Courses and Curriculum

Can I enroll in an ensemble if I am not a majoring/minoring in music?

Yes! ALL students at MSU can participate in ensembles at the School of Music. For More Information, please visit our Ensemble & Performance Opportunities page.

Can I enroll in individual applied lessons if I am not majoring/minoring in music?

Yes! ALL students at MSU take individual lessons at the School of Music. For More Information, please visit our Applied Music/Individual Lessons page

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

Are there classes for students with no musical experience?

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

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 MSU 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/Minors in all degree programs are required to attend live music performances, lectures, and Music Seminar. 

For More information, please visit the School of Music Student Handbook.


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.

What is Applied Music?

At Montana State University, Music Majors, Music Minors, and Non-majors can take individual lessons, called Applied Music. The School of Music has 18 faculty members that teach over 150 students from 40+ different degree programs on a variety of instruments. Students enrolling in Applied Music are also required to enroll in a large designated ensemble. In Applied Music, students have a one on one lesson with faculty members and attend a group studio class weekly. During a one on one lesson, students study solo works or orchestra excerpts for their instrument as well as perfecting scales and other important techniques. In studio classes, students play and study with other students learning the same instrument. Studio classes focus on playing in a chamber setting and allow students to meet and collaborate. For More information about applied music at MSU, visit our Applied Music/Individual Lesson page.

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 faculty can be found on the Applied Music/Individual Lesson page.

Auditions - Ensemble, Lessons, Scholarships

Do ensembles require an audition? 

Our top ensembles generally require an audition. We also offer MANY non-audition ensembles. More information about ensemble performance and auditions can be found on our Ensemble & Performance Opportunities page.

Do I need to audition to enroll in individual lessons?

Yes, please visit our Applied Music/Individual Lessons page for more information.

How do I audition for a scholarship? 

Please visit our Scholarship page for more information.

How do I sign up 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. If you have more questions about the Marching Band, please visit the Spirit of the West's webpage, or email [email protected]

Building Usage

Howard Hall is open to the public from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. For More information, please visit the School of Music Student Handbook.

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. For More information, please visit the School of Music Student Handbook.

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.

Building 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 my instrument?

The MSU School of Music has limited storage lockers for all but the largest instruments. Enrollment in an ensemble or individual 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. 

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. 



May I rent an instrument from the School of Music?

Students who are enrolled in an ensemble or applied lessons 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 to music majors, minors, and non-majors who make significant contributions to our ensembles. More information about applying for a music scholarship can be found on our Scholarship page.


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.