Music Major e-Handbook 2012-2013

This e-guide is designed to provide links and answer common questions concerning requirements of the School of Music, the Bachelor of Music Education and Bachelor of Arts in Music, and the Bachelor of Arts in Music Technology degree programs. Additionally, non-music majors who perform in ensembles should be familiar with the requirements and responsibilities expected of them as musicians representing the School of Music.

This e-guide should be used in conjunction with the current MSU catalog.

The School of Music at Montana State University offers dynamic programs in music, music technology, and music education, preparing our students for various professions in music, music education and life-long musical enhancement. Inspired by the belief that music is central to human ways of life, the School affirms the University's mission to serve the people and communities of Montana by providing a musically enriched environment.

The School is committed to contributing to the musical world through performance, scholarship,composition, leadership, and nurturing the musical expression, understanding, discovery, and creativity of its faculty and students.

The School of Music offers three degree programs: Bachelor of Music Education (BME)Bachelor of Arts in Music (BA), and the Bachelor of Arts in Music Technology. The BME leads to certification to teach music at all levels in the public schools. The BA is a more general music degree leading to a variety of music careers, and the BA in Music Technology prepares students for careers involving recording and digital music applications. A Music Minor is available to non-music majors.

Academic Information

Academic information including the system and process for acquiring academic records and related materials may be found in the Undergraduate Bulletin (this is available on-line or in hard copy). This information includes, but is not limited to, student records, registration and curriculum procedures, credits and grades, examinations, baccalaureate degree graduation requirements, and the Core curriculum.

Students and faculty are expected to adhere to Academic Integrity Guidelines as described in the document Student Academic and Conduct Guidelines and Grievance Procedures. This document contains faculty/student academic integrity guidelines, faculty/student academic grievance and review procedures, student conduct guidelines and conduct grievance procedures, and conduct board membership, procedures, and actions.

The School of Music expects students to meet the school's Professional Expectations for Music Majors. Students who fail to meet these expectations will receive a warning. Faculty members may use the School's Student Concern Form to address such issues. Continued failure to meet the expectations may result in the student being placed on a Professional Improvement Plan as follows:

  • The faculty member identifies the concern, and associated remediation plan, on the Professional Improvement Plan.
  • If agreement about the problem in need of remediation, or the manner in which the problem will be addressed, cannot be reached, the student may meet with the Director of the School of Music.
  • The Director will issue a written confirmation of their decision for remediation.
  • In the course of any Professional Improvement Plan, sanctions may be imposed by the Director (e.g. oral or written reprimand, special, additional or repeat assignments, lower or failing grade, or removal from the program). Decisions concerning any improvement plan, including sanctions, are subject to the Student Academic Grievance Procedure (sect. 500 of the conduct guidelines and grievance procedures for students)
  • Documentation of the Professional Improvement Plan is retained by the School of Music until the student's graduation.


All MSU students must have at least a 'C' average in order to graduate. A grade of 'C' or better must be earned in all required classes. A grade of 'C' minus or lower in these courses is not acceptable.


There is no University regulation regarding class attendance, and each instructor may set his or her own policy. However, if such policy involves penalties for absence, it should be clearly stated in writing at the beginning of each semester.

A student registering in a course is, in effect, signing a contract in which he or she assumes the responsibility for attendance and for carrying out the work of the course. The student will be graded on his or her performance in the course. Absences usually affect performance, but absences are not considered excuses for poor performance in a course. It is assumed that all students will attend all classes for which they are registered.

It is not unusual for students to change their degree plans during their undergraduate careers. If you are thinking about changing your major, discuss this change with your academic advisor. If you want to change your major, you will need to process a Change of Curriculum card which is available in the School of Music Office. Note that if you change to another curriculum, you will need to meet the requirements of the Undergraduate Bulletin in effect at the time of the change in curriculum.

To register for classes:

  • Update your Permanent Record Form
  • Draft a proposed course schedule for the upcoming semester
  • Meet with your advisor and follow directions specific to your degree program
  • Faculty approval is required to pre-register for any courses designated Consent of Instructor or Restricted Entry. Signature of the advisor and/or instructor must be present on the Drop/Add form.

Advisors maintain permanent files for each music major. These files generally contain semester grade sheets, Permanent Record Forms, programs from concerts in which you have performed, and any correspondence or academic forms pertinent to your work at Montana State University. Your permanent files are accessible to you, your academic advisor, and other University officials in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. When you need your file for pre-registration or advising purposes, please request it from your advisor. Programs for concert attendance credit are stored in the School of Music office.

Applied Music (MUSI 195-495) - After you have completed your course schedule, see the instructor to arrange a private lesson time and receive approval to register.

Spirit of the West Marching Band (MUSI 155) - All BME wind and percussion players are required to play in Marching Band for at least two semesters.

Voice (MUSI 195-495) - Auditions for voice lessons are held during the first week of fall classes for fall studio placement and during finals week voice juries for spring studio placement. Singers must audition for private voice lessons. A list of students for each voice teacher will be posted as soon as possible after the conclusion of the auditions. At that time, see the appropriate instructor for registration approval. Students wishing to audition only for choral ensembles should see the Director of Choral Activities. Check the Bulletin Board in the lobby of Howard Hall for further information.

University Chorus (MUSI 112) - University Chorus is open to all MSU students. A placement audition will be given during the first week of classes. It is required that all students in University Chorus be able to match pitch and demonstrate reasonable music reading skills.

Beginning and Intermediate Guitar (MUSI 160, 161, 260) - Contact Prof. Michael Videon to be placed on the waiting list for this class.

One O'Clock Jazz Band (MUS 331) - Auditions for jazz ensemble are held during the first week of classes. Check the Bulletin Board in the lobby of Howard Hall for further information.

MSU Symphony Orchestra (MUS 308) - Placement auditions will be held during the first week of each Fall semester. Please see the MSU Symphony website for audition information and registration approval.

Percussion Ensemble (MUSI 322) - Interested students should see the percussion professor for information regarding this ensemble.

Wind Symphony (Wind Ensemble) (MUSI 314) - Auditions for are held during the first week of classes. See the Director of Bands, for audition information and registration approval.

More Information