Music majors have three options...

School of Music ensembles are open to all MSU students through the audition process when required.

In general, ensemble auditions are held during the first week of the fall semester. Please check for the informational postings in the lobby of Howard Hall and on the music website:

School of Music Ensembles make periodic performance tours on a rotating basis. Recent tours have included the MSU Chorale in France and Spain, the MSU Symphony in Southeast Asia the MSU One O'clock Jazz Band in Hawaii, and the Electric Monster Laptop Ensemble in China. Contact information for specific ensemble directors can be found on the faculty page of the School of Music website:


May I participate in an ensemble if I am not a music major?

Yes, all MSU students are welcome to audition for School of Music ensembles.

May I enroll in private lessons if I am not a music major?

Non-majors are welcome to audition for placement in private studio lessons. Qualified majors will be placed first, and qualified non-majors will be accepted on a space-available basis which can vary from studio to studio.

Are scholarships available to non-majors?

Yes. Scholarships are available for music majors and also for non-majors who make significant contributions to our ensembles. Qualified non-major applicants will be considered after all majors have been served. Scholarship information, requirements, and application forms are available on our website:

May I rent an instrument from the School of Music?

Students who are enrolled in an ensemble which requries them to use a specific instrument may check out such instruments from the school inventory with permission from their instructor. Ensemble courses carry a course fee which covers the use of school instruments.

Do I have to know how to read music?

Yes. University level music study assumes that you will have had a significant level of prior musical experience including private lessons on an instrument or voice. The courses within the School of Music are not geared toward beginners, but structured to enhance and improve your existing musical skill set.

May I "test out" of music classes?

Technically, this is possible, but not always advisable. Students who skip the first level of consecutive courses often find that they struggle with the pace of subsequent courses.

Is there an audition for Marching Band?

Spirit of the West Marching band is open to all MSU students who wish to participate. Prior marching experience is not required. Marching Band camp is held the week prior to the beginning of each Fall semester and is required for participation. Marching Band students receive a stipend for participation.

Where can I store and practice my instrument?

The MSU School of Music has limited storage lockers for all but the largest instruments. Enrollment in an ensemble or studio lessons is required for permission to store an instrument in Howard Hall. We do not have space for drum kits. Individual practice modules are available in Howard Hall on a first-come, first-serve basis.

May my band rehearse in the School of Music?

Group rehearsal space in Howard Hall is limited to those enrolled in School of Music ensembles. Privately arranged bands may not use Howard Hall for rehearsal or instrument storage.

Are there classes for students with no musical experience?

Yes. The School of Music offers five survey classes which also fulfill university core requirements: Enjoyment of Music, Fundamentals of Musical Creation, History of Jazz, American Popular Music, and World Music.

What exactly is Music Technology?

Music Technology at MSU is the integration of music composition, sound design, audio engineering, and interdisciplinary collaboration. The course sequence is listed in the

Degree requirements are listed in the MSU online catalog.

You can learn more at our Music Technology website:, and also take a look at the Music Technology FAQ.