studies in applied music, theory, and music literature.
  • Contribute to the enrichment of music life of Winston-Salem State University and the community.

Student Learning Outcomes – BA in Music

Upon successful completion of the program, students will have the following:

  • Knowledge of music cultural heritage and history
  • Appreciation for musical creativity, reasoning, and the aesthetic value of music
  • The ability to communicate ideas musically, verbally, and in writing
  • Knowledge of organization and structures of music
  • Analytical skills necessary for listening, performing, and teaching
  • Skills necessary to perform music from a variety of periods, styles, and genres
  • Awareness of diversity of musical ideas throughout the world’s culture

Student Learning Outcomes – BA in Music-Music Education Licensure

Upon successful completion of the program, students will have the following:

  • Demonstrate effective verbal and written communication skills critical to the music profession
  • Utilize and create multimedia and relevant technology for music education
  • Demonstrate musicianship and proficiency in a major performance area as soloist and ensemble member
  • Demonstrate knowledge, understanding and appreciation of music and related philosophies from past and present cultures
  • Demonstrate a standards-based music education program that meets the needs and interests of learners in grades K-12, including exceptional learners
  • Demonstrate a variety of teaching and evaluation methods, techniques, and strategies for application in music education
  • Demonstrate knowledge of music literature and repertoire to maintain a high level of interest and involvement of students
  • Demonstrate proficiency in behavioral management skills that promote self-discipline, a positive learning climate, and self-concept that are conducive to successful musicianship and teaching

Student Learning Outcomes – BA in Music-Concentration in Music Business

Upon successful completion of the program, students will have the following:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic framework and functions of different areas of the Music Industry
  • Demonstrate proficiency in recording studio techniques including signal flow, microphone types and placement, effects and dynamic processing, and audio editing and mixing
  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of a particular area of interest in the industry selected in consultation with the area coordinator, student advisor and the student that culminates in the completion of a Senior Project that is assessed by a faculty committee with a rubric. Areas of interest may include concert promotion, record production, development of a business plan relevant to the music industry, or another approved topic that demonstrates an advanced understanding of an area of the industry

Major Requirements

Music majors are required to take 24 semester hours (SH) in a musicianship core, 12 (SH) in a performance core and 24 (SH) electives at or above the 3000 level

Students must be proficient in a major performance medium (voice, wind/percussion instrument, organ or piano), and earn a minimum of 6 semester hours in a minor performance instrument. All majors must take piano and be able to demonstrate acceptable levels of proficiency. All majors must also enroll for at least one semester of voice if there major area of performance is in another medium. 

Specialized Admission Requirements for the Major

Students who plan to major in music must meet the following requirements:

  • Submit an application to the department to become a music major. You may obtain this form by calling the Administrative Assistant at (336-750-2520). This form is also mailed to all students who indicate music as a pre-major when they apply to the university.
  • Demonstrate performance proficiency in an applied area (voice, piano, flute, etc.) by auditioning on campus or by video tape recording should distance prohibit a campus audition. The audition should occur prior to the student’s actual matriculation at the university. A sample list of appropriate literature will be sent with the supplementary music area application. Students may select compositions other than those listed if they are comparable in musical and technical difficulty.
  • Take a music theory skill assessment examination.
  • Take a keyboard skill assessment examination.
  • Complete a personal interview with music faculty.

Note: After being accepted, music majors failing to enroll in courses within the department for a year or longer will be required to re-audition for readmission into the department. 

Minimum Grade Requirement

Music majors must earn a minimum grade of “C” in each required course in their respective content areas.


To be a candidate for graduation, a student must pass all exit criteria, including the Music Proficiency Examination, all components of the sophomore screening process, and a recital and/or an extended research project. In addition, teacher education candidates must successfully pass the student teaching phase of their preparation. This is done with the cooperation of the applied music instructor(s) and the major advisor and with the approval of the music faculty. Guidelines for all criteria are available within the department.

Student Organizations

The WSSU chapter of the Collegiate Music Educators National Conference operates within the music area and is organized and governed by students with the assistance of the chapter advisor(s). All majors are eligible and encouraged to join this organization. Additional Greek music organizations include Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Tau Beta Sigma Honorary Band Sorority, and Kappa Kappa Psi Honorary Band Fraternity.

Sound University Music Group (SUMG) is a campus-based music organization with an interdisciplinary focus allowing students opportunities to gain knowledge of real world working environments via internships. Its mission is to expose students to industry situations in the areas of recording, marketing, management and finance/accounting to build experience and proficiency in preparation for entrance into the music industry.

Seminars, Master Classes, Recitals

All music majors are required to attend faculty, student, and visiting artist recitals, and master classes sponsored by the Lyceum Concert Series held at the university. Students are required to participate as performers on regularly scheduled student recitals/seminars. In addition, the university encourages and supports student attendance at musical events in the Winston-Salem community including the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra and the Piedmont Opera series.

Participation in Performance Groups

All music majors are required to participate each semester in the music organization(s) representing their area(s) of performance concentration. Qualified students may elect to participate in more than one ensemble.

Music Major Courses

Foundation Courses (Musicianship Core) (21 Semester Hours)

The following courses are required to lay the foundation for both breadth and depth study.

Music Theory

MUS 1320            Fundamentals of Music (spring semester of Freshman Year)

MUS 3301            Music Theory I (fall semester of Sophomore Year)

MUS 3303            Music Theory II (spring semester of Sophomore Year)

MUS 4315            Music Theory III (fall semester of Junior Year)

MUS 4316            Music Theory IV (spring semester of Junior Year)


Music History

MUS 2390            Survey of Music Literature (spring semester of Freshman Year)

MUS 3316            Music History I (spring semester of Sophomore Year)

MUS 3317            Music History II (fall semester of Junior Year)


Breadth Courses (choose one from each theme) (9 Semester Hours)


General Music (choose 1)


MUS 3305            Survey of Contemporary Popular Music (fall semester only)

MUS 3339            Afro-American Music (offered in both fall and spring semesters)

MUS 3340            Non-Western Music (offered in both fall and spring semesters)


Music Education (choose 1)


MUS 3101            Choral Arranging (spring semester only)

MUS 3211            Music Activities in the Elementary School (offered in both fall and spring semesters)

MUS 3213            Music for Exceptional Children (offered in both fall and spring semesters)

MUS 3226            Instrumentation and Orchestration (spring semester only)

MUS 3227            Marching Band Techniques (fall semester only)

MUS 3342            Technology in Music (fall semester only)

MUS 3323            Choral Conducting and Literature (fall semester only)

MUS 3344            Instrumental Conducting and Literature (fall semester only)


Music Business (choose 1)


MUS 3302            Overview of the Music Industry (offered in both fall and spring semesters)

MUS 3310            Electronic Music (offered in both fall and spring semesters)

MUS 4228            Commercial Music Arranging (fall semester only)

MUS 4231            Record Label Marketing (spring semester only)

MUS 4312            Studio Recording Techniques I (fall semester only)

MUS 4313            Studio Recording Techniques II (spring semester only) (faculty approval)



Depth Courses (Course work at or above the 3000 level) (12 Semester Hours)

Choose from any untaken Breath Course above the 3000 level.  MUS 4130 is required.


MUS 3038            Special Topics

MUS 4130            Senior Recital/Project (Capstone)


Performance Core (12 Semester Hours)


4 Semesters of Applied Major Lessons (4 Semester Hours) (offered each semester)

4 Semesters of Ensemble (4 Semester Hours) (offered each semester)

4 Semesters of Piano (4 Semester Hours) (offered each semester)


Total 54 Hours

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