School of Music FAQ
Music majors have three options...
Bachelor of Music Education - leads to teacher certification. Upon completion of the degree, graduates will be licensed to teach vocal, instrumental, and general music in grades K-12.
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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: www.montana.edu/music.
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: www.montana.edu/music/people.
I want to host an event and need a space, is Reynolds Recital Hall available for use?
Reynolds Recital Hall is a multipurpose room that is used by the entire school every single day. The hall is booked months in advance and all requests for its usage must be made at the front office during regular business hours.
Can I minor in music?
Students already participating in or interested in taking applied lessons and ensembles at the school of music are encouraged to declare a music minor. More information about the specific credits required can be found at www.montana.edu/music/minor.
May I participate in an ensemble if I am not a music major?
Yes, all MSU students are welcome to participate in School of Music ensembles. Some ensembles require an audition that usually happens before or at the beginning of the semester. Audition material and dates can be found at www.montana.edu/music/audition.
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. Contact information for studio teachers can be found at www.montana.edu/music/people.
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: www.montana.edu/music.
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. A locker is also provided for you when using a school instrument.
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. All incoming Freshman take a music theory placement exam that can be found here: www.montana.edu/music/prospective/theoryexam. This exam contains questions concerning theory material you will learn in the first year. Other resources can be found at www.montana.edu/music/prospective.
May I "test out" of music classes?
Technically, this is possible and a few students with extensive piano skills prior to coming to MSU are able to test out of Keyboard I and II. However, it is not always advisable to test out of these classes. 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. An informal audition is held on the third day of band camp, and some areas of the band are more competitive than others. We encourage everyone to try out for marching band, and students receive a stipend for participation. For more information and specific dates, head to www.montana.edu/music/sotw. If you still have questions, you may email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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. Lockers are distributed on a first come, first-serve basis. We do not have space for drum kits. Individual practice modules are available in Howard Hall. Only music majors are allowed to reserve a time in the practice modules, however if someone is ten minutes late for their reservation the room can then be used.
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, Masterworks in Music, 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.