What ensembles require an audition? 

Many of our ensembles at MSU require some kind of audition. A formal audition is needed  for the MSU Symphony, the Wind Symphony, the Chorale, the Montanans and the One O'Clock Jazz band. An informal audition/placement is required for University Chorus. For more information about ensemble auditions, please click here.

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. Click here for more information and specific dates. 

If you have more questions about the Spirit of the West, please visit their webpage, or email [email protected]

Building Usage

Summer Building Hours: Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM

Howard Hall is open to the public from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. During the school year, evening and weekend hours vary and are posted on the School of Music Bulletin boards and on each outer door. Music majors are given 24-hour access to Howard Hall through the southwest door. After the 15th class day of each semester, access codes will assigned to eligible music majors. For your safety, and the safety of all students in the building after hours, NEVER SHARE YOUR STUDENT ID OR CAT CARD WITH ANYONE.

Are there practice rooms I can use in Howard? 

Howard hall has a limited number of practice rooms that are available on a first come, first serve basis unless they are reserved. Only music majors may reserve practice rooms. Non-Majors/Community Members may use practice rooms G-R if they are free, or if someone is more than 10 minutes late to their reservation. All other practice rooms are restricted by studios including the percussion practice rooms and are not open to the public. Practice rooms are NOT to be used for socialization or for homework which does not require the use of a piano or other instrument. Please be considerate of others who may be waiting for a room in which to practice music

Am I able to use a classroom after hours for a study session/rehearsal? 

Classrooms (117, 179, and 184) and the rehearsal room (130) are reserved for regularly scheduled classes during the day. For after-hours classroom reservations, please visit the front office (Howard Hall 189) between the hours of 8AM-5PM to make a room reservation. 

Is there a Computer Lab in Howard Hall?

The Computer Lab is located in room 127. Software programs for computer assisted instruction in music theory and aural skills, as well as composition and recording programs, are installed on these computers for student use. You must be enrolled in an eligible class in order to utilize the computers and software in Room 127. Eligible classes include any theory, aural skills, music technology courses, composition or orchestration class. Hours of operation for Room 127 will be posted on the door each semester.

Computer Lab Monitors monitor the Lab and building after hours. 


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. 

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.

May my band use your studios to record an album?

Only Music Technology Majors of a sophomore standing in the program and above may use the Studios. No one else is permitted to use them. 



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 here. 

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 this music theory placement exam. This exam contains questions concerning theory material you will learn in the first year. Click here for other resources or more information for prospective students. 

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.

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

What is Concert Attendance and what concerts count?

Music Majors in all degree programs are required to attend live music performances, as well as Music Major Seminars and/or lectures. Music Major Seminar attendance is monitored through a student ID card swipe system.  An adviser or the director must approve events and lectures not held in Reynolds Recital Hall. For outside events, student must provide a program and/or confirmation from a faculty member.

Appreciating and understanding music through listening is fundamental in fostering musicianship.  It is also important for students to interact and gain knowledge from working professionals. Music Major Seminar offers listening opportunities and professional guidance. 

160 Events Required for Graduation - Music Major & Minor

  • Students with a Major in Music are required to attend, as audience members, 160 concerts, music major seminars, student recitals, lectures or outside, approved events. If you perform on a concert, you cannot earn concert attendance credit.
  • Students with a Minor in Music are required to attend, as audience members, 40 concerts, music major seminars, student recitals, lectures or outside, approved events. If you perform on a concert, you cannot earn concert attendance credit.
  • Student IDs will be used to log into a computer system for all events in Reynolds Recital Hall. Students must use the magnetic card reader to swipe inAND outat an event.
  • No late arrivals or early departures can count the event
  • If a student does not have an opportunity to sign in at a performance, he/she must submit a program/flier/etc. for the performance to the computer support specialist.
  • Transfer students or BME students who student teach during their eighth semester will have their required total adjusted.
  • Concert classical music, jazz performances, musicals, operas, etc. (any performance in which listening is the prime audience activity)
  • Monitors may count attendance as long as he/she hears the entire performance and appropriately logs in and out.  
  • Recordists may count attendance as long as he/she hears the entire performance and appropriately logs in and out.  
  • 11:00 a.m. Music Major Seminars with guests and/or special topic lectures
  • Any lecture event (not a class) the student might attend that deals with an appropriate music, teaching, or music technology topic
  • MSU sponsored events on campus may also count toward this requirement with approval and proof of attendance.


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. Click here for audition material and dates. If you do not see audition repertoire or dates listed, please contact the Director of the ensemble. 

What is Applied Music?

Applied Music is your weekly lesson, Music Major Seminar, and studio time with you Applied Music Teacher. Applied Music requires an audition. If you audition for a School of Music Scholarship, you DO NOT need to audition for Applied Music. If you did audition, and didn't receive a scholarship, or if you did not audition please register for the correct section of Applied Music (your instrument) and contact the instructor to set up an audition. Lesson times are discussed with your instructor during the first week of classes.

May I enroll in Applied Music 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 here.



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. 


Are scholarships available to non-majors?

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. Click here for scholarship information, requirements, and information on how to apply.


Bozeman is a large community with increasing occurrences of theft, vandalism, etc. For those reasons, students are advised to:

  • Insure musical instruments and other valuables.
  • Keep instrumental and personal lockers locked at all times.
  • Do not leave you instruments/personal items/equipment unattended. 
  • Notify the front office/lab monitor of any suspicious items/people.
  • Close all doors to classrooms, rehearsal rooms, practice rooms, and studios when you leave. Be certain these doors are locked.
  • Carry your University ID card with you at all times.

School of Music personnel reserve the right to inspect any School-owned property (instruments, equipment, etc.) removed from Howard Hall.